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Ninth Street Market

July 30 marked the second outing of the Philly Photobloggers, a loose conglomeration of, um, Philly photobloggers.

I was excited when Alec Long proposed the Ninth Street Market for our next location. One reason was because I am fascinated both by street photography and teeming humanity as a subject—and the Market promised to teem. I thought it would offer me an opportunity to work on my shyness as well. Finally, I thought it would just be plain fun to go back there. I haven’t been to the Market in probably 20 years, not since the days when I had a friend who used to live at 10th and Wharton.

We gathered at Anthony’s Italian Coffee House where I had a rich cup of coffee and a bagel mit schmeer. A fine start (although I shoulda had that bagel toasted). I shot my first pic sitting at the table when this gentleman stopped to photograph a member of our party. It felt more like a pretext than anything else, but a pretext for what I’ll never know, because he soon wandered off. That was the only odd note in the symphony of human interaction that day. It’s the people who make the market so special, and we were fortunate to meet our share of interesting and charming folks.

As for the picture making itself, I had fun—if confronting your limitations can be called fun. I didn’t take full advantage of the opportunities, that’s for sure, sticking mostly to non-human subjects. In looking over my edit, I feel that I’ve robbed most of the pictures of context. The Market is really all about its storefronts and stalls and sidewalks full of people. You know, teeming. There’s no sense of that in my set. I did start to loosen up about halfway through and most of the pictures I chose are from the end of the roll. Here they are.

We finished the day with lunch at Pat’s Steaks. I had been rehearsing my order for weeks (“provolone without”) so I wouldn’t get yelled at. When my turn came, I delivered my line and managed to do a passable impersonation of a “regular” After all, I enjoy being treated like cattle. It’s all those years of riding SEPTA, I guess.

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