Day 824

Mr. Esposito

April 2nd, 2014

"Watch out for the Tootsie Rolls!" he called out as I passed him on the sidewalk. I wasn't sure what he was talking about; I thought maybe he was warning me about dog poop on the ground. But when I turned around, I saw he had a handful of actual Tootsie Rolls, and some Dum Dums lollipops as well. He said he always carries candy with him because he likes to make people smile.

Mr. Esposito is 91 years old. We walked a few blocks together and he told me about his family and his time in the military. Seeing me wandering around on a weekday, he must have inferred that I was unemployed, because he asked on a couple of occasions if I was doing all right and wanted to give me some money to buy a sandwich. As we parted ways, he gave me his address and told me to stop by sometime to say hi.


  1. Jjak says:

    Hey Matt-
    This post brings up another question from me- most all of your posts are about the places you’ve seen, buildings etc.
    I realized I haven’t seen many people (like this great guy) in your posts. I recall a well dressed man a months or so ago.
    I imagine you meet quite a few people on your long walks. My question is – do you focus on the places rather than the people deliberately?

    Just wondering and Happy Father’s Day,

    • Matt Green says:

      I probably don’t meet as many people as you would think. On my cross-country walk, I looked so ridiculous (giant cart, reflective vest, etc.) that countless people just had to stop and talk to me to figure out what my deal was. But walking around New York, I don’t stand out, so people generally aren’t drawn to start conversations with me. I say hi to a lot of people and occasionally stop someone to ask a question about something nearby, but I don’t end up having a lot of extended conversations. And when I do, the nature of the conversation often makes it seem weird to then try to take the person’s photo. I also sometimes pass people who, just based on their appearance, would make a good photo subject, but I’m generally not comfortable sticking my camera in someone’s face if I can’t establish a good rapport with them first. Good street photographers are better about just shoving their camera in there and getting the shot they want, but good street photographers also piss some people off and can make people uncomfortable. I probably play it too safe in that regard, but that’s my general approach.

  2. Dorinda from Mentor, Oh. says:

    How awesome is that! I love Mr. Esposito already and I don’t even know him! I sure hope you take him up on his offer and stop in to see him. I just love all the neat people you meet on your journeys.

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