Monday, November 18, 2013

Whole Lotta Leica - Canon LTM 50mm f1.4 - Kevin the Kiteman!

UPDATE: I don't know what I was thinking. These images were shot with November's WLL lens, the Canon 50mm f1.4, not October's WLL lens, the Summicron 50mm f2 v3. I've updated the information below.
 
Starting out my day of walking around NYC, after meeting Adam Garelick (see yesterday's post), I saw this interesting character riding by:
The Kiteman, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
Canon LTM 50mm f1.4 Lens
iso 400, f6.7, 1/250 sec.
 
Camera set and ready, I struggled to get it out of my jacket and nearly missed him. But I did manage to grab this shot.
 
He smiled and stopped, and called me over to chat. He asked me if I'd ever flown kites as a kid, and what kinds of feelings those memories brought me. He explained that by selling kites in the city, he not only gets to introduce kids to them, he gets to re-introduce adults to flying kites. In fact, sometimes the kids can't get the string out of their parent's hands. He told me that he's had a customer 80 years old just smile from ear to ear from flying a kite again.
 
Frankly admitting that he "hustles" for his money, he said that he tries to do things that spread a little happiness to people, because he realizes we're all in this world together. He told me that instead of being in a jail cell somewhere, he's doing something positive. I told him that I believe he'd be doing something positive even if he was in jail.
 
Our conversation turned to the specific kite that he was flying as he rode by. He said
 
"Do you know what this is?"
 
Phoenix Kite, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
Canon LTM 50mm f1.4
iso 400, f5.7, 1/250 sec.
 
I said I knew it was a phoenix, a bird rising from the ashes. He was surprised, and said I wouldn't believe how many people said it was just a chicken! The phoenix is an important symbol for him, and shows the ability to rise above anything.
 
I didn't want to carry a kite around the city all day, so I didn't buy one. I did give him a little cash just to help out; he really would have preferred to give me a kite in exchange.
 
His name is Kevin. "Kevin the Kiteman."
 
I love the City. I love being able to meet interesting people. Kevin's doing what he can to help people be happy.
 
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