As I’ve recently mentioned in earlier posts , I wanted to do a P.O.P. – People of the Park .

So to begin this section , I would like to introduce you to Jack “the bubbleman”

If you’ve been to the Bethesda Terrace area of Central Park there’s a good chance you’ve seen Jack doing his thing . If you have children , then you probably watched them chasing Jacks bubbles .

This past summer and fall , I spent many days in Central Park photoing , in particular , this area . After awhile you recognize people and people recognize you . Sometimes it feels like a family there. The performers all know each other and felt good to kind of be brought in to there loop.

Back to Jack , often seeing Jack providing a nice fun experience for kids , and also photo ops for photographers looking for shots with there models and Jacks bubbles . I began thinking of him as “the bubbleman” before meeting and speaking to him .

At this time Jack has been a fixture in the park for about 4-5 yrs doing what he does . Working only for tips (which I didn’t realize until recently) , but that wasn’t the biggest surprise or news that was slowly revealed by him throughout the summer . You see , “The bubbleman ” certainly seems to love what he does and never lets on to anyone his true situation .

Well slowly Jack did tell me how much he enjoys this , but weather and conditions certainly are a major factor in his income . But, He does have a goal, he will be taking a test to become a licensed New York City tour guide . His head full of the cities history and would be a great thing for him . He hopes to start his own tour business ( I even had thoughts of teaming up , I’ll do photo tours , he can do the history tours) .

Then came the revelation from Jack “the bubbleman ” he is homeless . Now you see , maybe I was naive not to know , how does a person make a living in NYC from tips ? Maybe I knew , but didn’t want to think about it . But the truth is , never had Jack made it obvious to his situation . He just goes out and does what he does . Never begs , never asks for hand outs . Earning on his own to survive .

Jack also revealed to me that with money he’s been earning from his tips will help him to get a room through the winter months . Unfortunately, these months will probably be less of “the bubbleman ” in Central Park as the weather and lack of people won’t permit it .

“The Bubbleman ” seems strong willed and determined has set goals for himself and is sacrificing to get there . He has found the room, and is getting ready to take his test soon . I do know he was trying to work through some of these cold days , trying to get a little extra till the weather is better.

In the end I was touched , impressed and have a respect for Jack. As mentioned , I’ve never seen or heard Jack “shaking his cup” asking for handouts . He has his tip can by his side , for people to tip for the entertainment he is providing .

And to finish this up , as a photographer , anytime I photo a street performer, homeless person I am always sure to tip, buy food or whatever is needed for that person . But for Jack it’s the first time I’ve thought to do something more . You see all of us are trying to reach for something higher in the sky. It’s just that some people need a lift to reach what they are looking for . I think “The Bubbleman ” needs and deserves that lift .

I have set up a go fund me for Jack . 100% of donations will be given to Jack . Please help .


Written by steveedreff

Steve Edreff is a photographer who is currently located in New Jersey and normally works out of New York City. Currently Steve has holds New York City Media pass as well as being a contributor to Getty Images and Istock. With the media pass Steve has been a photographer on hand for most parades and media events throughout NYC. The his preference is doing photoshoots with different style dancers , he also has photoed at New York Cities fashion week , photoshoots with Mrs. New Jersey, New York, Vermont , and Pennsylvania. Along with the photography , he has created an independent magazine "Street Views" that includes dancers and traditional style photography.

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