By Alli Draper
Since moving from New York to Texas, I’ve gotten fatter. Is it the delicious breakfast tacos? Yes. But it’s also the sitting. Traffic in Austin is atrocious and my car feels less like a mode of transportation and more like a second home – especially since I recently moved 65 miles away from my job like a psychopath.
I spend no less than 2.5 hours in my car every single day. This was a choice that I made voluntarily, and while I still catch myself scratching my head as to why, it’s an experience that I appreciate. I love my home and my job and everything in between, but I really, really miss walking.
I spent four school years in New York and multiple summers in Paris, two cities where walking is the norm and having a car is a luxury. Cities where a monthly parking space costs more than the rent of some three-bedroom homes in Texas. I miss the walking and the subway hopping because while, yes, it helped me keep a more girlish figure, it also gave me a special insight into each city – one you can’t see from the window of a car.
It was easy to get into street photography because I liked photography and I was always walking around. I took photos of buildings, sure. I mean who doesn’t love documenting a great building. But once I started focusing on people, I realized that I could take 1000 photos of buildings and 1 photo of a person in their element, and the latter would summarize the city far better than anything else. I like the dubious, timeless quality of people on film, so here are some shots I’ve taken in the two cities that I miss the most.
Alli Draper lives in a renovated airplane hangar outside Austin, Texas where she works as a newborn photographer. When she’s not taking photos of babies, she likes talking about the great country of Iceland, listening to Vashti Bunyan and Tom Waits (though not at the same time), eating at old diners, sending handwritten cards on quirky stationary, and shopping at Whole Foods even though she can’t really afford to do so.