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hazmat guy.

22 Aug 2010

Back in 1997, when I lived on 33rd between 2nd and 3rd avenues, there was some sort of underground explosion one night off 2nd avenue, just down my block.  This guy was part of the crew making sure that asbestos hadn’t been kicked up into the air.  He let me take a photograph of him, but insisted that he had to hide his cigarette from view.   The city bus blurring into the frame was completely, wonderfully fortuitous.

It’s so disorienting to look at this photo and remember a time when I had the wherewithal to just up and ask a complete stranger if I could take their picture.  In these paranoid times, I can’t imagine asking a city worker — much less a guy in a hazmat suit — if I could snap their pic.  And I certainly can’t imagine them obliging me.  That said, I’m quite glad that I’m no longer 23, and that we’re no longer living in the 90s.  Ooof, the 90s.

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