Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tom Tom on the Radio

A lot of people hate Tom Tom.

People who know him and see him downtown ignore him and may even cross the street to avoid him. I can't say I blame them as he has a history of being aggressive with people but I thought I would add some context to the situation.

My first experience with Tom Tom was not a pleasant one. One day on Duckworth St, summer 2013, I asked him if I could take his portrait and his reaction was to draw back his fist as if to strike me! As a fairly big guy who has experience with various martial arts I am not easily intimidated but as you might suspect I got a fright. I stepped back and took a few breaths and regained my personal space. But I had seen him around before and knew from his actions he definitely has some psychological issues so I had some idea of what was going on.

I do talk to him when I see him now. I've photographed him a few times since. I've been telling him that "if you want people to be nice to you you have to be nice to them. You want people to be nice to you don't you"? He seems much calmer these days. I've seen him many times over the last year or so when he is approaching someone he will stick out his fist for a fist bump. He seems much less aggressive these days for sure!

Tom Tom on the Radio by Brian Carey
Tom Tom on the Radio
I did get to photograph him after our first encounter and gave him a copy and now every time I see him he tells me about. But I wanted to photograph him again, this time I wanted to get him holding his radio, that's the Tom Tom we see around! He'll get a copy of this one too!

It's a balancing act. Life is a balancing act!

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UPDATE: Tom Tom got his new photo.





Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Downtown Vibe

Buskers add to the vibrance of any city and this is certainly the case in St John's Newfoundland. We have buskers who perform year round and we also have the annual St John's Busker Festival every summer which draws thousands of people downtown. While some people do it for the fun of performing most rely on the income from busking for their basic needs. In addition to this they also have to deal with the cost of maintaining their instruments.


copyright Brian Carey

Some of the buskers have been given strings for their guitars and banjos which is fabulous because performing in our damp climate, especially over the winter months, does cause issues for the strings for sure. I can also thankfully say that in three cases I know of, buskers have been given guitars.

Donnie gets a new Squeezebox by Brian Carey
Donnie gets a new Squeezebox

There are also other issues to deal with. Just last week Donnie had his new accordion case stolen. He got a new case this past Christmas and after returning from The Rocket, where he went to get himself a sandwich, the case was gone! Now he's back to using an old luggage case. If you know someone who might be able to help, please pass this along!

Any help is appreciated, I hear the stories all the time! Thank you for that!

Now for a few more photos,

copyright Brian Careycopyright Brian Carey

James by Brian Carey
James
The Card Trick Man by Brian Carey
The Card Trick Man



copyright Brian Carey
Songs for the Book of Love
Joey the Sculptor
Joey the Sculptor

copyright Brian Carey
copyright Brian Carey
Steve
copyright Brian Carey
Curt - Backstage Pass
Thank you to all who gave, It will help keep our downtown alive. And thank you for stopping by! 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Harry Gentle Heart

My street photography project has lead me to become connected with many people from all walks of life. Some of these people have various social problems often associated with mental illness and substance abuse. Alcohol is almost always an issue for people with ongoing social problems and continued use is an obstacle for the support groups wanting to help.

Frozen by Brian Carey
Frozen
Below is a photo of Harry taken yesterday. People have been giving him food, money and clothes to help him get by and here he was showing me three pairs of gloves he would like to give to someone who needs them.

Harry Gentle Heart by Brian Carey
Harry Gentle Heart
Harry, or "Harry Gentle Heart" as I like to call him, has been living in the streets of St John's Newfoundland for the last few months despite the fact that various local support groups have tried to help him. His continuing use of alcohol is no doubt a problem.


Harry by Brian Carey
Harry
Harry in the Snow by Brian Carey
Harry in the Snow
Finding Harry by Brian Carey
Finding Harry
Given the harshness of the Newfoundland winter living outside is a hazard! Raising awareness on-line and on social media may spark a glitter of hope.