Sunday, February 20, 2011

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

“She’s a rich girl. She don’t try to hide it. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes.” - Paul Simon

Nampodong, Pusan. 10:54 a.m. Brian Hartenstein picture. This is one of the luckiest shots I’ve ever taken. The man was thirty meters away walking toward me facing the sun. I was leaning against a tree, must have snapped a dozen pictures of passing people in a little five minute span. I had no idea that it was even in focus until I got home later that day.
“He’s a poor boy, empty as a pocket with nothing to lose.” - Simon

Chinese Pharmacy, Gukchae Market, Pusan. 11:44 a.m. I’d been having trouble breathing through the night and luckily this pharmacy, which has been in the same location for decades, remembered me and still kept inhalers in stock. I snapped this photo of the manager checking his handwritten ledger because of the abacus. Again, it was a very lucky picture of an old way of Korean life still thriving.
“She was physically forgotten then she slipped into my pocket with my car keys.” - Simon

Old Woman in Sneakers, Kwangalee Beach, Pusan. 2:43 p.m. She had been watching the ocean for over an hour while my daughters shoveled sand and searched for small sea shells. I liked that she had a cane and a small bucket for a seat.
“And I could say oo oo oo as if everybody here would know exactly what I was talking about.” - Simon

Young Blond Boy, Soemyun Movie Theater, Pusan. 11:17 a.m. It’s called the Korean Wave, this electric movement of music and movies and art that has swept over Asia. Years ago this boy’s style would have never been thought possible, now it is accepted and profitable. I caught him walking with his friends on a chilly morning. He looked like the future.
“You’ve taken me for granted because I please you.” - Simon

Pusan Bexco Subway Platform. 9:32 a.m. Snapped this old man that didn’t want to have his picture taken, but he just looked so suspiciously like a man on a caper, I had to let him know I was on to his devious plan.
“The poor boy changes clothes and puts on aftershave, to compensate for his ordinary shoes.”

Old Man Selling Roasted Walnuts, Nampodong Theater District, Pusan. 11:31 a.m. Nibbling street food on a frigid morning. I like pictures with steam. There were many smiling street hawkers that morning, this one was very grumpy. So I got him.
“She said honey take me dancing but they ended up sleeping in a doorway.” - Simon

Daeshindong Restaurant Delivery Woman. 1:00 p.m. Just finishing some Chinese food when this woman passed in a flash. I love the newspaper covering the food. Some things never change.
“She makes the sign of a teaspoon, he makes the sign of a wave.” - Simon

Bundled Woman in Lace Gloves, Chagalchi Fish Market, Pusan. 10:33 a.m. This is one of my favorite places to visit whenever I am in Pusan. I don’t know what fills the senses more, the sea, the exotic fish, or the locals who frequent there.
“By the bodegas and the lights on upper broadway.” - Simon

Rich Woman who can’t be Bothered, Sinsaegae, World’s Largest Department Store, Haeundae Pusan. 12:47 p.m. I took this picture while waiting for our names to be called outside an expensive restaurant. Xian saw her first and said, “Dad, that would make a good picture.” Gaudy, huh?
“People say she’s crazy she got diamonds on the soles of her shoes.” - Simon

Young Woman Dreaming, Westin Chosun Beach Hotel Lobby. 12:49 p.m. Saw this woman looking off into the distance and wondering what she was thinking.
“Well that’s one way to lose these walking blues.” - Simon

Old Man Stunned, Hadan, Kalag-Town beneath Dong-A University, Pusan. 11:44 a.m. This old man was across the street staring at something above me. I had to take this picture because he didn’t move for a few minutes, just stood there frozen with his mouth open. It was both hilarious while simultaneously freaking me out.

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