I didn’t take note until looking at this picture, weeks later, that four surveillance cameras huddled at the far end of the Chambers Street subway station might have recorded my every movement. I might have looked suspicious. I wandered through the station as trains came and went, looking not for a ride uptown but for remnants of old payphones.
Sometimes I imagine police or security guards stopping and questioning me about my desultory wanderings that look directionless and therefore suspicious (should anyone behind those surveillance cameras have reason to notice). I remember a filmmaker explaining how he talked his way into recording video inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where no video recording is allowed without exclusive and elaborate permits. He told a skeptical security guard he just wanted to make some video of the payphones. At this the security guard smiled and let him in, just asking him to stay as far from the crowds as possible. The filmmaker said the guard went along with it as if he (the filmmaker) was giving some love to the little guy… the payphone.
So I didn’t see those surveillance cameras, as I focused my interests more on the blightedness of this little vignette. With the exception of those cameras this photo looks like it could have risen from the 1970s.