Wanna shoot in NYC but don’t have the $$. No problem…you can do it on a broke bohemian’s budget.

Article Dedication

in Honor of

Paul Theroux

“A society without jaywalkers might indicate a society without artists.”

and in Memory of

Anthony William ‘Tony’ Jones aka Tony ‘Indiana’ Jones

Tony Jones California Rock and Mineral

Internet Photo – Fair Use

Tony was an early travel mentor of mine. As a young kid starting out, he generously breast-fed me a diet of comisionistas and barequeros on the Avenida Jimenez


Note 1…

If an image looks fuzzy try to click on it for high-res version. Some photos are sharper than what is shown here. I have no control on how WordPress reproduces them.

Note 2…

When this blog was changed to a zine theme, the formatting and spacing of photographs used in this post changed from the original format.  I don’t have time to go back and fix the thousands of photos used in the hundreds of old posts…but I’m sure you will still get the message.

I have always been self-funded with my photography and archival work. Since I’m not rich, being on a perpetual budget and cutting expenses to the bone is nothing new for me.

adjective: bare-bones; adjective: barebones
reduced to or comprising only the basic or essential elements of something.
“a bare-bones version of the story”


My keyboard

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Engaging the Enemy Frigate Daneil D. Teoli Jr.

My studio for book design…the floor!

Selections from Engaging the Enemy Frigate artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.  Vintage homosexual erotica from the Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

As such, I am sensitive to the plight of the poor, struggling artist that wants to take on a project but can’t afford doing it. So, let me propose a bare-bones shooting marathon for broke photogs that want to shoot in NYC but can’t afford it.

NYC is a stupendous place to shoot. Every aspiring as well as serious street photog should have the experience of working in the capitol of street photography.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fashion-shoot-wall-street.-d.d.-teoli-jr..jpg

Fashion Shoot on Wall Street (Candid)

Selection from 180: The Circular Fisheye at Large artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Doing it bare-bones may not be pretty, but it will still allow you to get some serious NYC action in on a very meager budget. And for the non-photog bohemians that want to see NYC…sure, come along for the ride! 

Being a born bohemian, I have always concentrated on doing my art rather than trying to make a living. Consequently I’ve never earned / had much $ to spend on projects.  If I can get by with some food, a roof, some SD cards and batteries I’m good. But that is how it usually is with most artists. Money is one of those irritating needs that can sidetrack an artist from concentrating on doing their art.

noun: Bohemian; plural noun: Bohemians; noun: bohemian; plural noun: bohemians
1. a native or inhabitant of Bohemia.
2.a person who has informal and unconventional social habits, especially an artist or writer.
“the young bohemians with their art galleries and sushi bars”

…well, you probably wont be eating at sushi bars if you’re a broke bohemian.

Most artists don’t do art to make lots of money, they just care about producing their art. No one is saying it would not be nice to make some money. But for me it would have to come as a ‘no effort’ offshoot from my own work and not as the prime goal.

If I look at all of the projects I’ve done in the past 52 years, 0% of them would have been possible if they were based on making a profit. Consequently, I could have never shot ANY of the photo projects I’ve ever done…if I put making money first.  The only time money enters my mind is when I ask myself…do I have enough money to take on a project.

A New Study Shows That Most Artists Make Very Little Money, With Women Faring the Worst

“In the US, a full three quarters of artists made $10,000 or less per year from their art. Close to half (48.7 percent) made no more than $5,000.”

W. Eugene Smith was a textbook example of the dedicated bohemian sacrificing profit, life and family in order to do their art…

W. Eugene Smith mr (2)

This was Smith’s famed ‘jazz loft.’ I think the rent was $40 a month.

W. Eugene Smith pawn ticket

When Smith needed some cash he would pawn cameras and lenses.

W. Eugene Smith mr (3)

Smith made use of a broken window as matte box.

W. Eugene Smith mr (1)

W. Eugene Smith’s photo through the broken window pane.

Group of Smith photos used under the auspices of  fair use

I had read when Smith died he had $18 in the bank. Well Smith, as well as myself would probably have liked to have been born rich, but neither of us did not let $ stand in the way of doing what we wanted to do with our photography.

When I first started in the late 60’s I got by on very little. I just needed a 100 feet of expired film from Freestyle, a few 10 cent film cassettes and a gallon of D-76, Dektol and fixer. (See footnote a).

A roll of 100 feet in-date Tri-X from Pan Pacific Camera on La Brea was about $7. If you were broke, Freestyle used to sell repackaged 35mm movie film for about $2.75 to $3.50 per 100 foot roll. For the real cheapskate, Freestyle had 100 foot rolls of oddball film for about $1.50. Your BW chemicals were about a buck a gallon for premixed Nacco Microdol-X, D-76, Dektol and fixer.


Popular Photography July 1962 Freestyle Sales Co. Advertisement

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

(Click on image to see hi-res version if it looks fuzzy)

Those were the days…everything was a lot cheaper back then, so panhandling a quarter or a buck went along way.  You could even get a meal for a buck or under in the 1970’s. Nowadays photography is a real money sucking activity.

72 img206-Print V5 +5 - 5 0 MR

Los Angeles Diner 1971

Selection from Peering Into the World of 1970s Hollywood & L.A. artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The Los Angeles Diner was an early photo of mine. I was about 17 when I shot it.  First thing on the diner’s wall menu was S.O.S. For those that don’t know, S.O.S. means Shit on a Shingle. Being 1971, it was a little over 25 years from WWII and S.O.S. was still a popular carryover from the war.


Even if you’re not into people photography, the NYC’s architecture is jaw dropping. Once your shoot there your spoiled for shooting anyplace else when it comes to street work.


Bohemians View NYC

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

I’m more into shooting people than buildings, still I’d like to get some shots of NYC from the top of the Empire State Building. It cost $45 to take the elevator to the top. If you want to skip the long lines then expect to pay $75 for faster VIP service. I never have gone up as I hate long lines and the VIP service is outside of my limited budget. So I make due with the bohemians view!

Actually, when it came to NYC I could never afford to shoot there until I started to camp out in Jersey City. And while it still was not affordable, it was ‘just doable’ budget wise for a few days. ($75 a day for parking your tent or $85 a day to sleep in your vehicle + taxes.)


Jersey City Campsite

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Now, if your truly broke, then the ‘cushy’ Jersey City camp out is going to be too expensive for you to swing. Beside the daily rent, you have to factor in gas and tolls roads if you drive and PATH cards from NJ to NYC.

There is also a big drawback to staying in Jersey City, it takes me 12 minutes to walk to PATH and sometimes another 30 to 50 minutes one-way to get onsite before I start shooting. If your already in Manhattan, as I will propose below, you will be way ahead of me. You won’t have to waste travel time back and forth to NJ.


Here is the formula for the broke bohemian on a bare-bones budget that wants to shoot in NYC…


Sad Buskers Times Square  Infrared flash photograph (Candid)

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

You will have to decide if what I am about to tell you is right for you. This post is not about where to buy your latest boho chic fashions. This was written by a bohemian for bohemians. What works for me may be wrong for you – you may get killed or hurt if you do this. Take responsibility for your own actions and don’t blame me for a bad outcome.

The first thing you need is a one-way Greyhound ticket to NYC. If your in Philly, Boston or Baltimore, your in luck, you can get a one-way ticket for $10 to $12. And Pittsburgh isn’t far behind at $28. What a deal! You can get to Manhattan cheaper than it would cost you to drive – the Holland Tunnel toll is $15 alone.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

Why get a one-way ticket? Well you’re broke. To come home you panhandle and get the fare while your shooting in NYC. If you got enough money upfront for a round trip then I highly suggest buy it. If you do buy a round trip you will save lots of money by buying ahead.

Megabus is also an option, but their travel options are a lot more limited than Greyhound.


Sometimes you can get last minute fares for next to nothing.


Back up link:


You may also want to consider the safety record of Megabus…


Back up link:


greyhound bus interior

Above is a typical Greyhound bus interior.

Internet Photo – Fair Use


Above is the interior of Megabus

Internet Photo – Fair Use

megabus toilet

Above is the Megabus toilet door

Internet Photo – Fair Use

Sometimes with Greyhound you can’t always get the cheaper ticket price unless you travel a week or more in advance, so you may have to plan ahead. You can check out the rates at the library’s internet if you have no smartphone. I have no smartphone, all I have is a $85 a year Tracfone from Wal-Mart, so I use the library’s internet.

… I guess I am a dinosaur…nowadays even the homeless got their smartphone!

Homeless man with cell phone - infrared flash Hollywood, CA 2015 Daniel D. Teoli jr.

Infrared flash photograph  Hollywood, CA (Candid)

Selection from On the Street artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Here is a list of free wi-fi spots…



All in all, having a R/T ticket in-hand is the best policy. You can relax and know you can get back home. But as I said before, I’m writing this post for the brokest of broke bohemian, so that is who it is tailored to. No matter how meager the budget, I believe in making a project a reality for any artist.

If you’re looking to do your NYC shoot the traditional ‘camera fondler’ way, then look elsewhere for advice. I’ve never done much traditionally in my life, so I can’t be of much help. Go to Fodors, Airbnb, Hostels.Com and Priceline and see what you can put together…but for the rest of us bohemians…this is how we roll!

If you’re in Cleveland or L.A., then you had better come up with the money for a round trip upfront. As the $ you will need for a return ticket is a lot higher than a ticket back to Philly. (One way Cleveland = $48, one way L.A. = $129) You may have problems trying to panhandle that amount of $ in a short time.

…and I should warn you, NYC can be a pretty cold place for beggars.


Times Square Food Vendor  Infrared flash photograph (Candid)

Selection from On the Street artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

As long as you can get to the internet / smartphone you can get the cheapest Greyhound fare. Sign up for Greyhound Road Rewards and get lots of perks, including 10% of your first ticket. You can also save $ with student and veteran’s discounts.

You don’t need a credit card to buy a ticket online, you can reserve your ticket online and pay for the ticket at an agent with cash. Just reserve your ticket online and they will email you a ticket confirmation like this:

Here’s your pay with cash order with Greyhound.
Your reference number is: 30968895
Your Pay Near Me number: 82719461443


May 09 2016
Leaving From: Philadelphia, PA @ 10:00AM
Schedule Number: GLI2121

May 09 2016
Going To: New York, NY @ 12:10PM
Schedule Number: GLI2121

Philadelphia, PA 19107

625 8TH AVE
New York, NY 10018

* This is your boarding station for the outgoing trip.

Within the email they have a link to click on for a ‘Pay With Cash’ option. That link brings you to ‘Pay Near Me’ option to locate an agent by plugging in your zipcode. Go to the agent and pay for the ticket. The agent will give you a printed receipt you will use along with your ticket confirmation and photo I.D. to board the bus.

You can also buy  ticket over the phone from Greyhound. You can call 1-800-231-2222 to buy and pick your ticket up at the Greyhound station or get your ticket by email to print. If you like to board early and be able to pick your seat, then you should buy an ‘extra economy’ ticket. The cheapest ‘economy’ ticket will have you boarding last. That is the main benefit for the extra economy ticket, but you can see the specs on all the tickets here.


If you have a smartphone you will get a itinerary confirmation sent to your phone. Bring your confirmation code to the ticketing agent, they will scan it and issue you a ticket.

Internet Photo – Fair Use

You only have a two days to pay for the ticket.  Usually the Greyhound agents are 7-11’s, but not all 7-11’s are agents. To find an agent plug in the zip code of Manhattan where you’re staying at in the Greyhound website and they will give you a list of local ticket agents…there are tons of them in NYC.

Here is a map of the zip codes of Manhattan…


The 7-11’s don’t sell tickets offline without a reservation confirmation, they just are agents. There is a $5 ticketing fee for R/T and $2.50 for one way tickets on top of the ticket price. And don’t forget, you will need a valid photo I.D. for boarding the bus.

To buy a Greyhound ticket offline check with:

Port Authority-Greyhound
625 8th Ave
New York, NY 10018
(212) 971-6325

If you want to travel in comfort you can take the train instead of the bus, but you will be paying a ton more money. The cheapest red eye Amtrak starts at $55 from Philly and they go up from there into the hundreds of $ for a one-way ticket.

Although I shoot a lot in NYC, I’ve never flown into NYC and stayed at a hotel. I can’t afford it. But, even working as a broke bohemian I have 23 book projects under way in various stages of completion that were shot in NYC.

Being a fast worker helps when you are on tight budget. As an example, while shooting in L.A. gay bars I kept getting thrown out or refused entry with my cam. Having a huge IR flash is not a help as well. Still I was able to get enough photos for my ‘Gay Bar’ project to make a book within 45 minutes of shooting at a few bars.

Transwoman &amp; Friend 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. hr

Transwoman & Friend  Infrared flash photo (Candid)

Selection from Gay Bar artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Here is another example of fast work. I produced my book De Wallen: Amsterdam’s Red Light District within 5 days of shooting (Actually 4-1/2 days as I lost half a day to rain.)

33 De Wallen Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

NOTE: Photo is sharper than this. WP reproduced it poorly here.

        Selection from De Wallen: Amsterdam’s Red Light District artist’s book (Candid)                by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The only reason I could do that project was my mother had died and left me a small amount of $$. It was enough to buy some used camera gear on eBay and shoot in Amsterdam for a few days. I asked an institution that had lots of my donated work in its collection if it would chip in $200 for another day to shoot. But they would not even give me $50 towards the project. So I made due with the time allotted me with the budget I could afford.

I would have much preferred to have 2 weeks to work in Amsterdam for the book, but I just shot around the clock to get the book done within my time limits. I seldom sight-see on a trip, it is ALL work. Sightseeing cost $$. If I can see a sight on the fly, then fine, and if not, then it will have to wait until another day. And that is how you have to work as a broke bohemian…a concentrated vision and a streamlined, dedicated and strong work ethic.

…but this presupposes you want to produce something of import. You can work as hard or relaxed as you like. No photo police or head accountants to boss us around!

The reason I’m going into all these subjects other than NYC is to prove to you to not let the dream busters tell you it can’t be done. You, find a way and get it done…irrespective of the low budget, no contacts or cooperation and the critics trashing your projects.

When it comes to travel in the US I seldom stay in a hotel. Wherever I go…I boondock.  (When you are a full timer, the kids call it being a ‘digital nomad.’) I sleep in my vehicle at Wal-Mart’s, rest stops, casinos, hospital parking lots, truck stops, gas stations, 24 hour restaurants, a secluded side street…wherever I can get some relatively secure sleep.

The closest I may get to a hotel is to sleep in their parking lot. I just can’t afford $75 to $100 a day for a hotel, I can barley afford the gas.  For a recent road trip the gas bill alone was over $500. So travel in not cheap any more, even with boondocking. And for the poor photog that does not have much commercial value, where is all that travel $$ going to come from?


Statue of Liberation Through Christ – Memphis, TN

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Back in the 1950’s you could get a cold water flat with the toilet down the hall in the Village for $20 a month. Big artists’ lofts were not much more expensive than a flat. But those days are long gone. Nowadays, the artist must be very sharp to survive and do their art.

Here is an interesting article on some modern day artists living and working in New York.


Here are a couple of articles on the changes gentrification has meant for the artist.



If you come into a little $, I’d advise you to move to NYC for a year or two so you can work uninterrupted. One of the best bargains for the artist that wants to live in NYC is the Morgan Fine Arts Center. They have rooms (cold water 120 sq. ft.) for $600 a month with a 1 yr. lease. The Morgan Building also has open studio day where you can visit some of the artists that work in the building.


Smart Spaces Studios has shared studio space. Prices are reasonable, 24/7 access and very nice inside…


Although it wont help us out, check out these lucky artists that have ‘hit the lotto’ so to speak when it comes to affordable housing for NYC artists.


Women of the Beat Generation Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection m

Cold Water Flat 

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Truck stops are very helpful for anyone on the road for an extended period of time. When I need a shower every few days I shower at a truck stop for $10 – $13 or I use the rest stop or supermarket bathrooms to wash up in. (When you sponge off in the bathroom stalls carry 2 small, wire ‘S’ hooks you make to hang up your clothes on the toilet door. Some doors don’t have clothes hangers any more.)

Here is a national listing of truck stops in the US:


If your located near California you may want to fly into NYC as the R/T ticket on the bus is approaching what you pay for airfare. (About $375 R/T from L.A. via air)

From what they tell me, JFK is preferable to fly into if your using public transportation to get into town and LaGuardia is somewhat cheaper and faster to fly into, but a little harder to get public transport. But this information varies with who I talk to.

JFK seems pretty easy to get to the subway. You take the JFK Express/Air Train to Queens and change to an E train to Manhattan. For LaGuardia you take the M60 bus to the subway.  Someone else told me taking the Q bus makes it is easier to get to the subway via LaGuardia than JFK. I dunno, you check out all the details for yourself.

Here are a few links for JFK and LaGuardia airports that will help you get into Manhattan. Even if flying in, you still use the rest of the broke bohemian plan I lay out here.




If going by bus, use this Greyhound bus station as your final destination in Manhattan.

Port Authority / Greyhound
625 8th Ave
New York, NY 10018

If you have a friend in NYC see if you can stay with them. If not, then your home away from home will be at:

Grand Central Station
89 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017

If you have a friend in Hoboken, Newark or Jersey City stay with them and you can take the PATH into NYC. It is very easy, just more expenses and time consuming…but at least you got a house to sleep in and a warm shower.

If you are the friendly, Facebook type of person you can check out couchsurfers.com   (Facebook banned me after a few weeks.) Couchsurfers is supposed to be free. I’ve never used it, I am a loner and need to be able to go at will day and night. I don’t like being confined, but it may be up your alley.

Here is some feedback from users…you figure it out:


If your friendless in NJ and NYC, don’t want to couchsurf, then when your finished shooting for the day, you curl up on the floor in a corner of Grand Central, homeless style. (If you don’t like to think of yourself as homeless, then think of yourself as hobo’in.) If none of these options appeal to you, stop reading now…you’re not bohemian enuf! There is a big difference between a born bohemian and a boho chic bohemian…one is naturally occurring, the other one is a phony. You figure out what camp you’re in.

In an intro to his review on Amazon of  Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939 by Virginia Nicholson, Lleu Christopher distills what fuels the bohemian life.

“Nicholson has a genuine appreciation for the bohemian spirit, and acknowledges the sacrifices made by many obscure artists, poets and others existing (often marginally) at society’s fringes. For some, the idealistic decision to forsake conventional society for a life dedicated to art, romance, poetry or perhaps a vaguer idea such as beauty or authenticity was never rewarded with any kind of material success. Was there any compensation for those living such marginal lives? Nicholson makes the case that for many, a life dedicated to art, romance and freedom is its own reward. For those who embody the bohemian spirit, material comforts and security are not worth the price of suppressing one’s creativity and individuality.”

You can also bed down at Penn Station for a change of scenery, as well as the subway. If you don’t like sleeping on the floor, go to a busy main transport hub for safety and sleep on the bench.


Subway NYC (Candid)

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

‘Poverty denotes the lack of necessities, whereas simplicity denotes the lack of needs.’ ~ Dervla Murphy  

You goal, while on the street, is to travel as light as possible while taking all the basics you need to get the job done. Work on simplifying your street kit to the bare essentials.

At least you wont have all your life’s possessions to haul around…


Subway NYC (Candid)

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

(…if you want to know why the above photo is not perfect comp, it is because I could not tell if his eyes were cracked open and shot it from the hip, guesstimating at the comp. A rule in candid work is; if you can’t tell if a person’s eyes are open you have to shoot from the hip or some other candid method. Squatting down in front the homeless person to eyeball him in the viewfinder would be a great way to get into a fight if his eye were slit open.)

If you do sleep on the floor and don’t have a pad, bring a trash bag to sleep on or find some cardboard. The floor can be kinda grimy. Sniff out your spot to make sure it wont ‘stink you out’ when your trying to sleep. In a pinch you can also use 2 subway maps folded out to sleep on. They are a little under 2 x 3 feet each.


Subway NYC

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

If you have a few extra bucks pick up a Z Pad. They fold up and weigh next to nothing. Strap it to your pack and you got a cushy and warm pad for sleeping on. If your not sleeping well you wont do your best work shooting. Being young sleeping on concrete may not phase you, but as you get older you may need something cushy to get some sleep.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

In the daytime, Central Park is also a sleep option for getting in some winks. If you’er something of a vampire by nature, shoot most of the day and night and sleep daytime in Central Park. Find an area that is kinda quiet, put in some earplugs or use toilet paper to plug your ears. It also helps if you can get some eye shades. Wal-Mart had some shades for a buck last time I looked.

Some parts of Central Park are OK to sleep in day or night, other parts are not. Study it up before you bed down at night there. But generally speaking, near the richer areas are safer. The city has gotten tougher and may ticket you or arrest you if your caught sleeping in the park at night. You check it out…


Although it is probably too expensive for the broke bohemian, the Pacsafe is a good tool to prevent theft when your on the street / subway sleeping. I bought mine used on eBay. Don’t attach it to a pole and leave it, security may think it is a bomb. Stay with your gear.

If you can’t afford a Pacsafe, them sleep with your arms woven through the pack or rig a bike lock you can attach to the pack and your belt and use the pack for a pillow. If you using a pack as a pillow with no lock or security someone could rip it out from under your head and take off with it.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

Another security option is to use long nylon ties to secure the pack to your belt or someplace on your body while you sleep. Just make sure you have a knife or a pair of dykes to cut the strap.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

While your on the bus and at rest stops you shoot. Same thing in the subways or on the trains. Every step of your journey going and coming…shoot. Make the most of your trip.


Subway NYC (Candid)

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is homeless-man-pouring-urine-in-subway-nano-d.d.teoli-jr.-a.c..jpg

Selection from Daniel D.Teoli Jr. Archival Collection / Comix Archives

Here is a story about a shot I missed because I didn’t take my own advice about always being ready with my cam…

I was walking at dusk to get to Times Square to do some shooting with my IR camera. After a day of pounding the pavement I was tired and had my IR camera and IR flash in the case. I was going to set up when I got to Times Square.  When you add the IR flash to the camera mix, the setup is heavier and more of a pain to carry in your hand.

…I’m not the kind of photog that uses a shoulder strap. I only carry a camera in-hand when street shooting.


I’m going into all this detail to tell you the photo I missed was not due to my lack of skill…it was due to laziness. I could have easily got the photo if I had the camera in-hand and IR flash was charged up. That is the kinda photography I am very highly skilled at. But you know the deal with ‘ifs’…if grandma had balls she would be grandpa! 

I was walking by a homeless man that had just got up from his mess of debris and bedding that was piled up against a building. I saw he had a coffee can in his hand. So I kept an eye on him and I turned to see what he was going to do with the can. I saw he poured urine from the can into the subway grate on the sidewalk.

The original scene was not as cheerful as this comix. But it gets the message across. Well, now you know why the NYC subways stink so much. They are not only used as a sewer by people underneath but get bombarded with human waste from above as well.


Grand Central has nice clean bathrooms and a big, beautiful interior that you can bed down in for some sleep at night. It is a good place to start panhandling some of the money you will need to get back home, but be low key about it.


Grand Central Station NYC (Candid)

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

I mean, you are homeless right? So while your sleeping put out a cup or sign saying ‘anything helps to get a meal’ or ‘stranded and trying to get a bus ticket back home’ and maybe you will wake up with some loose change. Just write it big and clear so it is easy to read.

LAS Busker Daniel D. teoli Jr. thin border mr

Busker Las Vegas

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Here is a rundown on sleeping pads. I recommend the 3/4 Thermorest, that is what I use myself. It rolls up into hardly nothing. (But I think it may be extinct now.) I bought an old, beat up one at a thrift store for $5.  It has a slow leak and only holds air for 6 or 7 hours, but it gets me by. I also use the aforementioned ‘Z pad’ which I bought used on eBay.


Backup link:


A Metro card is about $31 a week for unlimited use.


Sometimes you can find a discarded subway card that is empty and you can refill it with a 7 day pass without having to buy a new card. You can save $1 if you do this. Just scan it in the reader to see what the balance and stats are with the card. (If you are 65 or older or have disabilities you can save 50% on the weekly unlimited Reduced Fare Metro Card.)


If $31 is beyond your budget, then you can always panhandle swipes from arriving passengers. (You wont have much luck from outgoing passengers as the unlimited card can’t be used for 18 minutes after the last swipe for the same route.) You can also use the Metro card for bus rides. When you are beat, take the bus to take a load off your feet and shoot through the bus windows.

If someone asks you for a subway swipe, ask them for .50 or a buck. (Note: selling swipes may be illegal.) When your packing up to go home, see if you can sell your card with the remaining balance to someone for a deal. If you bought a weekly pass it will expire worthless when you leave, so try to get something out of it while it is alive.




Whether you’re boondocking in your vehicle or sleeping on a city street, it is always good to have a plan B, C, D and Z if things don’t work out with plan A. I mean, you could be ready to bed down at Grand Central only to be thrown out by the transit police. Things change rapidly in NYC, so always be ready for the proverbial monkey wrench fucking things up…the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Another option for sleep is on the subway trains…


Subway NYC (Candid)

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Late at night the subway is not as busy. You can stretch out on one of the seats. The end seats have more privacy…

man sleeping in nyc subway d.d. teoli jr.

Subway Sleeper NYC (Candid)

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

When it comes to subway sleepers, the city wavers between trying to clean up the subway or letting it go.  I’ve slept on the train and never had a problem or had a cop bother me. Whatever you decide, be careful if you sleeping on an empty train.






…and don’t forget…you can always catch 40 proverbial winks almost anywhere.

Man sleeping standing up NYC D.D. Teoli Jr.lr

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. (Candid)

If you decide you want some open air sleeping, here are my suggestions. Get some cardboard or a towel and make a little wigwam out of it for privacy. Find a church and camp out on their stairwell.

Living in a cardboard box D.D. Teoli Jr. lr 4

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. (Candid)

Living in a cardboard box D.D. Teoli Jr. lr 3

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. (Candid)

Living in a cardboard box D.D. Teoli Jr. lr 2

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. (Candid)

Your wigwam does not have to be as elaborate as the one below. She is a pro, you just need a few nights out of it…she lives on the street year-in and year-out.

Living in a cardboard box NYC D.D. Teoli Jr. LR

Infrared flash photo – Christmas 2017 NYC (Candid)

Selection from Living in a Cardboard Box artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Here is a tidbit of advice for you up and comers…wanna bring home the goods? Forget holidays…work year round. 


Manhattan is 22.82 square miles, 13 miles long and 2.3 miles wide at its widest point. There are about 57 neighborhoods in Manhattan. You could spend a lifetime just working in all the neighborhoods.

Manhattan_neighborhoods m

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NYC chart for real estate prices

Here is a breakdown on the real estate prices in Manhattan to give you an idea of the areas you may be shooting in. (To me it is a case of the rich versus the rich!)

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The expanded Lower Manhattan area I work is about 13 square miles. So if you got good shoes and feet you can just walk around without a Metro card and shoot while your walking. If you want to go to Brooklyn to expand your territory, walk across the picturesque Brooklyn Bridge. You will have photo ops for the entire bridge walk.


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I’m old, got bad feet, ankles and legs. So I am limited on my walking. That is why I don’t cover all of Manhattan. And I do cover more than Lower Manhattan, just not as much. I also shoot in Queens, Brooklyn and the ferries. Even taking the Metro everywhere and cutting walking to a minimum, my feet and legs act up bad. Some days I just stand on the corner and take photos of people walking by as my feet are so sore. Not a good way to do street work, but that is how it can be when you get old. So make the most of your photography while your young and have the health and energy to do it right.

Being young, you can cover all 5 Boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island. The 5 Boroughs encompass over 300 square miles, so don’t expect to cover it all on one trip. The point is, one can never see it all when it comes to NYC. Everyplace you wander has outstanding photo ops, so you will be shooting day and night. You could spend a lifetime just shooting the Five Points. You will never be at a shortage for street subject matter in NYC.

Shoes are very important to the street photog.    Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Just make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes. Mine are getting a little tired, but are still comfortable. I was looking for a new pair, but all the ones I tried felt terrible.

NYC map used by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. for The Americans...60's years after Frank

NYC Subway map

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Used by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. for The Americans…60 years after Frank project.

Free NYC and vicinity maps (as shown above) can be had at any 24 hour subway booth. The map does not have all the streets in it but you can get to the area and ask directions for fine tuning things. Subway maps are also on the wall in every train and subway station. I used this map for 5-1/2 days. You can see that it is already falling apart. I’d advise to pick up a back-up map when yours is showing signs of distress. Sometimes booths are out of maps and you wont be able to  get one on demand.


If you want a more detailed street map, you can get a freeWhere® IN New York Map’ at most hotels.

Street Map Upper Manhattan D.D. Teoli Jr. A.C.

Street Map Lower Manhattan D.D. Teoli Jr. A.C.

 Fair Use

If you can’t find the map, download hi-res versions here:


If you like taking the bus, get ‘M’ and ‘Q’ bus maps at any 24 hour subway booth.  Or you can download here:

M = Manhattan  –  Q = Queens


If you are a night owl and plan to sleep in the day get a Late Night Subway Service map. After midnight the subway schedule changes drastically. Free maps at the 24 hour booth or download here:


When you want to relax a little, you can ride the ferry to Staten Island for free. Nice views of the Statue of Liberty and some fresh sea air. Take the Metro to Whitehall St. and your there. Great photo ops on the Ferry as well as Staten Island.


Staten Island Ferry – NYC (Candid)

Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

For the ferry I think you take the downtown 1,4,5 R or W trains. You check it out, I’m no expert, I still get lost all the time. But that is the beauty of NYC, you can’t get ‘too lost’ in Manhattan. You can pretty much see the WTC from anywhere in lower Manhattan.


Food is very expensive nowadays. Forget eating out in restaurants, just buying food in the market is sky high. For your trip you can live very well just on Subway sandwiches. Tons of locations in Manhattan. Even one at your home base.

Grand Central Station
52 Vanderbilt Ave
Manhattan, NY

You can get ‘the sub of the day’ for $3.50. If you want to pick and choose, order subs with a good mix of protein and vegetables. Always ask if they can pack it with some extra meat and veggies when they build them custom. Try for low sodium meals so you wont have to drink too much and wont have to pee so often. While public bathrooms can be found in NYC, they are not always easy to find when your bladder is bursting.

If $3.50 is beyond your means check out Gray’s Papaya at 2090 Broadway. It is a cheap eats institution in NYC. You used to be able to get a hot dog for $1.25 in 2005 at Gray’s. Well, time marches on and an all beef dog is now $1.95. Lots of other cheap food in the .75 to $3 range.

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles on Doyers St. in Chinatown is fantastic. Excellent value for a hot, nutritious meal.


OatMeals at 120 West 3rd St. is an interesting café in the Village. But it may be beyond a broke bohemian’s budget. I personally don’t eat there. At $4.25 to $7.00 for a small bowl of oats it is too way too expensive for me. But I use their menu for recipe ideas for making my own oats.


If your camping out in your car, you can buy a giant package of oats for $1.99 to $3.98 and make 30 servings of oats for as little as 6.5 cents per bowl. You figure…6.5 cents versus $4.25 for the same meal. I use quick oats, they use less fuel to cook and are easier for me to chew. Throw a few raisins in the oats and you are ready to go.

Another easy to chew, nutritious meal is ‘Malt O’ Meal’ or ‘Cream of Wheat.’  Cooks very fast and an inexpensive box goes a long, long way. Add some milk to it for more nutrition. Whether it is oats or Malt O’ Meal, they are both filling meals any time of the day.

This is what I use to cook in my car. The little tank of gas seems to go on forever. Oats, soups, tea, coffee, scrambled eggs, poached chicken, rice and veggies…it cooks it all!

Coleman camping propane burner

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You can also find some greens in Central Park during the growing season. Forage for dandelions greens, purslane, cattails, etc. Get a book on foraging before you leave from the library and study it up. Don’t eat wild mushrooms unless you want to die. Now, I’m not up to date with all the laws in NYC, so do your foraging stealthy. I had heard a guy was arrested (albeit decades ago) for criminal mischief for removing vegetation from the park.

I always try to pack a few envelopes of powder milk on my trips. I can mix some in a bottle of water and get extra nutrition or make some reconstituted milk for cereal. If you do mix milk in your one and only water bottle, make sure you rinse the bottle well when your done. Ovaltine or Carnation Breakfast Essentials are also good to pack. Just mix with water or milk and you got a nutritious meal.

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Something important to me are soft foods that do not need a lot of chewing. Over the years I’ve lost lots of teeth. When you get old that is how it is unless you are lucky. I read a set of upper and lower full implant dentures is $50,000. So even if unlucky, as long as rich, you can still chomp well.

Breakfast bars are cheap and nutritious. The soft-baked bars (Kellogg & Great Value / Walmart) almost melt in your mouth as opposed to the hard granola bars that need teeth to grind em up. The bars are lightweight and easy to pack, just dump the boxes and pack the bars. Highly recommended for bus trips or hikes through the city.

If you are looking for nutritious and affordable meat try chicken or beef liver. Sometimes Walmart has chicken livers on sale for .80 cents a pound. Very easy to chew as well. Beside being unaffordable for many bohemian artists, when you are missing teeth, tough beef is hard to chew. Liver poaches very quickly, so it also economical with fuel.

Diane Di Prima (the photo below is possibly one of her from her art model days.) used to buy a nickel cup of coffee in the 1950’s, dump some of the coffee out and load it up with milk for nutrition and sugar and energy.

The old time bohemians of Kerouac’s day used to make tomato soup out of hot water and ketchup packs. In the summer it was a few wedges of lemon, some sugar packs and water. (Well, few fast food joints give out lemon wedges any more.)  If you’re a broke bohemian you are always scrounging and looking out for that ‘little extra’ to make it.

Girls of the Beat Generation Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (2)

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

If your panhandling efforts do not pay off after a day or two after arrival I suggest you cut back on your food allowance to save that $ for a ticket home. You also need to get more aggressive at your begging. You can try going from train car to train car on the subway and asking for spare change to get back home. Tell people your stranded and are trying to raise a few dollars for a bus ticket home. Your not lying, your not doing it for a day job to buy heroin, your telling the truth. Here are some tips:


If you have a talent for entertainment also consider busking. Just keep in mind whatever props you bring should be small so they don’t interfere with your main goal of shooting photos. A harmonica or flute would be good…a guitar, violin or typewriter would not.


Free Poetry  Busker Subway NYC (Candid)

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

(BTW…this broke poet has to cover his left eye to read his poetry. )

If your too broke for a daily Subway sandwich, get a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of cheap bread. Maybe you can scrounge some jam packs and plastic spoons at the local Mac D’s. You will be too broke to buy jam, so the cheap bread and peanut butter is about it for you. You need something to spread the butter, so get some plastic cutlery. And don’t forget to check out Central Park to supplement your diet with foraged greens.

As I am writing this the social justice warriors are working hard to ban all single use plastic products. This includes straws, balloons, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, baby wipes, plastic / Styrofoam containers, balloons, etc.  So someday there may be no free plastic spoons and forks at the fast food houses. We may have to go old school and carry our own spoons, forks and canteens. If this does comes to pass…get a spork. Very handy when on the road.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

While your at Mac D’s, if someone leaves an edible portion of food and takes off, clean off the table for them. Put the tray on the dirty rack and pocket the leftovers. If they are going to trash some of their meal ask if you can have it. May not be pretty, but it beats eating out of the trash.

Here is the deal, you can’t make a career at it, in other words, don’t overstay your welcome. Get a tray or two and take off before you call attention to yourself and they ask you to leave. You can always go to another shop, tons of them n NYC. Once your done eating…start shooting! (See footnote b)

Also check with small food shops, markets, green grocers, fast food, cheese shop, bakeries, etc. Ask them if they have any produce or food they are trashing. A lot of time the food just has a small defect or mold spot on it. If you’re too shy to ask for food, you can pick up lots of disposed food at night once the shops close down.

I’ve drunk 2 week expired milk before and didn’t get sick. Taste is bad, but you will get some nutrition. If you add some sugar to the milk, it is doable. But, no guarantee about this, you are on your own with sour milk. Best thing to do is to test out a mouthful and see how it goes. If no problems, then you can use it in cereal or for drinking. If you do have some issues, try cooking with it.

Carry a small penknife for cleaning up food you find. Just don’t carry a monster knife the police will hassle you over. Every city has their own laws, so check it out. If you get an orange you can peel the orange skin very gingerly and leave most of the white pulp on the orange to eat. It is nutritious and helps fill you up.



If your too broke for a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of cheap bread and don’t want to clean off the leftovers, or dumpster dive, check out…

The Bowery Mission:




They may also help you with a place to sleep for as few days. There are lots of other places you can get some charity food if your broke, research it before your trip. I’m giving you a lot here, but I can’t breastfeed it all to you

Bikers' Mardi Gras Copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Newlywed Couple on their Honeymoon

Selection from Bikers’ Mardi Gras artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

If the food pantry feeds you, offer to do an hours work in exchange for the food. Bohemians can fall into the trap of ‘the world revolves around me’ syndrome. Give back a little once in a while.

This post is my method of giving back. Tony Jones, mentioned at the beginning of this post, helped me out with advice when I was a kid. Now it is my turn to offer something that may be helpful to you. Even if you are broke, always try to help others, even in small ways. It makes for a better world.

Here is the bottom line with the foodif your healthy and normal weight, you wont starve to death for +/- 4 weeks if you don’t eat anything. So don’t be so frantic if you miss some meals. Just drink some water, as you can die of dehydration in a week if you don’t drink anything.


If your going the broke bohemian route I recommend you go to NYC in the Spring or Fall. When the weather is cool, or maybe I should say comfortable, you wont sweat as much. There are also less bugs, less need for showers and you wont need to carry heavy clothes, gloves, boots and hats for the cold.

Another benefit of cool weather trips is you wont need a lot of water to drink. Bring a water bottle when you head out for your trip and keep refilling it on the road. Just be sure to rinse it out one in a while so the water does not get too funky.

…keeping de-funked can be a challenge when you living on the street.

Man Eating Trash 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Barefoot homeless man with soiled pants eating from the trash – Los Angeles

Selection from On the Street artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

For showering or clean up you got a few options. The best one is to get a day pass for free from the YMCA


Internet Photo – Fair Use

Just email any of the NYC Y’s ahead of your trip and they will send you a day pass. Or you could print out this one. (Although the design may change and mine may not be up to date.) And don’t forget to bring a padlock for your locker. Bring a small disposable face towel to dry off with after your shower and a mini bar of hotel soap.

You can also wash up in the bathrooms at Grand Central. It used to be you could bed down at a Y for $5 in the old days. Now it is more like $150 a day in NYC. Well, time moves on and that is why you freeze time, isn’t it…you can stop time!

Remember I told you about the ‘S’ hooks to hang your clothes on in the restroom? The hooks are very handy for keeping the water flowing when you are bathing in a public bathroom or rest stop. Carry a few hooks and a small length of chain to defeat spring loaded auto shut off faucets.

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Nowadays many of the public toilets have gone over to electronic faucets. You can defeat many of them by using small post-it notes to cover the electronic sensor.

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Even though they will still shut off in 45 seconds – 90 seconds, you can get more time out of it for bathing. Just remove the paper from the sensor, wait a few seconds and reapply for more water. (Some of the faucets have gone over to IR sensors that don’t work with paper covers. If you figure out how to keep them running let me know!)

All rest stops don’t have public showers, buy a few do. Use your chain and hooks to keep the water flowing.

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

I also carried various faucet handles and keys with me while on the road, as rest stops many time remove them so people can’t use the water faucet. Carry a 6 foot hose with you and you got a shower!

Internet Photo – Fair Use

If your too busy to shower at the Y, bring along a mini pack of wet wipes to clean your ass up so you wont end up in one of my photos.


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In the old days you could rent a locker for .25 to .50 at the bus / train station. When terrorists got to work the lockers were all taken out. Too easy to store a bomb in the lockers. Nowadays, if you need to park your gear you can do it for about $8 – $10 a day per bag at Schwartz.


Take old underwear and trash them when your done to lighten your load. Weigh everything you take and keep the weight to a min. It is no fun carrying around a lot of stuff on your back day and night.

A boondocking trick for getting by with 1 pair of underwear is to turn them front to back and in and out to get 4 uses out of them. You should get 8 days out of them easy, then trash them.  Wearing 1 and taking 1 should yield you 14 to 16 days of wear minimum.

In an emergency you can wash you clothes in a bathroom sink and set them out to dry in the park on a tree or bench…but did you really come to NYC to waste time doing laundry? A less time intensive way to dry your washed socks is to hook them on your backpack to dry. As you go about your biz they will dry in a few hours.

This is what I use for shampoo…it is 3-1/2 inches long and fits in the palm of your hand.


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Keep your hair crew-cut and you can probably get by with a rinse in the sink and blow dry with the bathroom’s hand blower. Better still is to cut your hair all off your head and shave off your body hair too – hair holds grease and bacteria and requires more washing and more soap.

If your only going to take a shower or two on your trip you an use the mini shampoo for your hair and as a body soap. That will save you from carrying extra weight. The weight of things you carry in your pack is a big concern to the hardcore backpacker. Everything gets weighed and judged on the practicality of having to carry that weight.

Well, the soap and toilet paper companies are working overtime to save you some weight when it comes to carrying their products in your pack. Look at how Ivory soap shrunk over the last couple years. You now pay more for 8 smaller bars of ‘original’ Ivory soap than you would have paid for 10 larger original bars…that is 1.58 pounds of soap now versus 2.40 pounds of soap then.

Old and new Ivory soap comparison D.D. Teoli Jr..

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

As a side note, the liquid dishing soaps have also been heavily diluted over the years. I used to be able to get a nice dilution of Palmolive and some of the other dish soap by using 66% water dilution to 33% soap. Then it changed to a 50% / 50% mix. Now I can hardly get a decent dilution with 25% water 75% soap. Well, it is a way to print $$ for the companies…water is cheaper than soap.

If you have unlimited water and time a ‘doctor’s shower’ will keep you clean longer between showers. I learned it from a surgeon. He told me he washes his hands and arms for 20 minutes before surgery. I applied that idea to my body and wash it and shampoo my hair 2 or 3 times depending on how much time, soap, shampoo and water I have. It helps keep me clean longer. Taking 3 showers at one time dries the skin and hair out, but I’m not going in a beauty contest, so I don’t care.

Selection The Bohemians D.D. Teoli Jr. A.C (2)

Selection from The Beatniks artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection


Cargo pants or cargo shorts make good travel clothes. Lots of pockets and they hold up under abuse. I like camo color myself, as they don’t show the dirt.

A superlight nylon windbreaker works great for cold and rain. It really makes a difference with keeping the cold wind out.

If it does rain, go shoot inside subways and the museums.  Check out: Good Subway Stops for Bad Weather Days: A List of Stations Near Major NYC Attractions


The Met only asks for a donation for a ticket. Give them what you can spare. If your broke, go panhandle .50 and give that to get in. Lots of photo ops as well as inspiration in art museums. The Met is a stupendous bargain. For the price of one ticket you can walk a few blocks down Madison Avenue and also get into the Met Breuer Museum. The Guggenheim also offers a pay as you wish night on Saturdays starting at 5.45 PM.

Here is a list for free museum days in NYC…


Another rainy day or anytime activity is to hit some of NYC’s outstanding photo galleries. Make use of the capital of art galleries while on your trip.

Here is a list of photo galleries:


Here is a list of art galleries:


Here is another list of photo related galleries:


Here is a list of free days for museums:


The Jewish Museum is free every Saturday, ICP has a pay as you like Thursday, Guggenheim has a pay as you like evening. Lots of free stuff to do in NYC.

In June 2017 there were 35 major photography exhibits to see:


If you’re not sleeping or eating, then spend your time wisely…either by pressing the button or getting inspired and learning.

Work smart and map out the galleries you are interested in. Many times there are 2 or 3 galleries within a block or two.

Just in the Fuller Building you have…

Howard Greenberg
Keith De Lellis
Nailya Alexander

And down the block is…Throckmorton.

On W.26th and 27th you have another 5 photo galleries within a block or so. Dumbo has a few galleries right on the same block / close proximity…



Girls have to be extra cautious…

Yellow Fever Subway Sticker D.D. Teoli Jr. Collection

Yellow Fever Subway Skateboard Sticker

 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Gals…there is no there is no way to sugar coat it, but (almost) all (hetero) males will be after your vagina and breasts. That is just a fact of life. As such, I don’t rec you go the ‘living on the street route.’ Save up a little extra, take the bus and go to a hostel.


Also check out Chelsea Cabins if you got $70 a day.


If you must sleep on the ground, get some good pepper spray and don’t look too pretty…if you advertise, you may get a customer. I use this in the Rustbelt, but it is illegal in NY /NJ. So you decide what to use.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

One important feature of any pepper spray you consider is if it can be fired in any position. Nitrogen usually allows the can to be fired upside down. If you get caught off balance you don’t want to be pissin out useless inert gas instead of delivering the hot sauce.

PD 2015 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr - Copy

Infrared flash photograph by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.  (Candid)

Selection from Piercing Darkness artist’s book
by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

The safest route for a girl wanting to boondock and keep her delectables relatively safe is to park at Weehawken Ferry public parking lot, preferably in a van for privacy and pay $19 a day to park and take the ferry back and forth to sleep in your van or car. Just do it stealthy, as the Ferry lot frowns on boondocking.

Port Imperial Garage
500 Port Imperial Blvd
Weehawken, NJ 07086

This plan will add the cost of a weekly ferry pass to your budget and they are not cheap. Don’t try to boondock at the parking lot at the Jersey City Marina on Marin Blvd. It is cheaper, ($13 a day) but if 24 hour security catches you boondocking they will boot your vehicle and you will have to pay a huge fee to get it un-booted. If you can’t pay the un-boot fee it may go into storage…then kiss it goodbye unless you have lots of $.



Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection

Whether male, female, trans, androgynous, gender fluid or bigender, if you’re living in your van or car these items can come in handy…



Internet Photo – Fair Use

Luggaloo…put a disposable bag in it before taking a shit!


Internet Photo – Fair Use

Urinal bottle…Save $8 and use a water bottle you find in the trash. But not as easy as the wide mouth urinal.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

And a ‘Lady J’ for the gals

When sleeping in your vehicle leave the windows cracked about 1/4 inch to allow for air circulation. A sleeping bag, power inverter to change 12v to 110v and a 12v battery charger for your camera and cell phone are also useful. Almost a must for stealthy boondocking is tint or cover the windows for privacy. If you don’t have a sleeping bag find some newspapers to lay out for insulation and get an old blanket at the thrift store.

A boondocking trick I use is to make a  25% alcohol dilution with 75% water in a quart bottle. I use that on a washcloth to clean up. Then I rinse the washcloth out with water and go over my body to wash the alcohol off. This is only good if you have a vehicle to live in as carrying around big bottles of liquid get heavy while on the street.

Vince Lombardi Park & Ride in NJ offers a possibility for (male) boondocking.


Be advised the transit does not run all the time from Vince Lombardi and it can be dangerous to sleep there. I wont boondock there unless it is an emergency.


If you need a camera for your trip check out the early Pentax DSLR’s or an Olympus M4/3. A Pentax K100D Super 6MP DSLR w/18-55 DA zoom lens can be had on eBay for $85 – $100. If you want a prime, the old Pentax manual 50mm f2 lenses go for $15 – $25 each.

If you think 6mp is no good, think again. Beside not being good form under the auspices of ‘beggars can’t be choosers,’ I’ve put many 6mp photos into museums and curated collections round the world.

Here are 3 examples of what you can do with 6mp’s…


…no museum ever asked how many mp’s Faces of Gentrification was.

Uncertain Future copyright 2005 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

Steeplechase 2005 Copyright Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Photos by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

(Click on image to see hi-res version if it looks fuzzy)

But, the ‘bargain of bargains’ for the bohemian photog is the 12mp Olympus E-PL1 M4/3. They go for next to nothing on eBay. You can pick one up with the kit zoom for $75 and up. While your at it, pick up an back-up body for $45. When you’re on the street you have to be self-sufficient. The last thing you want is for your only cam to go on the proverbial fritz and your trip is ruined.

I used M4/3’s extensively for almost a year. They can produce outstanding results for such a small package. The downfall of the M4/3 is they are hard (at least for me) to manually adjust on the fly. I’m an old film photog and used to the manual controls we had on our film cams in the 60’s-70’s. I’m just no good at figuring out these new menu driven cams. With the M4/3 I would have to shoot it on the dummy setting.

Here are some examples of what an M4/3 they can do…on the dummy setting.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHomage to Weegee 2012 copyright 2012 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Twenty-Six Roadkills artists' book no.18 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Fallen Soldier Memorial Copyright 2012 Daniel D. Teoli Jr mr

Photos by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

(Click on image to see hi-res version if it looks fuzzy)

If you do tripod shooting and want something super lightweight, check out the Pedco UltraPod II. I have one I keep in my car, but I have seldom ever used it. I just don’t do much tripod shooting, it is not my nature.

Pedco Ultrapod Tripod

Pedco Ultra Pod Velcro

Pedco UltraPod

3 Photo Series Above – Internet Photos – Fair Use

The nice thing about the UltraPod II is it can be strapped to a pole or tree with the Velcro strap. They can be picked up for next to nothing. I think I paid $7 for mine used.

The Pedco UltraPod Go (below) looks slicker for the hipsters, but it is a lot flimsier design if you are going for a 3 point tripod use.

Pedco UltraPod GO at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Internet Photo – Fair Use

Don’t forget to bring some lens tissue and a small bottle of lens cleaning fluid. If you don’t have any, stop by B&H and ask if they can help you out with a free clean job. They may also let you plug in to charge your battery.  You can also use toilet paper you pick up and some water or fog from your breath to clean your lens. TP from public toilets also works good as a Kleenex substitute if you get a runny nose.


When you get back home, showcase your NYC work. Make a blog called Bohemian on the Street or View from the Street or whatever you like. Photos are meant to be viewed, don’t let them die with you, get them out there. You can also make a slideshow of your photos on YouTube.


I didn’t make this music video, Polichinela Azul made it with music by Suckdog and some of my CC licensed photos. Crazy music! Well, the video creator did a good job as my pix fit the music to the proverbial ‘T.”

When you save up enough $ for another one-way to NYC hit the road again for some more photos. The more you visit NYC, the more comfortable you will get shooting there.

You can also make an artist’s book with your work. While book printing cost $, any broke bohemian can make a website just like this for free using your local libraries internet. Or you can make a pdf book and put it on the net.

Speaking of free internet…here are some options for free internet and USB charging in NYC.



Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT)
625 8th Ave
New York, NY 10018

Apple Store
767 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10153

Apple Store – World Trade Center
185 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007

Also check out hotel lobbies, fast food shops, libraries, etc. for a charge.

If you don’t want to waste time sitting round for your batteries to charge, check out a Waka Waka on the go solar charger. Strap it to your daypack and charge while you shoot.

waka waka power

Waka Waka Power 2

2 Photo series Above – Internet Photos – Fair Use



A good travel guide on NY is DK’s Eyewitness NYC.


Internet Photo – Fair Use

Get it from your library for free or buy last years edition for .05 (plus $3.99 shipping) on Amazon. If you buy the book, you can rip the pages out that you want to save weight carrying it. Book comes with a good NYC map as a bonus.


New York based photographer James Maher put out a fantastic, 110 page PDF book on shooting in NYC…The New York Photographer’s Travel Guide. It covers NYC from A to Z from street shooting to architecture and landscapes. Plus it has lots of general info that may be of help. Don’t miss the tips and shooting op calendar at the end.

Here is an example:

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon blow-up: Forget the Thanksgiving Day Parade itself, the balloon blowing up the night before is the best part. Get close to the floats without as large of a crowd, and walk Central Park West at night illuminated by the work lights.”

And the best part of the book is it is priced to match the broke bohemian’s budget…FREE! (Well, he wants your email address to send you offers. But you will also get his well written photo articles.)


Lots of good sites to give you some photo op ideas.

Walking off the Big Apple blog has detailed info on all sort of dedicated walks throughout NYC.


Time Out New York has tons of stuff, but you must battle the ads and B.S.


The Cheapskate Guide to New York has some good info.


also check out:


Viewing NYC is an excellent, all rounder, photo based blog.


Here is a monster list of NYC blogs for you to sift through…



Although I don’t recommend the broke bohemian takes a winter trip to NYC if they are living homeless style, you may want to try a winter trip after you get some experience under your belt.

You will see a whole different world at Christmas…

Christmas Window Manhattan

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

If you do take a Christmas trip hit 5th Avenue, 34th street, Bryant Park, Madison Avenue, Grand Central, Rockefeller Center, Union Square Christmas Market and the Ice Skating Rinks.

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Be careful at Christmas. The monster crowds make it prime pickpocket season. Lock you pack with a biner or travel lock when you are jammed up in the crowds.

If you don’t have a biner, you can braid the pocket pulls together.

Photo by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

If yo don’t have a biner or lock, a trick is to always keep you backpack swaying from left to right when it a crowd. But the best insurance is to lock the pockets somehow. I was almost robbed on my last trip. A lady bent over in front of me and almost made me fall down. Her partner bumped into my back and had opened a pocket of my pack. Luckily for me my camera was buried under a lot of crap. So the thief did not have enough time to get it out of the pack.


Spring is round the corner, better start planning your trip. Who knows…if you take eye pleasing photos that don’t offend anyone maybe a camera company will sponsor you for cushy junket trips where you can actually sleep in a cheap hotel with bed bugs for your shoot.

Good luck on your photo journey!


(a)  When I first started to shop at Freestyle’s old location in 1969/70 they were more of a dusty warehouse type of shop with aisles of old metal shelving you could dig through. I remember buying some ex-military 4 x 5 glass plates that had expired in the early 1950’s. They still worked great! Freestyle specialized in expired military surplus film, 35mm repackaged movie stock and various photo closeouts back then.

(b) I told someone about cleaning off the tables to eat the scraps and he could not bring himself to do it. I thought back when I had eaten some scrap apples the animals left behind partially eaten on the ground. I just washed them off and cut away the portion the animals ate…they were delicious!

(c) Internet photos are used under the auspices of ‘fair use’.

(d) If any image is fuzzy click on it for high resolution version. Sometimes images do not show up in the proper resolution.



From Girls of the Beat Generation artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

A forthcoming 6 volume artist’s book series by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


A complete list of artist’s books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.


De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.