Photo-essay: A Bubbleologist on His Day Off

Grebey_PhotobootcampAssignment2_20130808_09

“It’s too bad you couldn’t do this Wednesday,” said Jack Kocher, 48, as we walked through the pouring rain. “You can’t blow bubbles in the rain.”

Kocher is a bubbleologist, a title he came up with himself. “It took me, like, a half hour,” he said, adding that it took even more time to figure out what the correct spelling of “bubbleologist” ought to be. (It needed the “e” in order to make sense, he decided.)

On Wednesday, he was scheduled to bubble for a production company that would use the footage to show off the high quality of a new HD TV. On Tuesday, though, unable to bubble due to the downpour, Kocher ran errands, picking up the materials he would to blow massive bubbles the next day.

Kocher came to bubbles after living in Central Park for a year, after doing all sorts of odd jobs and activism. He soon became very good at it, drawing a small income from pleased park-goers as he improved his technique. He now makes a living mainly through bubbling. After a couple months bubbling, he realized he was a “homeless guy with $1,000 in my pocket,” and was able to rent a small apartment in rough part of Staten Island, though he intends to leave by the holiday season.

Kocher is taking classes to rebuild his credit score, hoping to move out and into a nice place closer to the park where he can try to be a writer, and hopefully become a grandfather. He has two 24-year-old twin daughters.