Showing the rings of Saturn to Bronx street sex workers

Photographer Chris Arnade, who does beautiful photographic work documenting the lives of prostitutes and addicts in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, shares this photo and writes:

I have forgotten how wonderful it can be to show someone the rings of Saturn for the first time. Or the craters in the moon. I had my telescope in my car and Takeesha and Deja had seen neither. Sometimes people are disappointed, growing up seeing images from the space telescope. Not these two. They loved it. We got the oddest looks. Johns slowed down, truckers were confused. I wanted to have a chance to let the police look as well, but they drove past. PS: I used to be an Astronomy nut, spending my teenage years out in a cow pasture with a small telescope. What an odd journey to end up in Hunts Point with a much larger telescope.

Notable Replies

  1. Ah, this is great. Humanizing street sex workers might garner more needed empathy and compassion. It's like taking at-risk kids out of their element and somewhere beautiful (out camping, hiking, etc.) which is usually a mutually rewarding and enlightening experience for everyone involved.

  2. I bet he got some funny looks when he asked them if they wanted to see his telescope.

  3. I just got home from a sidewalk astronomy session in a pedestrian-friendly shopping district near home, and I saw this. Call me Mario, because I've been seriously 1-upped.

  4. It is great to see that there really is a world outside of your neighborhood, your city.

  5. I followed the jump to his Flickr feed last night and found myself unable to turn away at all of these human beings being shown as--well--human beings. (Consequently I am exhausted this morning.) This is amazing work. Thank you for sharing it.

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