Scenes of the City: Street Portraits in the Castro District


For this week's Scenes of the City, we went to the Castro District and captured a dozen or so street portraits of the people passing by near Castro and Market streets.


All photos and words by Joseph Schell


Taking a break outside of his tattoo parlor, Cicatrix Tattoo, Teejay, 41, posed for a portrait while showing off some of his body art.Jack, 61, told me that he is a retired graphic designer and spent his Friday afternoon shopping and enjoying the beautiful weather.

On her lunch break, Lisa, 23, stopped quickly to pose for a portrait. Lisa has lived San Francisco for two years and works with people with developmental disabilities.

Justin (left), 26, works as a executive assistant in public relations. When I caught up with him, he had just finished an interview for a new house and was on his way to meet up with some friends. Bob (right), 63, a retired lawyer, was on his way to the store and when I asked him if I could take his portrait for the project. He responded with suprise: "You wanna take my photo? OK, go ahead."

Gayle (left), 62, a retired English professor, quickly rearranged her scarf when I asked to take her portrait. She then asked me: "this isn't gonna be one of those 'how not to dress articles' is it?" Miko, 27, and Jake (the dog), passed by once and declined a portrait. Ten minutes later, he came back: "You're still here, huh?" he said. He had decided it wasn't such a bad idea. 

"With sunglasses or without?" Jason, 30, asked when I approached him about taking his portrait. I had already seen Jason pass about three times with his cowboy hat, vest and headphones on. He was pretty unmistakable. Each time he passed, he had something else in his hands: laundry detergent, a bag of this or that. He later explained that he works as a care taker and was purchasing goods for his client.


 Robert, 29, was sitting on a bench sketching in his journal and enjoying the afternoon sun when I approached him for a portrait. Robert said he is from Missoula, MT, was visiting some friends in the city and not relishing the idea of going home to snowy Montana. 

Maiyisha, 32, works at the Children's Council of San Francisco. She stopped, struck a pose and then hurried on her way to eat some lunch.

Kim Anh and Jesse, 31, are both musicians. When I asked for Kim Anh's age, she reponded with a smile, "A lady never tells," she said. Upon further investigation, I found out Kim Anh is a DJ and part of the DJ duo Booby Trap! out of LA.  Both were headed to the St. Regis Hotel for the Winter Party, an all night party, the proceeds of which go to support Equality California (EQCA).

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