The one associated element I acquired between having been a retail manager and spending time photographing on the streets was that I learned a lot more about human behavior than I would have anticipated. I’ll assume bartenders and waiters would attest to receiving similar unrequested interest but to me it eventually became the the type of curiosity that was difficult to ignore.
I’m a sociable guy or at least I like to think so and acknowledging that I am doesn’t end by saying that I enjoy being around people because when given the chance, I generally seek to dig deeper and express a genuine interest in a person as long as they’re willing to share a part of themselves.
I’ve traveled to a few countries with my wife, I lived in El Salvador for 5 years and I’ve misguided myself around New York more than I would like to admit and the one big fact that I can walk away from having these experiences and observing people is that if you were to ask a person the cliche question of “what would you wish for?” in all likelihood they would all give you a different response based on where they live.
If you live in the Hollywood Hills in California and I came across you on the street and asked you to write on a white board something that you would wish for, I would be surprised if you wrote down “I wish for a million dollars” because as stereotypical as it may be, I would assume you already have that amount of money in your bank account already or at least close to it based on the place you call home.
Armed with an erasable white board, my camera and the inquisitiveness to find out what residents of Bushwick, Brooklyn often find themselves wishing for, I spent roughly 2 hours walking around prominent streets such as Knickerbocker and Myrtle Ave to explore and see what tangible or non-materialistic things people routinely daydream about as residents of this neighborhood.
Below are the responses of a few of the willing participants:
95% of the people I interacted with were very supportive with the project and they had no reservations in playing a role in it when I took those 2-3 minutes describing what my intentions were.
What I found interesting was that when I asked the question of something “they wish for”, most of them had to take that extra time to think about their response and they often asked me for suggestions which I didn’t provided because I didn’t want to influence their decision.
What I intent to do next is to choose a completely different New York neighborhood where the average income level is relatively higher and examine how people’s responses might differ from that of Bushwick.