When I arrived on 34th St., I already knew that I would not try to get a ticket to get into the stadium so I walked down to 32nd St. on the overly crowded side walk passing the many food and vendor stands almost all of them selling some of jerk chicken or fish meal. The others were selling T-shirts or caps supporting Obama and I wondered how much of the funds would actually go to his campaign. The rest almost overwhelmingly, were selling shirts, caps, necklaces and other jewelry emblazoned with the flags of Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana. There were national flags from the other Caribbean countries but I didn’t know which ones they belonged to.
It was then that I ran into someone that I believe still goes to my gym. I don’t really know what his name is, it could be John but who knows. He had once told me that years ago we had met at a bathhouse before and that we had done the do there. I had tried to tell him that he had gotten his pieces mixed up but after I while I figured if I was going to be his fantasy…well he could do worse. I’d let him live a little.
So we shake hands and he proceeds to tell me that he had been going there every year since ’78 or ’42, I wasn’t really listening and that back in the day the crowds had been filled frat brothers, and sisters I suppose, but now the Penn Relays were full of West Indians. It had become a mini version of the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn but without the parade. How things change.
I decided to walk up a bit further to see if there was anything that would be of interest to me. I reached the gates of Franklin Field and I realized that everything this year seemed to be very clean and very efficient. The police had prevented people from congregating outside the gates as they had done in earlier years. The traffic moved smoothly outside of the arena and I realized the bacchanal images that I had remembered and was looking for now were not to be found this year. So I left, not spending more than 15 minutes for the whole thing.
Besides, I’m starting to grasp the fact that more isn’t necessarily better and that I made better pictures and was more careful with the 3.5 megapixel camera with the bigger lens than I could ever be with this one. And the pictures I took with the 35mm were even better than those I took with the 3.5. So I will just wait for another occasion or just make up a subject myself that won’t change before I decide to shoot it.