Ed. note: Welcome to the latest installment of “Notes from the Breadline,” a column by a laid-off lawyer in New York. Prior columns are collected here. You can reach Roxana St. Thomas by email (at email@example.com), follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.
Many of us know (and some of us have described, at some length) what life in the breadline feels like. But what, exactly, does life in the breadline look like? What are the visual manifestations of uncertainty, general financial malaise, and persistent despair? Well, dear readers, sometimes life in the breadline looks like a laid-off associate in her pajamas and down coat, on the verge of ranting at strangers in the bank. Sometimes it looks like the very same associate staring at her inbox, certain that an encouraging email (offering something other than a chance to collect your designated award from the British Lottery) will appear momentarily. Other times, it can be seen in the world outside one’s cat-plagued home, where the indicia of economic apocalypse are ubiquitous.
This week, I am pleased to bring you my own photo essay from the breadline. (Take heart, TLDR crowd — something that doesn’t require actual reading!) I hope you enjoy these shots of street life, and I thank the kind photographer who helped to document my wanderings.
Of course, every life looks a little different … which is why it’s time for another Homework Assignment from the Breadline. Specifically, we want pictures — in the form and media of your choosing — of your life in the breadline. Send me the images that illustrate your experience, symbolize the moment, and document the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your adventure / ordeal / journey. I look forward to viewing your responses! Please: no nudity, crush films, or dogfighting videos.
Without further ado, I present “Scenes from the Breadline.”
Please note that these images are thumbnails. You can click on them for a closer look.
One sign of our times: sales are everywhere.
You have to act quickly, though. Too often, they mean that another business is going….
There are no lines at Pinkberry these days. Perhaps I’m not the only one who has eliminated such guilty pleasures.
Never be without great coffee … unless you’re in the breadline. Or violating your austerity plan.
Hmm… the answer to my financial woes?
There are, of course, affordable ways to shop (for example).
But if you must, doesn’t it feel good to pay less?
There are also affordable ways to eat out, especially if you like dining alfresco.
Needless to say, expensive dining out is a thing of the past. Brother, can you spare an escargot?
The occasional splurge at the bookstore is also a casualty of the breadline, although one can always dream.
Or visit the good ol’ library.
And, of course, there are always affordable dining options. Soup, anyone?
I waited for a while, but the Vietnam vet associated with this sign never appeared. Maybe he found a job. Green shoots?
Send your pictures, drawings, and other creative efforts, capturing life in the breadline, to yours truly: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Roxana St. Thomas is a laid-off lawyer living in New York. You can reach her by email (at email@example.com), follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook. And check out the Notes from the Breadline t-shirt store here.
Earlier: Prior installments of Notes from the Breadline