The D-Bus for some B-Roll

The Good ol’ D-Bus

The sound of rustling leaves surrounded me as I walked towards the bus stop on a breezy,cool autumn day in October. While walking down the hill, I saw the D-bus drive through the intersection of Skiff Street and Whitney Avenue toward the bus stop. I quickened my pace, holding the straps of my camera pack so it wouldn’t bounce against my back. As the last person waiting in line entered the bus I finally arrived at front of the bus doors. I opened my wallet and didn’t find my bus pass. I started patting down my pant’s pockets like a smoker looking for a lighter.

“Where the hell is it,” I said to myself. “These people are going to kill me.”

My day is already stressing me out as I make my way to downtown New Haven to shoot some video.

After hearing a few sighs and a man sucking his teeth I found my pass and paid the fare. The bus was packed with people, as it usually is on a Monday morning, and I immediately sat in the nearest empty seat. After three more stops, passengers took the remaining seats forcing others to stand. At this point 10 people were standing including, what looked like, teenagers blocking the front of the bus gossiping.

It was an uncomfortable 35-minute ride. A man took the seat next to me and forced me to straddle my camera pack on my lap, allowing him to sit.buscrowd

A woman, short and hefty, took a seat on the handicap bench at front of us.  Her legs brushed across a woman’s grocery bags that were hanging along side her walker as she took a seat. Her gelatinous-like body girdled around the arm rest of the seat, touching the legs of the man sitting next to me. He squirmed his legs out toward the middle of the aisle sitting sideways. Fidgeting back and forth, my shoulder was now pinned against the window. I couldn’t reach for my camera if I wanted to, but left my cell phone in my hands in-case a photo opportunity appeared.

 

 

Keep Moving

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I walked off the bus rubbing and rotating the stiffness out of my left shoulder and started to put my camera equipment together. As I adjusted my tripod Eddie, a man I had interviewed a few weeks ago, waved at me before crossing the street.

With my camera mounted on my tripod I started walking through the crowds of people while recording. I was surprised that no one yelled at me for recording them. I felt like I was invading people’s privacy and acting like a creep as I recorded them from a distance, but for the most part it didn’t bother anyone. A few people turned away or hid their face from the camera, but there were a few that waved back at me.

As I was putting all my equipment away a man named Peter Taylor, a 43-year-old Hamden resident, interrupted me.

“My man! Take a picture of us,” said Taylor before pulling his friend to his side.

His friend didn’t want anything to do with the photo and he insisted to just take a photo of Taylor. I placed my camera to my face and he struck a pose. I explained to Taylor I was writing for the New Haven Independent’s CT Bus Diaries and asked if he’d like to be part of it.

“Go ahead ask me anything,” he said.

I took off my camera pack and secured my tripod and camera inside. As I reached for my notepad Taylor placed his headphones onto my ears. I immediately recognized the eerie piano licks, the heavy bass kicks, and the samples from old kung-fu flicks–Wu Tang Clan’s “Protect Ya Neck.”

As I bobbed my head and mouthed the lyrics Taylor smiled and said, “Yeah, that’s real hip-hop.”

Taylor works for W.B. Meyers, a moving company that also specializes in commercial storage, and usually is assigned to jobs in New Haven. He rides the bus primarily to go to work and visit his girlfriend who lives in Stratford. But Taylor didn’t have to take the bus five months ago.

“Last June I got into a car accident and it got smashed up,” he said. “So now the bus is my main transportation.”

But even with the car Taylor wasn’t a stranger to the bus system. He said he’s taken it for years and glad that he could “fall back on the bus” at a time where he has no car. Taylor also mentioned he’s trying his best to become part of  middle-class society while raising three of his kids–a 5, 11, and 15-year-old.

“When you’re broke you’re broke,” said Taylor. “Money is the biggest struggle right now, but I make enough so my kids can eat.”

That marked the end of our conversation. I shook his hand and thanked him for his time.

As he walked away Taylor smiled and said, “Put me on the front page.”

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