Tanya and Chloe

During a trip to Dublin in 1997, I was shooting black & white film around the city.  On the opposite side of the River Liffey, I saw a dramatic black column of smoke.  I decided to go to see what was burning.  Following the smoke took me to a part of the city I normally wouldn’t visit.  It was down Queen Street, and I got right to the fire.  After I took some photos of the blaze, I noticed the locals who were watching around me.  There was a whole gang of kids who hammed it up when I turned my camera on them.  They dragged me to the flats across the street where they lived.  I was particularly charmed by a little girl named Tanya, who stole my heart.  Her little face had flecks of soot from the fire, and she put it right up to the camera.  Her little sister Chloe was also adorable.  I didn’t learn the names of the other children.

Fire from the River Liffey

Fire from the River Liffey

The kids on Queen Street

Chloe and Tanya are on the left

Chloe, Tanya and friend

Chloe, Tanya and another little charmer

Two years later, I returned to Dublin.  I was eager to visit my kids to see how they’d grown.  Tanya had lost her some of her confidence, and she ran away when I tried to get close-ups of her.  She was still cheeky, though, and she’s sticking her tongue out in most of my photos.  Chloe was older and even cuter.  The kids were jumping on an old mattress outside, and the boys lifted it up and accidentally dropped it on Chloe.  She was okay, just a bump on the forehead, but I think my heart stopped when she disappeared under the mattress.

Tanya is the one sticking out her tongue

Tanya is the one sticking out her tongue (r)

Chloe

Chloe

About two years later, I went back again.  The boys were a lot rowdier and tougher, and a boy I’d never seen before tried to run off with my camera bag.  One of the girls grabbed it back.  After I took a few shots, several of the girls escorted me back down Queen Street to the river.  They were obviously worried about me!  That was my last trip to Dublin.  The google street view of Dublin shows me that Smithfield Market, a shopping center, has now replaced the flats.  I wouldn’t find the kids there if I went back.

Queen Street kids, getting bigger and tougher

Queen Street kids, getting bigger and tougher

Tanya and Chloe

Tanya and Chloe, growing up fast

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11 responses to this post.

  1. really stunning photos ~ I often prefer black and white to colour. In fact, I tend to use more B&W for reference for my artwork than colour. There’s so much more intensity and definition, I think. As always, thank you for sharing your talent ~
    Theo

    Reply

    • Thank you, Theo. I miss the contrast and definition of black & white film when I’m using my little pocket-size digital camera now. I also miss traveling with my camera!

      Reply

  2. Posted by Nelia Green on January 24, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Stacey … These B/W photos are incredible – would be wonderful to know where kids are these days – keep up the good work. Can you change your colored pics for B/W image effect in Photoshop?

    Reply

    • You can “desaturate” a color photo in photoshop, but with most photos, the effect is flat and unsatisfying.

      There’s always the slim chance that someone from Dublin will see the photos here and recognize the kids. I’d love to hear from them again. Tanya and Chloe must be in their late teens now.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Katelyn on January 24, 2012 at 8:13 am

    These photos are amazing – how cute are those kids?! Dublin seems to have a lot of fires, I remember reading about a fire at the Guinness Brewery not too long after I left there. Thanks for sharing (and making me miss Dublin).

    Reply

    • The fire was some kind of warehouse with lots of tires, which was why the smoke was so black. I was relieved that nobody was hurt or lost their home. I guess with lots of old buildings, fires are going to happen.
      I’m always happy to make you miss Ireland!

      Reply

  4. Great photos. I worked in a school very close to Queen Street, so I can very much relate to the cheeky attitudes of the kids from the area.

    Reply

    • Aha! A brief visit every two years was enough for me–they exhausted me with their energy! Thanks for dropping by. Keep your eye out for my kids, since they may be scattered about Dublin. They must be in their late teens now.

      Reply

  5. That’s awesome getting to know the kids! :)

    Reply

  6. Posted by Jennifer Mc Adams on April 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    can name most of them in this picture. Chloe, Tanya, Sherree, Danielle and the little boy is Jamie. Chloe finishing school this year, Tanya in College,Sherre is a full time mammy, Danielle works in fashion and Jamie has finished school recently.

    Reply

    • How amazing! It’s what I was hoping would happen when I posted these, but the chances seemed slim. Please say hello for me, and if any of the kids want to contact me through the blog, I can send them lots more scans.

      Reply

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