Desolate Places » The Photographs of Michael Bowman

Mr. Postman

I shoot a lot of pictures. Many of them never see the light of day. This photo in particular probably wouldn’t have made my feed if not for the story around its capture.

So i’m in the James Farley Post Office near the Garden shooting architectural details. These post office boxes were in a side room off of the main floor and their weathered appearance caught my eye – so I snapped a few frames.

All of a sudden an NYPD officer comes storming into the room demanding that I show him the photos i’ve taken. So I do. He proceeds to tell me that my photos of the Post Office boxes violate individuals right to privacy and that I must delete them on the spot.

Wtf. I ask him to see this law? How do numbered boxes give away one’s privacy? Isn’t that the reason for putting anonymous numbers on them in the first place?

His answer "sir I asked you once politely, don’t make me ask again."

So I delete one photo and say "there you go officer."

I’ve heard the stories about photogs being harassed by the NYPD for photographing random things, but never experienced it myself.

I have great respect for the NYPD – I even stopped later in the day to visit a family member at their precinct…but I have to say, harassing photographers and making them delete their own creative pursuits, their own art, is just wrong.

I’ll step down off the soap box.

So this photo is a middle finger to one certain NYPD officer, who i’m sure was just following orders. But regardless….

See it here:

a room

See it here:


See it here: