The People Of Greenpoint.

Yesterday, I walked down to the waterfront to take some pictures and check things out. When I got there, I found I was more intrigued with the people than I was with what actually took place earlier in the day.

(Captions are above each picture. Click the thumbnail to enlarge each image.)

A guy from the Mayor’s office.

The fire department. I was told it was a 9 alarm fire, which means nine different firehouses supplied ALL of their men. By the time I got there, the Disaster team from The American Red Cross was handing out food. I am always amazed by the kindness of others during times like this. While I realize it’s their job and everything, they did so with a smile on their face and they did so armed with kind words. I can barely say that of me and my corporate life.

A little boy watches me watch him not watch the actual fire.

What’s left of the building. I was told that it fell around noon.

The guy from above being cheered up by a dog. Dogs know stuff about things. :]

Some photo bloggers. There were many people down there with their cameras, me being one of them. I was stopped by a few people because they wanted to talk about my camera. I guess the D200 is still very hard to find. Who knew?

Another shot of the building.

New York City’s Finest. (Again with the smiles…)

I tried to capture the diversity one discovers in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

There is a really large Hasidic poplution starting at Broadway and continuing on down along the waterfront and along the South numbered streets.

Greenpoint’s Polish children.

This is George. I met George while I was snapping pictures. George is a painter.

The next three are of our view of the sunset once we got home.

As usual, if you would like to see more, you may do so by clicking here. (Takes you to Flickr.)


  1. Mihow, can you tell me your process of photographing people? Do you ask them for permission or click in secret? Do you get up close or zoom in from afar? etc…


  2. Well, I am scared of this actually. But usually, I do it anyway. I don’t have much of a zoom on this camera, so it means getting in as close as possible to the person. For the most part, people don’t have a problem with this. Perhaps it’s the way I look? Perhaps I don’t look very daunting or sneaky? I have no idea. Also, I smile at them although I rarely make eyecontact. So I smile and don’t look directly at them. It’s true.

    George was super friendly and after he approached me, I asked if I could take his picture. The other people just looked at me funny and I took their picture anyway. :]

    I guess I just wing it. If someone looks particularly frightening or something, I usually avoid it. If they look like they might not care, I do it. I have yet to get punched or talked to. (knock on wood.)


  3. Most street photographers shoot with a wide lens (28, 35, or 50) and get up close and personal with their subjects, blending in, etc. Shots using a zoom are never as charming. If you’re zooming in from 50 feet, there is a pretty good chance that something (person, car, tree, whatever) will be in the shot and betray your cowardly distance. A wide lens lets you get very close while capturing a full scene with no intermediary distractions.

    I think these are michele’s best street shots yet. Certainly, part of that is the speed that comes from the fast Nikon auto-focus. Part of it is that this was a ‘news-worthy’ event and people were probably expecting to be shot. Most of it is having a good eye and being friendly and cute.


  4. Awwww, schucks, Beaner. Coming from you, that’s one hell of a compliment. You don’t offer up false compliments. So, thanks, Bean.

    I feel braver with that camera. Somehow…


  5. Dogs DO know stuff!

    We could have used the NYFD/PD/Red Cross/ASPCA during Katrina. Those guys are ON IT. I want to bake them cookies.


  6. Nico, if you’re reading this, I was thinking that maybe now George’s music from the Tylenol Bowl will really take off?


  7. i really like your photography. i also like how your pics come up on the blog centered and with a border.

    i would like to take pics of people, much like how you have done but have shied away from doing it—-although i would be flattered if a stranger wanted to take a pic of me, i think.


  8. Here I am. So, do you know if the warehouse with the bowl was one that burned? I’m unclear if all of the buildings burned or just a portion.

    George heard that the space with the bowl was broken in to last weekend, so maybe sketchy things were going on around there. Of course, this is totally third or fourth person word of mouth.

    I don’t think the clip with George’s music is up on the the Tylenol site anymore. My understanding is that the campaign fizzled out.


  9. Oh, that’s a bummer. I will find out. I got mixed reports. Someone last night (a little skater dude) told me it was gone. ANd then I read on another site that it was gone. But then Anna (who I am more inclined to trust) said that she didn’t think it was affected at all.

    So I guess I don’t know. The skaters were out by the dozens last night though. Misplaced, either way as that area is completely shut down.

    Broken into? Crazy.


  10. sketchy things like the landlord burning the place down?



    We have been getting many calls at the store
    regarding the fire in Greenpoint. Yes, the bowl
    is in the same complex, but from what we can tell
    from pictures, our warehouse seems to be alright.
    We will post more information once we get inside
    to check everything out. Thanks for everyone’s
    concern & check back at the site for updates

    The exact address is
    73 West Street, between Milton and Noble

    I’ve heard a lot of reports that the fire dept found accelerant.

    Some rumors said that the buildings were going to be torn down anyways. Wrong. According to the nysun

    “The application listed May 1 as the date to begin demolition, but the application was incomplete and the final demolition permit was not granted, Ms. Givner said.”“

    The only facts i could find were that the land was bought by Guttman (who has the fire history) and an ex partner Baruch Singer (who has been named the ‘worst landlord in nyc’) in 2001 for 24 million. the rezoning last year bumped up the worth to 480 million.


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