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Cross-walk Watching

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 | 9 comments

A long time ago I did a few photos about “Buswatching.” Well, this is my version of that on the cross walk. I tried this in Stockholm while waiting for my friend and found it a really cool way to capture the nature of people. This is the crosswalk just before you enter in to Piazza Venezia, and so there are constant cars whizzing by. I think it’s something I’ll continue and I have a few shots I like, but I chose this one first for a specific reason. How can you instantly tell he lives in Rome? Ok, no it’s not the briefcase, but the carefree way he is crossing even as the traffic bares down on him. Two seconds after he passes the scooters, buses, and cars will stream by him, but he’s not worried. He knows the drill. You’ve got to step out and go, or they’ll never let you pass. Those are the rules! If you are scared….might as well stay on the sidewalk.


  1. This pedestrian is comfortable in traffic and in a pink shirt – great commentary on a man comfortable in his own skin.

  2. yes…I remember this fondly from our own experiences on our honeymoon in Rome a few years back! If in doubt when crossing or lacking a bit of courage- Follow the native Italian!! Works every time even if it is a bit hair-raising lol!

  3. I am looking forward to this series! I love the crosswalk drill in Roma.

  4. Ah the dreaded crosswalk-I remember a few hair raising experiences. I agree follow the Romans

  5. Really know what to do in traffic! I am looking forward to have a photo like this!

  6. Great picture Jessica. I can feel the energy in it.

    I am not a fan of that intersection.

  7. Elaine – Good point! People aren't really bothered with the pink shirt thing here, I hadn't even thought about that!

    Yes, "follow the native" works every time. I used to wait for cars to stop until I was embarrassed that old ladies were beating me across by being braver.

    NYC – Thanks! I think this might be a permanent perch for this series, there's always stuff going on. I agree though, the whole of Piazza Venezia is a nightmare for crossing. I'm surprised there aren't more accidents.

  8. As a native i have to admit you are totally right about the rules of street crossing and traffic in general here. And this pic really catched the point.

    When I was in NY i took a series of shoots that you could define Sidewalk Watching. I could stay on a sidewalk of the fifth for hours taking one shot of people walking every 10 seconds and always find it interesting.

  9. I love this. And so true. I've spent a few months in Rome, and marveled at the same thing. That's how I learned to cross the streets: follow the locals and have no fear. Ahhh, Roma…

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