Carnaby Street Pensioners

When I went to London for the first time, it was thanks to a 1982 high school trip with 15 of my classmates. We were “supervised” by one elderly chaperone.

Our time was spent on group outings and other cultural excursions. There were a few gaps in which we were free to explore the city on our own with one admonition. “Stay out of Soho and don’t set foot on Carnaby Street!

When my traveling buddy Pete and I jumped in the first cab we could find, I said, “Carnaby Street” and Pete said, “Step on it!”

It only took a few minutes of walking around Soho to realize that we swallowed the reverse psychology hook completely. The people and places we saw couldn’t have been more different from our small city in middle America. I was particularly enamored with the pins and patches with band names that so many of the locals were wearing.

A couple of months ago, a fellow walked by me in Florida. He was wearing a vest that would have been at home on Carnaby Street. This guy was not a young man. In that moment, I jetted back to 1982 and realized that quite a few of those cool people I saw in Soho are now pensioners.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.