Mystery Subway Crocheter of the Week (Grumpy Gus Edition)

New York. It takes all types.


Take this crocheter for example. Or rather, take the black case that you see in the left corner of the photo. It contains some kind of musical instrument. Goodness knows exactly which one. Anyway, it belongs to the woman who is the focus of this story.

Maybe she just found out the results of her Music Under New York audition. Maybe she was jealous of my shorter commute. Maybe she was angry that she couldn't afford gas for her car so she must take the subway to and from Union Square each day where she makes $20 squeaking out tunes. Maybe she's just a mean and nasty person. But for whatever reason she took issue with the fact that I was taking that picture surreptitiously. Not a picture of her, mind you, but a picture of someone else.

Anyway, she gave me her two cents about it. Something about "exploitatating" people and "living in a zoo" Get the picture?

Luckily my stop came up quickly. I made sure to give her the address of this blog--so that she could see where and how I posted this photo. Maybe this woman is reading (slowly) right now. Hello!


OMG you totally called her out on your blog and gave her the address? That's awesome. I can't stand those people who think that we're all characters in THEIR world.

Exploitating, ha!

As if our knitting isn't exploitated enough with security cameras everywhere and police searches of bags "and other large containers" we have to worry about you photographing it too??? Oh the humanity!

I wonder how this woman would feel if she was in London with all the CCTVs. Exploitated for sure.

I wonder who peed in her Maypo! Hope the rest of day went better!

Some people just put on their crazy-pants when they leave the house in the morning. I was taking a picture of myself in the village one day for the "365 day challenge" and some dude freaked out and threated to "slap that camera" out of my hand.

You certainly had your wits about you! I would've figured out my fantastic comeback about half an hour later :(

well it's not a very flattering photo of her. i'd be pretty pissed if i were her ;)

I always wondered what people said about you taking pics of them

Some people just want to vent their bad mood on somebody, and there you were, someone she could spill her anger onto. I'm glad you didn't take it personally. Anyway, without knowing it this lady gave you a good blog post!
It's hard to tell from the photo what the musical instrument in the case is. A guitar?
All I know is that it is NOT a musical saw...

You can take my picture anytime - I would be honored if you do.

All the best,

Saw Lady

I'm pretty camera shy, and would probably have gotten a little upset if a camera was pointed in my direction. Heck, I'd recognize you from your blog photos, and I'd still feel a little uncomfortable.

It's really hard to tell who is the subject of a photo from the other side of the lense. There's always the feeling that it is capturing a wider shot than it actually is.

Truly, Grumpy is as grumpy does.

But, perhaps, I'd be grumpy too if I felt I were "exploitated". Thank goodness, THAT has never happened to me.

How funny! Good for you:-)

I had my disposable camera taken from me at a checkpoint, where i was trying to use up some old film. the situation went like this: My DH said the film wasn't good any more, BS i say and snap his picture. At this point a security guard reach thru the window of the vehicle and took the camera.
I'm grateful that's all they took and the fact that I didn't have to pay to have the film developed :-)

I love New York.

On that same note, there is an author of mostly dog stories now who has gotten into photograph lately. He likes to ride around upper NY State taking pictures of farms, flowers, cows, etc. Apparently some of the farmer/homeowners come at him and berate and question him about what he is doing. I think he has learned to ask first now. My point .... times have changed and people worry about their privacy. I think I might wonder why someone was taking a picture of me also .... but I also think I would ask nicely first to see what was going on not jump down the photographers throat, so to speak. Keep taking those pictures but watch you back .... or rather front.

I'm actually a little bit surprised that you don't get that reaction more often. I have to admit that I might not be too thrilled to have my picture taken on the subway and posted on a blog. Even though it's anonymous there is something a little invasive about it. I wouldn't jump down your throat about it though.... but perhaps asking before snapping might be a good idea.

I'd always heard that there are some groups who feel that if you take their picture, you take their soul.
What's wrong with being upset that your picture is being taken w/out your permission(there was no way for her to know that she wasn't the subject)? Sure, she could have said it more diplomatically - but that's not the point.
Maybe an "I'm sorry" would have been more appropriate than your indignation. Your innocent intentions may not have seemed so innocent to her.
Be well,
p.s. what do you mean "reading slowly"? I hope this isn't as mean-spirited as it sounds. If she does go onto the site - she'll be subjected to more insensitivity.
There's enough pain in the world, why add more?

I just recently began reading this blog fairly regularly and I do like it. However I also agree with the comments in favor of the subway rider.

I have actually had to obtain photo waiver forms for people appearing in photos I wanted to use. They must sign the waiver form as their approval (or release) in order for me to legally use the photo.

I realize the woman objecting to the photo was not the focus of your picture. But she was included in the picture without her consent and also became the focus of this blog post as a result of the picture. She really doesn't deserve the negative comments directed at her by yourself or the sympathetic blog readers.

I think this post is totally offensive. Sure, the lady could have asked you politely to stop taking her picture/stop taking pictures in her general direction. Fair enough.

But why go on to assume that she is a street musician (and not a professional)? Was it necessary to imply that she reads slowly?? So she mispronounced one word, that doesn't make her illiterate. Ohh, right, she's black, therefore she must be uneducated and unemployed. *rolls eyes*

I've been kicking around on this blog for some time. Love the comments and pictures. I was born in a large area, but have moved to a very small one. I love morning communes and knitted goodies of all kinds. Recently, created Knitter's Niche, just to keep my hand in the yarn, if you know what I mean. Drop me a line and I'll set you up with a little extra discount. For the time being I'll continue to follow the fun.

*Hugs Colleen* I think some of this was taken way more seriously than the blog topic warranted.

I think the woman you have included in the photo looks like she had a lot on her mind that day. I also think if someone doesn't want to be photographed then it's better to be respectful of that. You could have said sorry and deleted that photo and then taken another one where she wasn't in it.

To put her in your blog anyway, a public space and then write derogatory things about her after having given her the link - basically knowing she would read this is not a nice thing to do.

Who cares if she said a word wrong, it doesn't make her stupid. Maybe her pug died, maybe her mother is ill, perhaps she has lost a child to adoption years ago and it was her child's birthday. You just don't know where someone has been in life or what troubles they are dealing with.

Maybe she had been teaching all day and was tired?

I don't understand why you write such a post and then leave it like that.

You seem to be someone who has a great life so what one earth made you be so mean spirited? It just seems so out of character, perhaps my perception of you is too rosy?

It would be really nice if you changed the post to be respectful to a hard working female musician who had the courage to set a boundary.

If I catch you taking my pic I will say or do much worse! Besides the basics of just being rude (which goes far over your head apparently), you come here and post photos of people on the subway and you don't know who they are or what kind of day they've had. On the few random times I've looked, you usually have something that is somewhat nasty about them. It is exploitive and bitchy and we should both hope that I don't catch you taking my pic knitting, crocheting, or just having a bad day on the subway!


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