Nicole O'Neil Photography
As a photographer, who documents life, I felt a pull to document what's happening in some way. I see photographers doing the "front door sessions" but I don't feel comfortable with that. If I didn't think we'll be on lockdown soon, I'd actually rather capture people through their windows, truly capturing what their day is like. Sounds kinds creepy, haha. But I think that would truly capturing the reality now. Since I'm not doing either, I decided I'd capture our city, strangely quiet.
These images may not seem odd to someone who sees the city early on a weekend morning. But, the first set was taken on Thursday between 4:00-6:00pm while the second set was Friday between 2:45 and 4:30pm.
It was strange for it to take only 20 minutes to get there from my house. Even on a good day, it's longer, at high traffic times, it's 3-6x as long. It was weird to pull into the city in different areas and pull right up to a light instead of being in a long line of cars, waiting through multiple light cycles.
It was strange to see normally congested streets bare, to see normally bustling areas empty. I drove around first and then parked and walked. I am overly cautious and would walk about 10 feet away from anyone who passed. There is a heaviness in the air. But I also saw many small groups of people, walking close together, laughing. It amazes me that people are still not doing what they're told.
It was unsettling but also calming to walk around. It was weird to not have the hustle and bustle but it was also nice. I could hear birds chirping everywhere, there weren't horns blaring or people yelling. It was a nice time to truly view and appreciate this beautiful city. Yet, all I could think is, "𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙢 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙢".
Here are the images.
Sullivan Square, Charlestown 4:00pm
Park Street Station, 4:15
Newbury Street 4:20ish
Almost all retailers were closed and I commend companies for doing this. Signs were on all doors. I didn't get out and walk around to take pics of those but sort of wish I did. Parking was plentiful.
Boylston Street, 5:00
Realized it was the first time to see the memorials. I was happy to get to see and capture them with no one around.
Weird to see the countdown to the marathon being 179 days instead of under a month.
Commons and Garden, 5:25ish
Second Set. Seaport on Friday afternoon.
Faneuil Hall, all stores closed.
Downtown Crossing, 3:45ish
Parking spots everywhere.
Gas under $2.00
I then went home. I have been with my family all week and planned to go home just to pack up what I need indefinitely (in case of lockdown) and stay with them. Doug has been isolated in his house completely since we were together last so we were safe to be around each other. He came down and we went to Houghton's Pond. It was warm yet the wind was up. It's like the Earth is responding to what's happening.
Some trees were starting to bud and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the pond. I can't stop thinking about how the Earth is getting a much needed rest from us. The pollution is down, we are breathing fresher air. Wildlife will surely start to come out more (I mean I saw more birds in the city than I usually do already). While we all hold our breathe, waiting. Wondering. The Earth will take a deep breath it's needed for a long time. It will be ready for us when we come back and hopefully we will appreciate it that much more and take better care of it. Maybe that's just a pipe dream, but man, I hope...
Today, I basically made a temporary move to my sisters. I said bye to Doug as he left for home and I to NH. It was emotional for me. Even though they say we are not getting locked down, we very well may. So, who knows when I will see him. That makes me sad. It's the least of our problems but when you have a person who is one of the main people you want to be with when bad things are happening and you literally don't know when you will see them in person again, it's a bummer.
Now, my family needs to make some tough decisions. It'll be so nice when this is over.
Stay safe friends. We will get through this. And support and send love to those who can't be home and are out taking the risks for us.
More images hopefully to come. I did some today as well in other places.