Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Near Collision with Bill Cunningham

When I moved to New York City, one of the first things I did was buy a New York edition of the New York Times.   On Sunday mornings, I would dive into the Style and Arts sections.  I was immediately fascinated by the collage of pictures of "ordinary" New Yorkers called On the Street by Bill Cunningham.

In 2010, a documentary about Bill Cunningham was released and I finally watched it a couple of weeks ago.   It's a fascinating look at a simple man who has spent his life behind the camera.  He has lived an life on the periphery of glamour, focusing more on the beauty of fashion than celebrity, and ignoring his own wealth and comfort.  He's quite a character and is easy to spot in his royal blue jacket, which he wears every day for ease - he gets these jackets from Paris as they are the regular uniform of Paris street cleaners.    Yet, despite that recognizable uniform, I never saw him until this morning.

This morning, I was at 59th and 5th Avenue coming to work and I almost collided with a man who ran past me.  I soon realized he was Mr. Cunningham.  He was chasing after a leggy Fashion Plate going into our building (Estee Lauder corporate headquarters are located in my office building and their employees are quite stylish).   He passed me on his way back - I'm not sure if he captured the shot, but he was grinning ear to ear and I'm sure my face mirrored his.   Needless to say, he didn't take my picture, but still, my day was made.

No comments: