Life in New York: Dispatches from Occupy Wall Street and the NYC Subway

Posted on
Oct 13, 2011

Today’s guest post is from my friend John Doherty. Rand and I met John last spring in Boston – right before he was about to move to New York. Since then, I’ve been keeping up with his life through his twitter stream and updates to Google Plus. His insights and observations are always interesting, but it’s his photos that really fascinate me. In an era where every kid with a Canon SLR thinks they’re a photographer, John is creating art with his camera phone. You gotta respect that.

—————

I am a fairly new New Yorker, having moved here in the middle of June from Philadelphia, and before that I was living in Switzerland for a while. Having grown up in small-city Virginia, I have been used to fairly homogeneous surroundings (I’m not saying that’s a good thing, I’m saying that’s what it is). Since I’ve moved to New York though, I’ve become enthralled with the variety of people around! I started this Instagram pictures series a few months ago on Google+, and Geraldine loved them so much that she asked me to write this guest post for her.

Some of the subway photos may come across as creepy, but I think they give us an interesting view into the world of New York City. The shots of the protesters at Occupy Wall Street will hopefully help put a face to the people that you see on the news.

Occupy Wall Street

The protesters down in Liberty Square were peaceful when I went down there on the afternoon of October 8th. Shouts were rising from back in the square and music was playing, but everyone was calm and peaceful. Here are a few shots of what I saw.

The American Dream is the American Plight

"The American Dream is the American Plight."

And that government, of the people …

"... And that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." - Abraham Lincoln

“Everyone pays their tax” March

"Everyone pays their tax, everyone but Goldman Sachs" was their cry.


Who would Jesus foreclose on?

Protesters and NYPD marched alongside each other. The sign says "Who would Jesus foreclose on?"

—————

Life on the NYC Subway

The Reading Girl

I saw this girl reading in the subway late on evening. She was first standing by the door with her book in her hand, looking around sheepishly in between times of being engrossed in her book. Then she sat down and I noticed that she was actually sounding out the words to herself as she was reading. I was quickly overcome with how beautiful of a scene it was, so I had to take a photo. Living in New York, it can sometimes become easy for me to be disillusioned with a lot of the world I see around me, but this girl restored my faith in humanity. Read on, girl!

The Suit Reading

I’m often overcome with curiousity about the vast differences between so many of the people I sit across from. When I start my journey in Union Square I usually get a very homogenous crowd, with guys like this dressed in suits reading the newspaper. When I get down to where I live, it is a predominately black crowd, which I love.

The diversity keeps the city beautiful.

The Elderly Gentleman With the Hat

I frequently hear about the death of the newspaper, and how the newspaper is increasingly going online. On the New York subways, however, I frequently see people reading the newspaper on their way into work. I happened to catch this gentleman reading his newspaper on the way into Manhattan in the morning. But people of all styles read the newspapers in the city in the morning. As much as life changes, life stays the same.

The End of an Error

This poor chap slept, leaning on the rail, with his bag tucked under his arm. The bag’s message, which is hard to decipher in the photo, contained a picture of George W. Bush and stated “The End of an Error”.

Are you kidding me? That’s hilarious. Only in New York.

“Mommy, when’s Mothers Day and Father’s Day?


These two were rather rambunctious on the subway, which normally annoys me, but the little guy stole the show when he turned to his exhausted mother and said “Mommy, when’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?” She replied, “Not till next year”, sounding absolutely exhausted. “Ok”, said the little guy, “I’ll make you a card next year then.”

D’awww!

—————

That’s it! I hope this has given you a different look into the people and happenings of New York City. If you want, you can follow me on Instagram (dohertyjf) and keep updated on them as I post!

Leave a Comment

  • This is great, I love your Subway series!

    • Thanks Bekka! I’m glad you enjoy it!

  • This made me miss NYC so much!!
    Love all of the pictures and captions

    • Thanks Kizzle! You should come back and visit!

  • Amazing stuff John. So glad you posted these for the rest of us to enjoy.

    • Thanks Rand. It’s such a great city to live and work in. See you guys here soon!

  • Favorite one is learning-to-read girl. Did you talk to anyone at OWS BTW?

    • Thanks Senor Sexbrows (I love your name btw). I did talk to a couple people at OWS and also a police officer standing guard. It was interesting to hear both perspectives.

  • NYCSubwayGirl

    wonderful photo journalism. These are the people I see every day.

    • They are beautiful, right? It truly is the diversity that keeps the city beautiful.

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • The final, finished copy of my book arrived at our house today. Rand is very excited about it. (Everyone else has to wait until May 2nd, but you can pre-order it now. Link in bio.) #AllOverThePlace #AOTPbook #everywhereist #happydance
  • 9 foods we ate in Japan that I'm missing now:
1) Sushi! 
2) Kaiseki (a multi-course meal with tons of delicious little plates)
3) Croissants (Japanese bakeries seem to have mastered them) 
4) Okonomiyaki (multi-layered pancakes with noodles and all sorts of stuff)
5) Takoyaki (octopus balls) 
6) Ramen (so many styles, all so good) 
7) Yakiniku (grill your own meats!)
8) Tempura (so light and crispy) 
9) Onigiri (Geraldine was crazy for these - the best ones came from 7-11 of all places) 
#foodsofjapan #randtookthis #latergram #tastebudsforeverspoiled
  • Geraldine bought this frickin' adorable tea cup in Tokyo and I'm kinda jealous (even though everyone knows cups that hold hot liquids need handles!). #studioghibli #totorotea #randtookthis
  • Sayonara Japan. We loved you so much, we're already planning ways to come back. Thanks to @nicelleh & @wescarr for insisting we go, and for being our tour guides. #randtookthis #randaldineselfie #selfiesonaplane
  • It's not often you get to meet up with friends at Tokyo Station on the way to Narita, but we lucked out. Thanks @benhuh @emilyphuh for the great lunch and amazing company. #randtookthis #lastdayofvacation #selfiesatthetrain
  • That's no way to describe how stunning the ryokan & onsen is here. Maybe these 7 photos will help. It's definitely modern, but the landscape, the food, the lobby, the architecture, the service... everything is just spot on. And we even get to wear yukatas! #randtookthis #hoshiniya #karuizawa #beautifulhotels
  • Karuizawa has its own creamery, and they make both matcha and black sesame gelato. It's frickin' tasty. Who cares if we have to wear coats to eat it. #icecreamtime #lastdayofvacation #nagaifarm
  • Waiting for the bus. With a friend. 
#randtookthis #totorotime
  • This stone church in Karuizawa was designed by an American architect, Kendrick Kellogg, and serves as a popular wedding facility. Fascinatingly, it has no right angles in the design (though Geraldine spent most of our visit trying to claim that angles on exit signs or edges of photos inside technically violated this rule). #randtookthis #stonebuildings #curvyarchitecture
  • We have been incredibly lucky to stay at many beautiful hotels around the world (mostly thanks to generous conference organizers). But, #hoshiniya in Karuizawa almost certainly belongs in the top 3. Every detail is stunning here. It's almost sad to walk out of the resort! #randtookthis #randaldineselfie

All Over The Place

Pre-order my book now and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.

Pre-Order Now!