After learning about the latest-and-greatest

After learning about the latest-and-greatest in cheap and tiny digital cameras from Genevieve, I bought a $40.00 Stylecam, which arrived a couple of days ago. It’s perfect for Blogging, I tell myself, because it’s cheap and fast (faster than the PalmPix cam was; you don’t have to assemble the camera first.)

So I tuck the miniscule camera into a pouch on the strap of my messenger bag and walk out the door, ready to take pictures of all the freaky things I see on the way to Penn station. When I step from the lobby into the heat, a man immediately comes up with a large Rolex watch in a wooden display box: “Hey, it’s stolen”, he says to me. “Look, it’s got the receipt.” I look, it *does* have the receipt. He holds it out in aggresive, dangerous supplication.

I don’t take a picture of him.

On Broadway, a homeless man is dressed in a tufted caftan made of plastic grocery bags. His hair is knotted in bunches on the top of his head, and his face is completely blackened with burned cork. I don’t take a picture of him, either.

On seventh avenue, three girls in a church van are competing to see who can make the rudest face at the passers-by. They look like tiny pigtailed gargoyles, fingers involved in their noses and ears, all three scrunched together to fit their faces into the frame of a single window. Like the One Ring, the camera gets heavier and heavier: I’m itching to take a picture, but it’s really embarassing to become Camera Dork. I wrestle with my embarassment, but miss my window. The van drives away.

Okay, lesson learned: it’s really embarassing to take pictures of people.

I did take a picture of a tent in Madison Square Park. It’s a shiny silver tent, which on closer inspection turns out to be made entirely of cast aluminum, and is there as part of an art installation. But the next time I see some interesting people on the street, I guess I’m gonna have to swallow my embarassment and take the damn picture, already!

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