What are my rights?
Last month Kelly and I were in New York City for a few days. An opportunity to get away without the kids – hang with a few friends, and even stalk Julia Roberts at a quiet little Tapas place.
We were waiting to meet a friend near Union Square, and ducked into a trendy little “diner” type place right next to the park. Good coffee – kitchy kinda place, kinda cool, food looked good – etc. In fact – as a side note – it’s been in several movies from what I understand, and we recently noticed that the scene in The Devil Wears Prada where she’s giving gifts out to her friends – you know – that beautiful blue Marc Jacobs bag!! ~faints~ – they are sitting in the exact seats we sat in.
So I’m taking pictures. Duh. I think I had the fiddy out and was playing with depth of field, light, coffee – you know – important photography things. Suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder (as I’m looking thru viewfinder) and the manager (gripping me tight enough to justify some violence from me) looks at me and says those words that photographers just LOVE to hear:
“Will you please shoot our piece for Vanity Fair”
No. He actually said:
“Sorry, we do not allow photography in here.”
My mind goes fast in these situations. A million thoughts at once:
- grab the wrist near my shoulder, and twist it until he has just a stump where his arm was
- did I over expose that shot
- his mother didn’t give him enough love – go easy on him
- he’s within his rights
- ooh look behind him – she’s kinda cute
- where the hell is Robin? She was supposed to be here 10 minutes ago
- I wish it would stop snowing
- I hope I bump into Julia Roberts in the Tapas place
- he’s not within his rights
- why the fuck is he TOUCHING ME???
I went with staring him in the eye and telling him: “Well that’s just RIDICULOUS”
He wasn’t expecting that – he seemed to think I would just say “oh sorry sir – yes sir - right away sir”
So we had a few words. Nothing major – and because Kelly was giving me the hairy-eyeball, I did put the camera away.
And I’m pretty sure I saw him say something to our waitress and nod in our direction and I’m pretty sure their coffee doesn’t really cost $7 a cup.
We left soon after.
I know it’s not the first time anyone of us camera-whores has been given this line. My first time was when taking this shot:
But why? What is the problem with taking pictures in a diner, clothing store, or any other “public” place? Is this guy afraid I’m going to get a shot of his place, and photoshop in a rat or dead guy or something?
Really – I just don’t get it. And Kelly was telling me, of course, that I was rude – and he has the right to tell me “no-photos”.
What do you guys think? First – why would a place put on such a restriction – and second – how should I have reacted?
ps – the only decent shot I got there was this: