It was a nice & sunny day on April 3, 2007. I had spent the night with one of my best friend’s Tricia in our friend Rochelle’s apartment. I could have went home afterwards but decided I should try & see my other best friend Dawn. So I gave her a call & we agreed to meet at her place after I was done in Astoria.
We hung out for a few hours & then it was time for us to head out. She was going to the gym for a workout. I was going to do a little shopping in Manhattan before I headed home. I went with Dawn to the 111 St. station & waited for her Flushing bound 7 to come. While we were waiting, I took out my camera to take some pictures.
The train started to approach the station so we said our goodbyes. I decided to stay a little while longer to get a few more shots. I made my way to the back of the station & shot away as a few trains came in each direction. While I was waiting for a particular shot opportunity, I felt like someone was watching & starting to approach me. I have a knack for always knowing where everyone is around me even if I never looked or am looking in their direction.
When I initially felt like I was being watched, my first instinct was a cop. I was a tad bit surprised by this considering I have never been approached by one while shooting. As I had my back turned, someone said hello while approaching me. My senses were spot on as when I started to peak & see who it was, it turned out to be a cop.
My first thought was just great, I’m not really in the mood for this today. I just want to do a hit & run & go about my business. I’m also thinking why is it I bother shooting in Queens. Every single time I have had a run in with someone, it has been in Queens!
However to my surprise & his credit, this was the friendliest run in I have ever had. The cop asked what I was doing. I told him I was partaking in my hobby of transit photography. He asked if I was doing it for a class project. I know the question seems odd but I know why he asked. I carry my camera in a backpack specifically made for SLR’s. So it looks like a regular backpack & it was during the school year. Anyhow I told him no, I am doing it for my website. I invited him to check it out sometime although I warned it was under reconstruction.
The biggest shock to me was the fact I did not even have to bring up the legality of my activity. He mentioned that he only came up to me because someone approached him. He said he spotted me shooting prior but let me be since he knew that taking photos in the subway system is legal. He assumed I did not pose a threat.
I took the time to thank him for the professionalism he showed & for knowing the rules. I joked with him that I wish more police officers & transit workers were like him in regards to the rules. He nodded in agreement as I’m sure he has heard his share of stories.
I can’t remember his name off the top of my head since this happened 4 months ago. However I will always remember the non encounter I had. I just want to thank him & wish him the best. If I ever see him again, I’ll make sure to hand him an E.O.T. business card.
For those interested in the photos from 111th St. they can be seen here.