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How To...Be Bill Cunningham For The Day

Approximately 21 days ago I boiled a kettle of steamy tea, ducked under my duvet, popped in a documentary and 84 minutes later my spirit felt changed. I watched Bill Cunningham: New York about the New York Times' style photographer. Have you ever seen it? It's stunning and fills you with enough inspiration you feel as if you could float away. After the film I decided two things. One, I really wanted to bike down West Broadway alongside Mr. Cunningham. And, two, CJ and I desperately needed to ogle over some beautiful photography.

I happened to stumble upon the perfect thing.

Brooklyn photographer Danny Goldfield had an exhibit showing downtown called NYChildren. It showcased pictures of children from all 169 countries who now live in New York City. Perfect. So I grabbed my mini Bill Cunningham and away we went...


When we arrived the gallery was still and sterile and silent. I was unsure if CJ would even give the photos a single glance or demand a banana muffin and want to leave.

And then his tiny voice punctured the air in the cavernous room. "Are there any kids on the wall named Jack or Camille?" (His preschool besties.) 

And so we looked.

We found a little girl from Romania splashing in the sprinklers. Just like we do. And a little boy from China riding the subway. Just like we do. CJ stared intently at the pictures, pointing and asking questions. He was candid and real. Just like the photos.

I told him that pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words and asked him what he thought these pictures were saying. He said they were worth "47 words," and the kids were saying they were "happy." He told me he liked the picture with a girl peeking through a pile of colored balls the best. I told him I liked the one with a little boy riding on his dad's shoulders through the city crowds. He asked if he could take "pit-tures next year." I laughed and said of course. He stood and marveled at all 169 of his new NYC friends that he will never get to meet. I stood and marveled at the one NYC kid that I am luckily enough to have met.

Art gallery chit chat. With my three-year-old.

It was a New York City scene just for me. And my own personal Bill Cunningham, take two.

In 47 absolutely perfect words.

P.S. How To...Sing Auld Lang Syne On A Bridge.

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Reader Comments (2)

I absolutely love this post. Your photos are great The idea of the exhibit is great too. A way to show children that although we all come from different corners of the world we all like to have fun and all have more in common then we think. (That's the way I look at it .)

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

such an emotion filled post. i love these photos and the commentary through your sons eyes. magical!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermarni

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