Top floor.


Noah by Abdul Kircher
A few months ago I stumbled upon the humblest homeless man I’ve met. It was around 7PM, and the sun was starting to creep away. He was sitting across the street from a local hang out spot  my friends and I always chill at, right next to NewYorkGames. The architecture of the Cooper Union school building across the street allows people to sit in the crevices of the building. Noah was deep in the crevice and barely visible from where I was sitting, but once we locked eyes, I knew that I had to photograph him. I hesitated at first to cross the street, but I slowly started to inch my way across and go up to him.
His style was impeccable; tank top covered in random scribbled words, raw blue denim jeans, and he topped it off with a pair of butternut timberland boots. His face was in utter pain. I’ve never seen so much emotion in a person’s face. His eyes slightly slouching down, sweat gathered around the bags of his eyes. His scleras were tinted off white. His veins blood shot red, grappling his eyeballs. Fear and confusion flooded across his face.
"Which way should I look?" he asked as I started taking the first few photos of him. I ignored his question and just snapped away, making sure that I wouldn’t miss this unrepeatable moment. The sound of the continuous shots startled him. His eyelids shuttered, up and down, making it almost impossible to capture a photo with his eyes open. We didn’t exchange many words but I felt the connection throughout the entire encounter.
After our quick photo-shoot, I ran to 7-11 on the corner to buy him some snacks. I grabbed a bag of deep river chips, some skittles, and a 20oz bottle of Coke (Not the healthiest stuff but everybody deserves some junk food once in a while). I felt a jolt of excitement run through me as I jumped out the door. I couldn’t wait to get back to Noah and give him his snacks. I started to speed walk without trying to make it obvious. I slowly started to turn my head around the corner, only to see that he was no longer sitting in his crevice. Running laps around the building didn’t help me find him, after 5 laps I decided to give up. If Noah wasn’t able to eat his snacks, then it was only right to sit down in his place and eat the snacks for him. I plopped myself down in his hole and started to munch away. As I was eating, I started to replay the whole shoot but from Noah’s point of view.
Though Noah looked sad in the images, I knew the truth; I saw his humanity. I photograph a lot of homeless people and always noticed that they’re resistant when I asked to photograph them. Instead of walking away, I explain to them why I want to take their picture. It’s not to show their struggles or flaws but to show their beauty and strengths, the journey that lies behind their eyes. Just being able to survive on these streets makes them beyond intriguing. It gives them a life that many people will never understand. When I talk to them - really talk to them - they open up to me and I photograph what I hear. Every photo is a paragraph leading to a page and into a longer story.


Left Eye x Lil Kim

1997? Wow