Bill Cunningham New York

The heat wave which had been taking up residence over London seems to loosen its grip today.
The sky is overcast and the air is much cooler.

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While we Londoners, are rejoicing “a proper summer” with Pimms & BBQ, there is more serious implication of this extreme heat wave.
The woodlands around London are made vulnerable to wildfire because of a lack of precipitation.
How Epping Forest smouldered under the afternoon sunshine, the scene in yesterday’s evening news was extraordinary. I gaped at it in silence.

Before the weather turned to a record-breaking sizzler, I was experimenting with a new oversize jumper.
Knitting can be rather monotonous, especially, the part I am working on is a routine or less complicated. In order to relieve the boredom & to keep myself going, I always watch movies with my MacBook.
It depends on my mood, I watch action & adventure or drama or documentary. However, I am hardly attracted to comedy or romance.

Have you watched “Bill Cunningham New York” already?

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I knew about his work long before this documentary film was released.
He works for The New York Times and in their website, under Fashion & Style, he has his own column space – “On the Street“. In his weekly video clip, Bill’s chirpy voice describes what fashion he notices and is intrigued (in mainly Manhattan) while a collage of the images he captured streams by.
Until I saw the documentary, I didn’t what & how he does it or why.
And how much he is dedicated to his cause!
On his 29th bicycle (that means he lost 28 bikes so far), he zooms around New York with his non-digital 35mm and snaps away extraordinary clothing worn by ordinary people.
He is uninterested in celebrities. His disarmingly charming demeanour opens many doors and opportunities. Yet, he declines to abuse it with an admirable steadfastness. Time to time, his assignment demands him to be & mingle in opulent and glamorous dos where he is much revered. However, his integrity as a journalist seems to fortify him from being corrupted by the trappings of fame and fortune.
He sleeps on his cot bed surrounded by towering filing cabinets in a small apartment above Carnegie Hall. He munches on unpretentiously his pastrami sandwich at Kat’s Deli in Lower East Side. His streamlined lifestyle resembles Spartan’s. Still, he appears perfectly content and “sorted”.
His fanatical dedication to his job, standing on the street day after day, rain or shine, clicking away wave after wave of nonchalant New Yorkers, has produced a vast resource of history in fashion which will benefit our future generation and beyond.

We must recognise that we are enriched by those obsessive & fanatical collectors like Mr.Cunningham.
While some mocked them as an eccentric then, their unwavering self-belief kept them going and left us with invaluable artefacts which we enjoy and cherish in galleries and museums now.

Please stay safe and share your wonderful fashion snaps with me, I sincerely hoped as I watched him negotiating through Manhattan traffic. Oh, he is brave!

Whilst Bill dedicates his passion to street-photography, somebody who shares the same initial “B” dedicates himself to…

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a NAP!
Oi Mr.B, you must feel a bit ashamed? How much sleep do you need a day?

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