The only important thing you need to know here: you can get a free, immediate passport photo at 99 Prince Street in New York City. The Rimowa store (say it a little bit German to fit in!) looks to be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
That’s my last (???) piece for The New York Times and it is, like all the best stories in life, purely a search traffic play. The new immortality is that, for years, I will clog Google with results for “Passport Photo NYC WHERE NOW HELP” and in that way touch a little bit of the eternal. It’s really the only reason to type.
I would also like you to know that the agency that handles passports is ALSO required to report any “non-natural” death of an American citizen outside of the United States (and are tasked somewhat with getting your body back as well).
Not really so many American passport-holders die abroad, by their count. Car accidents and drowning are frequent and that’s on holiday locales. At a glance, death by terrorism seems rare. Still, by my quick hand count, more than 55 U.S. citizens died from homicide in Mexico alone in 2020. Seems rather like a lot, not gonna lie! (Don’t be too worried about Mexico, though: In the U.S., in 2019, nearly 20,000 people were murdered, most of them by people using guns.)
What struck me though in the numbers is that an at-first surprising number of U.S. passport holders die from suicide around the world each year. In 2020, for example, it looks like there were six reported American deaths in Italy and three were by suicide. (Didn’t bother to check this, but seems safe to assume that any deaths from coronavirus were counted as “natural.”)
Later, when someone is paying me to think again (that should be Vox Media’s New York Magazine, where I’m to start in August), I’ll think about this again. (Until then, it’s all Fortnite and napping.) I see that a 2007 study of Canadian travelers found that, over a pretty solid stretch of years, only about 3% of deaths overseas were by suicide. Interesting subplot: Two-thirds of out-of-country deaths overall for Canadian citizens were men; the average age of a traveler who died from suicide was 41.
Anyway, don’t forget to check your passport expiration date! Be safe out there!