I spotted Victoria while she was in line to get into the Tattoo Convention. I thought it’d be a good spot to find people. It was, but I found the prospect a bit overwhelming. She was like an understated and natural diamond in the rough of pink hair and weather-inappropriate clothing. Ladies, I know you want to show off the tattoos on your thighs, but when it’s twenty degrees at least wear some sheer tights. It made me cold to see so many people with bare legs and no coats.
Victoria is from D.C. and was in town for the convention. Her boyfriend was getting a tattoo there, and they wanted to visit a few artists. It was their first time in Philly. When we talked, she said her favorite part of the trip was Hotel Monaco, where they were staying, because it was the only thing they’d seen at that point.
Victoria’s shoes are Sam Edelman. She likes to shop at D.C.-specific boutiques and thrift stores. She also mentioned that she likes to find more professional wear at Anthropologie. She’s a professional photographer. It seems I have a thing for photographers. Or photographers just wear things I’m drawn to and enjoy.
Stokely was the third person I photographed for this project, I think. I was still pretty nervous to approach people at this point, but it’s definitely starting to get easier for me. Some people have been a little stand-offish, but I generally am too, so I get that. But most people are pretty excited and flattered to be approached. I try to start the conversation by complimenting something about their outfit. That seems to put people at ease. Including me. It gives me something to talk to them about other than how I’ve been watching them from across the street, having internal arguments with my natural shyness about whether to talk to a stranger.
Stokely makes art, is involved in theatre, and likes to find clothes in thrift stores, clothing swaps, Buffalo Exchange, and other similar places. I really love those clear glasses frames and the yellow, purple, and blue color combination.
Jillian was another near-miss on the 18th and Walnut corner. Across from Rittenhouse Park and near the shops on and around Walnut Street, this is an easy place to people watch.
I’ve found that people who catch my eye on this corner sometimes disappear into Anthropologie. I may wait a few minutes to see if they emerge. Often, they do not. Either this means the well-dressed of Center City know a secret exit from the store, or they disappear into Anthro for hours. I’m guessing the latter. When I first spotted Jillian, I lost her into that beautiful abyss but I was still in the same spot when she emerged. It was meant to be.
Her bright scarf caught my attention. She laughed and seemed surprised when I complimented it, adding, “It’s just from Target!”
Jillian, a Philly native who now lives in Kentucky, spends her time raising her two year old, working, knitting sweaters, and blogging for a real estate company. If she had to wear one thing for a week, it would be a knit dress with tights and boots. A quality choice.