04 Apr 2008 1,126 views
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photoblog image Zyryality: You're Not the Angel I Once Knew

Zyryality: You're Not the Angel I Once Knew

One day I was wandering the cute little streets of Alexandria, Virginia. I turned the corner, and there she was, smoking and sipping coffee. When I raised my camera, she gave me the look that could burn anyone down to the ashes. I passed her by and said "Thank you, dear". She replied with the most charming of smiles.

Zyryality: You're Not the Angel I Once Knew

One day I was wandering the cute little streets of Alexandria, Virginia. I turned the corner, and there she was, smoking and sipping coffee. When I raised my camera, she gave me the look that could burn anyone down to the ashes. I passed her by and said "Thank you, dear". She replied with the most charming of smiles.

comments (35)

  • Astrid
  • The netherlands
  • 4 Apr 2008, 10:22
*sigh* People change over the years, Viktor, sometimes for the best and sometimes we question the choices they made, but who are we to judge, it hurts though...the atmosphere is good, if I may use that word, do you know this girl Viktor?
vz-nostalgia: One day I was wandering the cute little streets of Alexandria, Virginia. I turned the corner, and there she was, smoking and sipping coffee. When I raised my camera, she gave me the look that could burn anyone down to the ashes. I passed her by and said "Thank you, dear". She replied with the most charming of smiles.
  • Catalpa
  • Newcastle
  • 4 Apr 2008, 10:38
Mysterious title Viktor, and an enigmatic young woman. I'm just wondering how I'll feel if my little daughter one day decides to get her limbs tatooed. I hope at least I,m still around to have the discussion wink
vz-nostalgia: That was my thought as well, Ian. I thought about her mother for whom she was a little angel (still is, I bet smile).
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 4 Apr 2008, 12:11
I agree with Astrid's words- I suppose the title may hint at a title of a song or...- The girl may have got know the life but probably more the questionable, darker sides of life, there is a touch of disillusion in her face.
vz-nostalgia: I was listening to Eva Cassidy's cover of Billy Holiday's "You've Changed", when I worked on the photograph, and the title fell naturally onto my hands.
The look on her face really underlines the title here. I'm not into body art but it does suit her I feel.
vz-nostalgia: I have to agree with you, Scarlet. Everything on her suits her fine. Even that look. smile
  • terry
  • Nepal
  • 4 Apr 2008, 15:07
agree with Scarlet here. the art does suit her. now.

a mile down the road and it may become an irreversible slip 'tween the cup and a pouting lip.
vz-nostalgia: " irreversible slip 'tween the cup and a pouting lip".
I like that, Terry. Though I know a few baby boomers-women, former hippies, who have no regrets about their stormy youth years. smile
  • anniedog
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 4 Apr 2008, 15:26
She probably is on the inside. You can't always judge from looks alone - a hard exterior can mask a big softie. Good candid street shot.
vz-nostalgia: ha, tell me about it, Ms. Ingrid. I have a whole post dedicated to this.
  • rem_la
  • France
  • 4 Apr 2008, 15:44
ils sont sympathiques ces tatouages
vz-nostalgia: Oh, absolutely! The tatoos are fantastic, as well as the canvas. smile
  • Tracy
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 4 Apr 2008, 16:11
I often play on the words from a song and associate them with what I am doing at the
At least she did'nt give you a mouth full of abuse or offencive sign
vz-nostalgia: That is what I expected, Ms. Tracy, a mouthful of trash, and was pleasantly surprised to get back an enchanting
I often wonder how these girls will look on the pensioner's outing in 50 years time. Luckily neither of my daughter's has any tattoos or studs in strange places! In many ways the cigarette is the worst thing! Her expression is great. I think I would have chickened out of taking this!
vz-nostalgia: Being a shy person that I am, it took me lots of guts to take this picture, Bill. There are times you just can't let the moment to disappear without a trace. smile
  • patrick
  • United States
  • 4 Apr 2008, 17:13
indifferent world
compassion scorned
the mark I make
is for me...alone
vz-nostalgia: :
The world is perhaps indifferent
Compassion is maybe scorned
you aimed at me your camera
consider yourself to be warned! smile
  • Martin
  • Houston, TX
  • 4 Apr 2008, 17:33
Quite possibly she is still the same angle, just wrapped up differently. I admire her spunkiness.
vz-nostalgia: Most definitely, Martin. A shell is just a shell, "angle" or not. smile
The image that youngsters project is a sign of apparent independance and personal choice and thinking. We've all been there is some shape or form... She's an ok kid it is quite obvious ... But heck those tattoes ...mmmmmmmmmmmmm or hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm or even ummmmmmmmmm ;-)richard
vz-nostalgia: Yep. Been there. Absolutely. In a different form and shape, as you said. Those tatoos are... beautiful. She's been through a lot of pain getting them, I'd assume. smile
  • tim
  • united kindom
  • 4 Apr 2008, 19:42
not sure i know what you mean VZ, do you know her or did? personally think the tattoo's look fine, either way i love the expression.
vz-nostalgia: What does it matter, Tim? She was a comet in the sky of my life, shined for a minute and disappeared beyond the horizon to never be seen again. smile
Nice one Viktor: I just cannot work out what she's thinking - and that makes it spot-on!
vz-nostalgia: Oh, I knew exactly what she was thinking, Chris. "F@ck off along with your f@cking camera, you idiot!" I'm glad I was wrong. smile
  • Aussie
  • Brisbane
  • 4 Apr 2008, 22:36
Well captured. She has been a little bit careful in that, with a longer skirt or jeans and a long sleeved shirt no-one would know.
vz-nostalgia: If she had jeans and a long sleeved shirt on, she wouldn't stand out from the crowd. And that, most definitely wasn't the plan she drew for herself, Ms. Aussie. smile
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 5 Apr 2008, 02:09
Certainly not a vampire...look...a shadow on the virgin wall.

How sad, VZ...I mean, look at that god-damn cardboard cup of faux coffee clutched in the hand as though it is somehow going to morph into an elixir of eternal youth.
vz-nostalgia: What happened, Ray? You usually sound so optimistic. That could be a good cup of coffee in that cardboard. I tasted quite a few sh...tty ones from expensive china cups myself. And with a cigarette, any coffee tastes good. smile
  • Kathryn
  • United States
  • 5 Apr 2008, 02:43
She is still that angel, a few tattoos and pierces won't change that. Her eyes and that beautiful almost-smile, unturned nose, and her stance tell me she IS a princess/angel.

Good for you Viktor, for seeing that in her. So many people would not have. I have found we see in other people what we need to...real or imagined.
vz-nostalgia: I certainly hope she IS a princess/angel, but what is more important, if she remains a princess/angel 30 years from now.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 5 Apr 2008, 06:37
Reading all the comments/replies I have the suspicion photography could be a kind of 'prostitution', and the questionable 'thing' for me is that 'she' cannot defend herself, Has not everybody the right to dispose of his/her own photo?
vz-nostalgia: Oh my, I have no idea how the word "prostitution" even crossed your mind, Ms. Philine. I don't see much of negativism neither in people's comments, nor in my replies (except for Ray, who was upset about the fake coffee in her hand. hahaha). I think most folks agree, she a gorgeous princess, and I hope she will remain as such.
If you question the legality of me posting her portrait, well, I'm not a lawyer, of course, but I think the law in the US says, if picture is taken in a public space, you're OK. I'd love for her to see the photograph before I posted her picture, but I saw her for less then a minute, and have no idea where or how to find her.
Hope this clarifies your question. If not, send me a private email and we'll continue our discussion.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 5 Apr 2008, 14:48
For some moments (in my imagination) I tried to identify myself with this girl and I thought what might s h e think reading our different opinions and suppositions -in their open, half-open and subliminal meanings? Have these people the 'right' to speak in these ways about my personality? Do they know who I am? Astrid has said a wise sentence -in my opinion: "who we are to judge". Our words are only attempts to catch a piece of truth, no word perhaps may be right. Sorry that I have written down my little doubts- the girl has given her consent to the photo and that is okay and the most comments are very positive and appreciative (In Germany we are not allowed to publish photos on a homepage if the persons or their parents don't agree with that).
vz-nostalgia: Well, maybe this is one of the ways (an unusual one) to learn what people really think about us, Ms. Philine. smile
  • Kathryn
  • United States
  • 6 Apr 2008, 04:21
In Germany we have the right to take and post images of people who are in the public space, (just as in the USA) WITHOUT the consent of the person being photographed.

Good photography is interpretative ....the comments we make reveal more about who we are and what we see in others--which may or may not be real.

When I read the comments, I did not wonder about the angel, I wondered about the people making the comments---they are very revealing and quite interesting smile
vz-nostalgia: "...the comments we make reveal more about who we are... "
The words of wisdom, Ms. Kathryn. smile
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 6 Apr 2008, 07:26
"In Germany we have the right to take and post images of people who are in the public space, (just as in the USA) WITHOUT the consent of the person being photographed."
Kathryn, I self have made the experience (as teacher) that we were not allowed to post pics of pupils/classes on the HP of our school, the parents or pupils had to declare (with signature) their consent. The background is: The young (often very attractive) girls and boys have to be protected from a possible misuse of the photos (faces/bodies)by special websites or...I'll ask a collegue if this 'netiquette' is still effective.
  • PhotoSam
  • London, U.K.
  • 6 Apr 2008, 15:47
brillaitn street capture...
vz-nostalgia: smile, Sam. Glad you enjoyed it.
  • Aksel
  • Norway
  • 6 Apr 2008, 15:56
I'm glad we're all different - makes the world a better and more interesting place imho. I like this pic a lot - I like the man walking the dog in the background (if that is what he does) - adds to the different perspective....
vz-nostalgia: I'm with you on the polyphony of the world, makes all the difference. smile
I think it's a good street capture, but I would have been too afraidsmile
vz-nostalgia: I had no time to think, Nig. It's like diving into cold water. If I started thinking, I'd chickened out. Candid street photography is not my thing.
  • Nastia
  • USA
  • 7 Apr 2008, 05:04
You will like a movie called
"Pieces of April" with Tom Cruse's wife in the main role. She is younger there.
vz-nostalgia: Thanks. I'll check into it. How do you know, she's Tom Cruse's wife? She'll be really pissed off to know that you forgot her name, but remember her by being someone's wife. smile
  • jamoula McKean
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 7 Apr 2008, 07:24
My comment? What beautifully clean streets you have there. Girl? What girl? Oh, a bystander. Obviously in the way. But a diverting subject nevertheless- as the shutterchance comments reveal.
vz-nostalgia: Girl? What girl? Oh, the one that blends with the wall so well. Hahaha.
I'll extend your compliments about the clean streets to the Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia. I'm sure she/he will be pleased. smile
  • Beth
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 8 Apr 2008, 14:20
Beautiful picture, street, and girl....she does look like an angel still because of her youth and she is not so "different". She looks like a lot of girls her age (check out the waitstaff at the Vortex Midtown) and I think it's great that they look how they want to, even if it is a little bit of a cliche. I probably would have given a strange man with a camera aimed at me a dirty look too! At least you got a smile later. Very gutsy.
vz-nostalgia: Ha. She would be invisible in the Little Five Points crowd, that's for sure.
I can't believe you wouldn't give me a smile, Ms. Beth! smile
I do not know why! But this image I like. It tells a history me!
vz-nostalgia: well, tell me what it tells you. smile
A history that speaks to me of encounter, desolation, drugs, sadness sometimes... also speaks to me of passion and sex!
vz-nostalgia: Woohoo, Jose-Angel! That's a good story already. smile
  • fil
  • United States
  • 11 Apr 2008, 14:54
likely clash of counter-culture and corporate coffee. Maybe why she's sad
vz-nostalgia: How did I miss this! That's where the tension is coming from. A dissonance. Atonality. smile
I'm sure she's her mother little angel. They always are, even when they transform their body in a strange comic strip ... I give all the Satie I have to hear you saying "thank you dear" smilesmilesmile angel charmer ...
vz-nostalgia: hahahahaha. Keep your Satie's in a bag, Ms. France. You never know, one day you might hear a knock on your door, you open the door and someone will snap a picture of you, and someone will say "Thank you, dear" with a thick Russian accent. smile
  • Gulshat
  • Kazakhstan (KZ)
  • 16 Apr 2008, 11:13
Очень трогательно.
vz-nostalgia: Isn't it? There is a fragile soul under the scales. A tender dragonness. smile
  • Nastia
  • USA
  • 21 Apr 2008, 03:33
I would like to see the close up on those tatoos. There might be a story there. Victor, I am puzzled at the titled - intentionaly misleading, I presume. What it tells me is that either the photographer makes himself into a fictitious character with a history with this girl - which is nice and very Nabokovian.
Or that, as with your other image of a nymph, as with most of your images you see things in terms of immortal, absolute allegories/categories, where everything is part of one and therefore everything is possible and everything is eternal, however fragmented and fleeting it may seem through the eye of the camera. Hence, the "once knew." The girl is an allegory of your own 1. youth; 2. innocence; 3. youth and innocence thoroughly camouflaged yet so obvious to a discerning eye. The title then is a self-address. It's about your own self then and now and this is where coy undertone comes from. There, I explained it to myself:0).
But I will not let you off so easily:0)
In the light of this discovery, I suggest that everyone interested in who the photographer is, go back to his responces to other people's comments and re-read them as self-referencial (he-he-he - evil laugh here). And Victor might find interesting things about himself in the comments, if he reads them as referring not to the image but to himself.
In a way, it is not such a huge dicovery, is not everything creative we do about ourselves anyway?
vz-nostalgia: I think I can manage to show you the close up of those tatoos, Nastia.
I'm surprised you came back to this image, but I really enjoyed reading your comment. I can feel the hand (and the mind) of a professional literary critic here. The parallel to Lolita has intrigued me, as well as your impressive analysis of my title smile
Oh, I'm not off the hook yet. Ha, you made me to do what I never do- to read my own responses to the whole post once again. Of course you're right, you can draw an approximate portrait of an artist by listening to what he says, as well as I can draw a mental picture of the person who writes a comment from reading his/her comment. smile
  • Roni
  • 16 Oct 2008, 11:14
Yikes, that is close!
vz-nostalgia: You bet, Roni. smile
excellent image - and an interesting contrast to your keyhole shot of 26/3/10 (
vz-nostalgia: These are among very few street shots one can find on Nostalgia, Harry. smile
camera unknown
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