Thursday, April 15, 2010

The lookback


A funny thing happens when I try to photograph buildings and trees in NYC - as you might expect, it's almost impossible to get a shot without people in it. And people have a way of doing very interesting and amusing things. :)

So, there I was, innocently photographing the beautiful pink tree in the park in the background. It was only when I threw these in Photoshop that I realized I had unwittingly captured a very New York phenomenon for you: The Lookback. :)

Our protagonists are small, to be sure, but you can still discern what's going on. Take a look at that handsome young fellow in the blue dress shirt and purple tie (lovely combo, by the way). He looks distant and unassuming, no? Minding his own business, he couldn't be any less interested in the people that pass, except, what's that?


He spots someone in the lower left- dark haired girl with a plastic hairclip. Now, I know that's not a very romantic description, but... he seems interested....


And.... there goes the lookback! Did you catch that? In case you're wondering where his line of sight is pointing, I prepared a handy visual aid for you below:


When I first moved to New York, I thought that New York men were the most distant creatures on earth. That's because I grew up in a culture where we all, male and female both, give each other almost incessant compliments. New dress? That's a nice dress! That color looks so good on you! Does your hair look like it went through a lawnmower this weekend? Oh, very chic. So stylish. And these are the friendly acquaintances. Strange men on the road? A virtual cacophany of male happiness! You might be the most annoyed woman on earth, but you certainly feel at least like the prettiest.

New York men, on the other hand, are terribly quiet, rarely so much as looking in one's direction. I was beginning to feel very unattractive indeed, when one day while turning back to adjust something in my bag, I busted my first New York male giving me a lookback. Then another. Then another. And now I content myself with busting them giving others the lookback, on a daily basis. Seriously. Ever visiting New York? Get ready for the lookback. :) More pictures, soon - I have actually been completing assignments from you! :)


Nicole Follow the White Bunny said...

haha that was funny! Even his tie is doing a 'lookback'. :)

Katie said...

So amusing! I live in Chicago and "The Lookback" is also alive and well in the midwest!

Rebekah said...

That is so great you captured it on film (well digital film).

Kathy said...

So funny! Very interesting post.

Drop Stitches Not Bombs said...

This made me laugh - I love the way his tie appears to be excited by the girl as well! The photos have a lovely, warm quality too.

jane said...

I love that he spun so fast as to set his tie flying.

Morgan said...

This seriously cracked me up! Those photos are amazing too!

Guys think they're sooo sly, waiting until they're past us to check us out, but we know what's up. Sometimes I can tell it's going to happen and I wave to them with my back still turned. :)

that guy looks like my ex. eep.

tamdoll said...

Very funny & great that you caught that on film.
Sometimes I miss NY, the crowds. The men in shirts and ties. (sigh)

My Realitty said...

So charming. I was examining the tree and noticed him but not the relationship to the others. Spring is in the air. CM

alison said...

hilarious! And I love his tie swinging wildly in the turn!