Hart & Soul

22 Aug 2007 1,152 views
 
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photoblog image The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan

On the way to the grocercy store one day in Amsterdam, I saw this on a busy street corner, over one of the canals near our apartment.  I often notice what I suspect are homeless men hanging out on the canal benches there, day in and day out.

When I walked by later, the shoes were gone.

[Today I'm in Amsterdam.]


The Good Samaritan

On the way to the grocercy store one day in Amsterdam, I saw this on a busy street corner, over one of the canals near our apartment.  I often notice what I suspect are homeless men hanging out on the canal benches there, day in and day out.

When I walked by later, the shoes were gone.

[Today I'm in Amsterdam.]


comments (39)

excellent capture. great choice of B/W for this shot! I'm thinking these shoes still look good!! smile
The composition is great too.
Ginnie Hart: Hopefully someone is getting some good wear out them, Bisola! Thanks. smile
I love this shot, Ginnie - it appeals to my sense of the ridiculous. It's almost as though the shoes are waiting to be put in the bin or that someone couldn't even be bothered to lift them up and pop them in! Very well composed.
Ingrid
Ginnie Hart: My sense, Ingrid, is that someone purposely left them outside the bin so that they would be seen and picked up by anyone who could use them. If they were in the bin, they'd be off to the landfill for no one! Thanks for your comment, as always.
This made me laugh. There is something incongruous about shoes placed tidily at the foot or a trashcan. Good find, Ginnie!
Ginnie Hart: My first reaction was, "What the!" Then it suddenly occurred to me that someone purposely left them outside the bin so that they would be seen and picked up by anyone who could use them. If they were in the bin, they'd be off to the landfill for no one, as I told Ingrid. That's when I realized how meaningful this gesture was!

Thanks, Martin!
It's as if it is left to the passerby to decide: are these shoes ready for the trash bin or not?
Ginnie Hart: Yes, Red Pen. And if I need them, I can take them. Thanks!
  • Ruth
  • Michigan, USA
  • 22 Aug 2007, 01:51
Wow, how strange. Did he dissaparate?
Ginnie Hart: Yes, of course. grin
good catch, it takes a good eye to see this.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Dotun.
I guess the person who left the shoes prolly left it for them to grab at it...i like the title to this image. Nice Capture Granny!
Ginnie Hart: That's my take on it, Nacha. Someone purposely left them outside the bin so that they would be seen and picked up by anyone who could use them. If they were in the bin, they'd be off to the landfill for no one! Thanks.
  • Roger
  • Denton Texas
  • 22 Aug 2007, 02:09
Genius!
Ginnie Hart: You're a sweetheart, Roger. Thanks.
  • sara
  • earth
  • 22 Aug 2007, 02:09
nice moment ginnie. i have a theory too. in my experience - you place things at a garbage cans for people when you want to give things to. I did that once with a guy in Vancouver. shoes it was, as he had none. i left them at a can in front of a skate shop i worked at - the first time they were too small he threw them in annoyance. the 2nd time i assume they fit cause he took them. he never wore them tho. maybe he had other plans. my other vote is for Ruths Dissaparation. Cool. ~S.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks for your own story, Sara. I 'spect someone purposely left them outside the bin so that they would be seen and picked up by anyone who could use them, just as you did. If they were in the bin, they'd be off to the landfill for no one!
  • Kay
  • 22 Aug 2007, 02:44
LOL! grin I love Ruth's comment! Obviously, she's an HP fan too wink

It makes me happy that someone "walked off with these shoes". Hopefully they fit. And I love this image, an image only you could capture with compassion and humor. Wonderful!
Ginnie Hart: Yes,I laughed at Ruth's comment as well! smile

Thanks, Kay, for your lovely comment...again!
Love the composition. And the B&W conversion gave it the extra edge. I can remember that in Amsterdam you can often see these kind of sceneries . Sometimes whole interiors, refrigerators, ovens and old tv's. But this is a first for me! Good eye for detail you have!
Ginnie Hart: I'll have to start looking for the other things you mentioned, Fausto. I HAVE seen bed mattresses, but not stoves or refrigerators. Thanks!
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 22 Aug 2007, 04:51
This image is wonderful, Ginnie. It is crisp, looks great in b&w, and the composition is really well balanced. And...it has a strong pathos element.

It is a neat concept in recycling, isn't it? The shoes have been nicely presented to attract potential new users...not just thrown away as worthless discards, and even look as though they might have been polished before being placed there.

I love it!
Ginnie Hart: Exactly, Ray. That's what I thought after seeing this. It really does have a nice humanitarian touch! Thanks.
This is a great shot Ginnie. Sense of humour and thoughtfulness all wrapped up in one picture.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Sir! That's what I thought. smile
Do you think the guy was swallowed by the trash can ??? smile
Irresistible !
Ginnie Hart: No, he disapparated, as Ruth said! grin Thanks, Flo.
Maybe the guy just got a new pair a shoes and decided to step out of these .. Lovely shot
Ginnie Hart: That's an idea, Shakara. A nice humanitarian gesture to share his old shoes with anyone who could use them!
This is both funny and a bit sad, donĀ“t know why, but it is.
A great capture Ginnie, this is a likey for me smile
Ginnie Hart: You have responded exactly as I felt, Magnus. This became more and more profound to me, the longer I thought about it. Thanks.
I like this. It really makes you linger and wonder about the story behind the photograph. (:o)
Ginnie Hart: Yes, it does, Roz. Exactly how I felt! Thanks.
  • chunter
  • Veau Dafonny
  • 22 Aug 2007, 09:29
I believe, as I guess you do from the title you supplied, that a thoughtful person left these as a charitable offering that allows the less fortunate to benefit without the ignominy of begging or publicly accepting charity. The best kind of charity, in my view.

At first, though, I almost imagined a puff of smoke above the shoes and their previous occupier turned to dust, cartoon-style, in the bin.
Ginnie Hart: You have seen this exactly as I did, Colin. And if he/she had put the shoes in the bin, they would have gone off to the landfill for no one.

I like the added idea of a puff of smoke to show the disapparation! smile Thanks!
he must miss them...
Ginnie Hart: My guess is that they are missed by no one, Chantal, but given as a gift to whomever could use them. Hopefully the person who took them IS using them! Thanks.
I am not even going to ask why he left his shoes there but good good spot grin
Ginnie Hart: HA! So many questions, so little time. My sense is that someone purposely left them outside the bin so that they would be seen and picked up by anyone who could use them. If they were in the bin, they'd be off to the landfill for no one!

Thanks, S/S, for the comment.
If those shoes could talk, what a story they might tell. Well spotted.
Ginnie Hart: Absolutely, Aussie. That's what I think as well! Thanks.
Oh I like this - the stuff people don't usually bother to stop for. Nice!
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Chris.
Wow, hopefully it was taken by someone who nadly needed them
Ginnie Hart: I agree, Etomi! Let's hope so. Thanks.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 22 Aug 2007, 11:04
Great picture, composition etc. Quite a find as well.

I first thought it was some who took his life with a dive into the litter bin, but then read your comment smile
Ginnie Hart: HA! Only you would come up with that, Louis. Thanks.
Makes you wonder why. well seen.
Ginnie Hart: So many questions, so little time! Thanks, Les.
  • Tracy
  • 22 Aug 2007, 11:23
LOL kep your eyes open you may spot them on someones feet!!! Cool shot Ginnie. smile
Ginnie Hart: HA! I never thought of that, Tracy. smile
  • Ruth
  • Michigan, USA
  • 22 Aug 2007, 12:17
I'm back because I remembered posting a photo last fall at another blog (East Lansing Daily Photo, gone now) of a recycle bin just for shoes. Remember that? There was one lonely pair of sneakers at the bottom of the bin. I had never seen a dedicated bin to shoes before. This is the next best thing.
Ginnie Hart: Oh, yes, Ruth. I do remember that and it's such a cool idea. I agree that this is the next best thing. Thanks for coming back to tell us that.
  • Saed
  • Iran
  • 22 Aug 2007, 12:48
Very nice idea! smile
Ginnie Hart: I thought so, too, Saed. Thanks.
It's strange what you see left in the street - when I went to collect my daughter from the childminders a few weeks ago someone had left a perfectly good pram in the street.
Ginnie Hart: I declare. Sounds like something similar. In that case, someone maybe decided it was easier to just leave it there than to cart it off to a consignment/thrift store! Thanks, Bernie.
  • Shailja
  • Boston, USA
  • 22 Aug 2007, 13:13
Better to leave them out for somebody than let it gather dust in a closet! Nice capture and caption Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Exactly, Shailja. I agree. Thanks.
Lol smile Really well spotted and a good title too !!
Leaving the shoes baffle me but its a lovely shot. Maybe he hoped someone would take the shot. Ginnie im so looking forward to meeting you. Ive got kisses, hugs and flowers for you. Take your pick infact chose them all.
Ginnie Hart: Awwww, shucks, Busola. So you'll be there, then?! How fun it'll be to meet you without anything else but YOU. smile So sweet. Thanks.
Hi Ginnie,
Have you had a good flight?
Yes this is tyical for Amsterdam (and other big cities) A homeless person might have 'parked his shoes' here. Enjoy your time. Weather seems to clear up this coming weekend!

Bye enjoy Holland. smile JoAnn
Ginnie Hart: I never suspected these shoes were left here BY a homeless man, JoAnn, but FOR a homeless man. Hmm. Have I been wrong? Anyway, there's a sweet story there, I hope. Thanks for your comment.

And YES, we both had a great flight, though on different planes, leaving and arriving about an hour apart. Because I almost always fly on Frequent-Flier miles, I'm almost always on a different plane, which I'm sure seems strange to most people. smile.
Every picture tells a story! but which one? Looks like they cleaned them before throwing them away! Great spot Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Mike!
  • Petra
  • 22 Aug 2007, 21:31
Dont you like the idea behind these shoes....would'nt it be funny if everyone would put his unused stuff on a certain place to let it be picked up by someone who needs it??
Petra
Ginnie Hart: I guess those places are called Thrift stores, Petra. But the idea of see-through bins at strategic locations for shoes/clothes might not be a bad idea! Thanks for you comment!
Ha ha that's funny, love it. 36 comments ... you go girl, I'll read them in the morning.
Ginnie Hart: Don't worry, Johnny. "Fame" is fleeting and I'm definitely old enough to know it! smile Thanks for stopping by.
  • Emery Roth
  • http://rothphotos.blogspot.com/
  • 24 Aug 2007, 14:55
Your comment suggests what really might be going on, but on first glance I thought the man of the shoes had just jumped in - a sad way to go.
Ginnie Hart: Yes, indeed, Ted. Thanks a million for stopping by! smile
I thought the guy had spontaneously combusted whilst disposing of a fag end! Nice shot. All the best, Dave.
Ginnie Hart: He disapparated, of course. smile Thanks, Dave.
  • liam
  • south africa
  • 27 Aug 2007, 08:31
ha ha...loved the last spontaneous combustion comment...truly excellent shot. so many potential meanings. Its a likey for me
Ginnie Hart: You are so kind, Liam. Thank you. smile

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