NostalgiaMigranta

07 Apr 2009 1,090 views
 
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photoblog image Americana: A Parking Violation... or The Burger Queens

Americana: A Parking Violation... or The Burger Queens

 

There was a time, when once a month or so, I would pass all the healthy salad bars at the Colony Square and head to the very corner, to the "It's A Burger" restaurant, and indulge myself with a juicy burger that had ten times more calories than Paris Hilton's SAT score.

I noticed that a bicycle messenger often locks his bike to a No Parking pole nearby the restaurant and found it ironic. I took a few shots and they were fine, but I wanted to add a bit more zest, a bit more interest. 

Finally, one day I had a eureka moment. Each time I was at the "It's A Burger", I saw three ladies, who, apparently, were regulars. "What if I show up earlier and get them into the frame with this bony slim bicycle", I smiled. The next second I got horrified from this very thought: street photography has always terrified me on a psychological level. I just can't bring myself to aim my camera at strangers. Besides, in my mind street photography is associated with a documentary style, in which I have very little interest. Still, I decided to go for it. And here they come...

I must add that shortly after, "It's A Burger" went out of business and was replaced with an upscale Thai restaurant "Tamarind Seed".  I haven't seen the queens since then.   

 

Americana: A Parking Violation... or The Burger Queens

 

There was a time, when once a month or so, I would pass all the healthy salad bars at the Colony Square and head to the very corner, to the "It's A Burger" restaurant, and indulge myself with a juicy burger that had ten times more calories than Paris Hilton's SAT score.

I noticed that a bicycle messenger often locks his bike to a No Parking pole nearby the restaurant and found it ironic. I took a few shots and they were fine, but I wanted to add a bit more zest, a bit more interest. 

Finally, one day I had a eureka moment. Each time I was at the "It's A Burger", I saw three ladies, who, apparently, were regulars. "What if I show up earlier and get them into the frame with this bony slim bicycle", I smiled. The next second I got horrified from this very thought: street photography has always terrified me on a psychological level. I just can't bring myself to aim my camera at strangers. Besides, in my mind street photography is associated with a documentary style, in which I have very little interest. Still, I decided to go for it. And here they come...

I must add that shortly after, "It's A Burger" went out of business and was replaced with an upscale Thai restaurant "Tamarind Seed".  I haven't seen the queens since then.   

 

comments (22)

That was very brave of you then, Viktor. I'm with you on street photography. I can't for the life of me aim my camera at an unsuspecting someone who can aim their gaze right back at me. I always have that sinking feeling that it is invasive. Having said that, juxtaposing the bicycle and the images of three burger queens is very clever. Not only that, but you actually planned it ahead of time. Stepping out of the box of your garden, are you? smile
vz-nostalgia: Stepped out of the box of my garden only to step into the box of the circle around my office. smile
  • Chris
  • England
  • 7 Apr 2009, 02:38
They sure look like big time burger eaters to me Vik
vz-nostalgia: and you thought I always lie to you, Chris. smile
  • Larry Bliss
  • Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  • 7 Apr 2009, 02:59
... and they have a look of determination: today, burgers will die! smile
vz-nostalgia: LOL Larry. I'll tell you, burgers are like dragon's heads- you cut one off, two will grow in no time. smile The extermination of burgers is a never ending war. I bet the queens continue their battle at the nearest "Burger King". smile
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 7 Apr 2009, 03:29
Have a thought for the poor bicycle...no escape available to it, and three large people coming straight at it...
vz-nostalgia: hahaha They're such a force, I would worry more about the pole, Ray. smile
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 7 Apr 2009, 05:40
Priceless......and so wicked....the bike and sign...we have the same in the Netherlands.....and those ladies.. erm....them too, I am afraid wink
vz-nostalgia: LOL Even though this is from my Americana series, I'm afraid you are right, it could be applied to the whole western world. smile
I wonder if just the queen on the right will eat for two?
vz-nostalgia: at today's level of science, Nig, there could be octuplets hidden there. smile
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20261065,00.html
  • Kathryn
  • Germany
  • 7 Apr 2009, 08:12
Oh to be queen for just a day!
I’d violate no parking signs!
I’d royally stroll past salad-bars!
I’d indulge in juicy burgers super-sized!
I’d princess-wave at VZ’s lens!
Oh to be queen for just a day!
vz-nostalgia: want to be a queen? then be, oh Princess Kathryn.
a juicy burger waits to be consumed by your indulgence. smile
  • blackdog
  • the third stone from the sun
  • 7 Apr 2009, 08:12
I too have palpitations when taking street photographs and the privacy issue is much more of an issue with the internet and sites such as this. Still we would know a lot less about our immediate cultural past if we had no candid photography.

I like the photograph Viktor, but I think I would prefer it without the text.
vz-nostalgia: Oh, Mike. The text is not a mandatory reading, at least not yet. smile
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 7 Apr 2009, 08:30
Shame you couldn't have got the name of the restaurant in the shot, then as Mike says, you wouldn't have needed the text. To be fair, the one on the right is pregnant, not just greedy! I don't agree with your remarks about street photography - some of the finest photographers in the past were street photographers and I always find it a challenge to make a good picture out of something that I just come across.
Ingrid
vz-nostalgia: The restaurant was behind me, Ingrid. I would need one of those Immersive Video cameras (that Google uses for their street shots http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4232286.html )to get the restaurant sign in the frame. smile
Even for a minute I don't expect you to agree with me either on street photography or anything else. smile Everyone knows that. smile Still I wonder what exactly you disagree with me on. That street photography in my mind is associated with a documentary style, in which I have very little interest? Who could argue with that? smile I didn't say street pictures are not good, I'm just indifferent to the genre, same way I'm indifferent to the American country music or paintings of Mark Rothko. smile
  • zed
  • Australia
  • 7 Apr 2009, 09:03
I am terrified of street photography, only thing in my favor if l was taking this shot is that l am sure l could out run them. smile
vz-nostalgia: That is exactly what I did, Zed. smile This is the only shot I made. smile
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 7 Apr 2009, 10:05
Oh yes, a witty-ironic juxtaposition- together with your fine reflections! Oh, all overall in our 'civilized' world the same pictures- Burger Queens and Burger Kings (with their well fed bellies)! But one girl seems to be pregnant!
I understand well your thoughts about street photography, but I like good documentary style, as a reflection of our banal-daily life reality, too- and there are famous examples (e.g. Roman Vishniac, Heinrich Zille!).
vz-nostalgia: there are many great street photographers, Ms. Philine, but my heart lies somewhere else. It's like an arranged marriage, lots of respect, but no love. smile
  • Beth
  • United States
  • 7 Apr 2009, 14:17
Good story Viktor...I actually had a dream last night that took place at a Burger King. Why, I'll never know, I don't eat fast food. But if I was entertaining any ideas of going for a greasy burger you put that to rest for me with this photo. Thanks!
vz-nostalgia: Now you know why you dreamed of a Burger King, Beth. smile My picture was waiting for you here. smile
I too find pointing the camera at people on the street daunting. I like the story that goes with this.

In this country I suppose having a candid taken and posted on the internet is the least of our worries. We have more surveillance cameras per head of population than any country in the world. Big Brother is watching us....and that REALLY scares me.
vz-nostalgia: well, folks' privacy is not one of my worries as well, Bill. My natural shyness is. smile
A different arena but still commenting on life... the bump to the right isn't through eating burgers though wink
vz-nostalgia: I see that. smile Must be through eating something else. smile
i can almost see the bike quivering grin

mixed reactions here Victor i will just say i think its a great shot fella, made me lol anywaysmile
vz-nostalgia: mixed reactions? I'd like to hear them, Tim. smile
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 7 Apr 2009, 18:02
It remains amazing to me how a picture like this builds in the mind over time. I remember from the project I completed in Feb that travelling the daily 240kms return - I saw objects and then the picture starts building ...

Anyhow, about your picture - great I like it. I do have a feeling that cropping in more off the left (about a quarter would even have your theme of thick and thin further enhanced.
vz-nostalgia: I know, Louis. I was going back and forth about cropping the left side. The picture does look tighter, but it becomes of weird proportions, which I can't stand as well.
Hence, for better or worse I just left it as is.
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 7 Apr 2009, 21:40
vz-nostalgia: Brave soul... hahaha... I took a single shot and ran away. smile
Good to hear you take care of your body, Ms. Laurie. We just got to do it. Most of us take better care of our car than of our own body. smile
A well spotted scene VZ..and a funny story out of it.
vz-nostalgia: well spotted?... hahaha... a carefully constructed one, Ron. smile
fast food = fast fat
vz-nostalgia: good slogan, Ms. Stef. Did you come up with this by yourself or you borrowed it from somewhere else? Still I see nothing wrong with having a burger now and then. smile
  • zhen
  • Australia
  • 10 Apr 2009, 16:26
I love these candid everyday shots and the story...I think it's more scary in Asia- you might just have someone hit you if you take their photo without permission!
vz-nostalgia: Well, it's not teh fear to be hit by the subject of my photography that stops me, Zhen. It's some kind of an inner stopper, maybe an inner shyness that put the bounderies for me. smile
It could also have been titled 'The Three Graces'. Unlike you, I would really like to do documentary style, but I too have a dreadful hang-up about pointing my camera at strangers. I used to think it was fear, but I now think its some form of embarrassment. Pity, becauser I think I'd have a good eye for it.
vz-nostalgia: someone has already mentioned it to me, Ian. smile I think I already have one called three graces.
http://nostalgia.shutterchance.com/photoblog/Zyryality%3A_In_The_Waters_Of_Life_And_Death._Part_III_/
  • AuroreG
  • France
  • 16 Jun 2009, 20:51
Well even if you don't like that, this street shot is really good ! I can understand your point of view, but i don't feel invasive taking this shots as i try to talk with people, explain the way i want to photography, and most of the time first they feel shy and then really ill at ease. Sometimes i use my zoom and nobody knows i took a picture... not invasive i think... we see a lot of things in the street, hopefuly we are not blind, so to fix it with a shot is not a problem for me... of course one has to "feel" it to manage to do it... see you (like your portfolio !)
vz-nostalgia: Fortunately, we all are different, Ms. Aurore, with different tastes, patterns, ways of doing things... Can you imagine what a bore this world would be, if we all be interested in the same things, loved the same music, read the same magazines... I'm glad you are so skillful in street photography and that you love it. smile
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