Street Life…Life On Our Streets

Every six months or so I archive my photos to make room on my computer.  The inventory is now well past 190,000 images residing on archive disks that will most likely disappear in the dustbin of history. Before archiving I selected a few photos documenting scenes from my daily walks around what I call the Petaluma Photo Grid…scenes that reflect an aspect of street life here and elsewhere in the country that we should not…dare not…ignore.


Some may call them Travelers, Transients, People Living Rough, or Homeless. However, they are people and part of our communities.

As a friend recently commented: “It’s important for all of us to not ignore what we find disturbing but instead really include it in our consciousness, accept it as a part of our reality. Then we may decide we want to change it and actually be able to do that.”


(Individual photos may be enlarged by clicking on them)

Street Life Gallery I

P1030748 Love Where You Live

Weary Traveler (Petaluma Blvd)  P1010211RAWa


3 DSCF5326

2 DSCF5106RAWWEB DSCF6158 Golden Concourse Walkway DSCF5328RAW P1030746 Water Street  DSCF4926RAW Weller St P1030327 Western Avenue  DSCF5757

Street Life Gallery II

Water Street Loading Dock

Ralph Lauren Loading Dock on Water St P1030495RAW

5 P1030282WEB 4 Ralph Lauren Loading Dock on Water St P1030284

Street Life Gallery III

Water Street P1030235RAW2WEB

Foggy Morning Pedestrian P1020662RAW1

P1020182RAW B&WWEB

1 Book Reader  P1010992RAW B&WWebcropped

Street Life Gallery IV

American Alley Stroll




In closing, I offer this passage from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol…

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread. Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. ‘Spirit. are they yours.’ Scrooge could say no more. ‘They are Man’s,’ said the Spirit, looking down upon them. ‘And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.  This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it.’ cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. ‘Slander those who tell it ye.  Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end.’ ‘Have they no refuge or resource.’ cried Scrooge. ‘Are there no prisons.’ said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no workhouses.’ The bell struck twelve.

READER NOTE–Some of my past posts on this topic are listed below

UPDATE July 10, 2015: See recent article from the Bohemian newspaper:  Taking It to the Street

14 thoughts on “Street Life…Life On Our Streets

  1. Another great composition Frank. Hits especially home around here, where we have much growing resentment in our community, for saving three souls from the likes of Foxconn, Shenzen, China, as well as a grandson who suffers from paranoid scizhophrenia @ 32 yrs young. Our ever roaming, flip flop wearing, `transient’ opera singer is no longer to be heard. The joy/grief dichotomy is ever present, destracting, tiring, and rejuvinating.
    Always looking for inspiration. Keep it up….

  2. Like I said the other day, “Frank, post ’em.” And, you did. Good work, respectful, and clearly with all of your heart. The human condition, one of the best uses of the medium
    photography does best, in the hands of astute photographers.

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  4. The background to this post is that I recently had an opportunity to read An American Exodus by Dorothea Lange (1939) which contains several iconic and compelling images of the lives of the migrant workers of that time. Then I realized that the faces and scenes were similar to those I have been taking from time to time in my town.

    In response to this observation on my part I received the following observation/question: “Circumstances change, situations change, demographics change; so, is it the faces that look the same or is it the result of the situations that changes the people so they all look so similar?”

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  6. excellent work Frank. like the person above says, these people, whether they be in town shorter or longer, are a part of community. one of the more permanent people- Amy (as i know her)- i always address by saying hello when i see her. she has watched out for me a few times in some ‘street situations’.

    • Oh I had to chuckle a bit–“street situations” I DO understand what you are saying 🙂 Have a great day!!

    • I tried to assemble a few images from my archives without getting too heavy about it all. However, I soon discovered that no matter which ones I selected, any grouping I came up with left me with the same feeling you reported.

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