National Geographic : 1993 May
On Assignment Abig head means no small talk from performance artist Danny Mydlack, trying out a character called Bec in Central Park. Since his mouth could not move, Bec proved a tough interview for free-lance photographer JosE AZEL (above). "All he would do was nod," says Jose. "I finally figured out that he was still in charac ter and got him to write his name and phone number." Although Jose now makes his home in the quiet woods of Maine with his wife and two children, New York City is familiar territory-his base for five years. Central Park is still special, says Jose. "You can go there every day and it will be different. It's a micro cosm of the city." Only one problem marred his coverage-shy New York ers. "I've never seen people so adamant about not being photographed," he says. "People in Central Park kept telling me, 'Don't take my picture!' " Staff writer ALAN MAIRSON had his own trouble with masks as he fol lowed migratory beekeepers. A few seconds after this photograph was taken, Alan realized the borrowed bee suit didn't quite fit his six-foot four-inch frame. Several bees had found an inviting gap between hood and coverall, forcing Alan to drop his notebook and dash for a bee-free zone. "I couldn't reach for the bees inside my veil without letting more in," he recalls, "but they reached me. My face was so swollen that I looked like I'd been beaten up." A native of Lexington, Massachu setts, Alan attended Wesleyan Uni versity, serving as photo editor for the college newspaper. "Dur ing a 1984 trip abroad I took pictures and kept a journal and was surprised to find the writing more rewarding," says Alan. He honed his skills as a writer for the Society's Educational Media Division, and then in 1990 he joined the magazine staff. One entomologist told Alan that for most people bee phobia ranks with the fear of public speaking and the fear of death. But Alan stands among the brave. "I got stung too many times to count," he says of working on his first GEOGRAPHIC article, "but I really can't blame the bees -I was stealing their honey." NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC(ISSN 0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLYBYTHENATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY,17THANDM STS. N.W., WASHINGTON,D. C. 20036. $21.00 A YEAR,$2.65 A COPY. SECOND-CLASS POSTAGEPAIDAT WASHINGTON,D. C., AND ELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SENDADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O. BOX2174, WASHINGTON,D. C. 20013.