Avoiding the Rain


©2009 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia

Passing by the homeless, I don’t typically stop to take a picture. I don’t know if it’s an aversion to objectifying a person, or if it’s simply not my business unless the Trib is doing a story. But I don’t want to hide the homeless either.  In this case,  I stopped to photograph the scene – maybe because of the state of the economy and its rampant foreclosures, or maybe because the stairs resembled an altar to me. I was plumbing the depths of the Lower Wacker and Lower Michigan network of streets for a weather picture, and actually ran into my supervisor who was commuting to work at that moment.  It is a peculiar place that gives many homeless at least a dry place to sleep, and commuters a chance to avoid rain for a stretch of pavement.  It’s also a place that offers one pause to consider the circumstances and results of birth, life and choice. As my mom once said to me as a child when I made a careless remark about a homeless person,  “There but by the grace of God go you…”

Alex Garcia

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