I underestimated downtown Springfield, Mo., on Friday night. With the First Friday art walk, at least one high school’s homecoming, Halloween coming up and the square’s usual contingent of punk teenagers and low-income adults, there was no shortage of interesting people and interesting images.
One boy with a neon green shirt rode around the square on a neon green bike. Another guy, with purple hair and purple shirt and purple bike, taught how to play a harmonica to a grizzled old biker dude with a beer gut. Teens clumped together, skateboards in hand, looking around as if searching for a challenger to their dominance. A rock band played Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” across the street. Women loaded dozens of bridal dresses into a trailer for a tent sale the next day. A boy in costume as the Tenth Doctor ran around with a sonic screwdriver and a ukulele. Two women carefully applied zombie make-up to two other women. More restrained and respectable-looking couples and grandparents and families milled around, going from restaurants to galleries to bars, then to the live jazz band in the square. It felt like all life was there, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite movies.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my images of it. In other news, I think I’m getting better at this street thing.