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People Watching

November 17, 2008

Yesterday, I rode the 1 train on my way home from church. I had forgotten a book, but the train was so crowded that I had to stand up and hang on, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyways. I’d have to besubway content with people watching. Oh, people watching. I’ve always been a fan, but I’ve learned that it’s particularly interesting on the subway.

Children, especially, are so fun(ny) to observe. Everything’s such an adventure to them. Almost every one of them want to stand or kneel by the windows, with their little elbows propped on the ledge, and peer out into the blackness of the subway tunnels. I always wonder what they expect they’ll see, and when the subway’s not very busy I’ll sneak a peak out the windows too.

There was an artist on the subway today. The boy was about my age. He was sitting in the packed train, sketchpad and Bic Pen in hand, creating beautiful portraits of people. He’d pick a subject when they got on the car, and by the time they got off at their stop, a matter of mere minutes, he’d have captured their beauty on paper. The interesting thing is, while a few people, myself included, were entranced with him and peered around fellow commuters to see him work, he only sketched people that were completely oblivious to the fact they were being drawn. He captured the studious expression and kind wrinkles of an elderly woman reading a novel, and the far-off look and large-billed baseball cap of a sullen teenager. His work was exquisite, and the people being drawn had no idea! They’d just get off at their stop, and he’d flip to a blank page and start again on a new subject.

You never know who could think you’re interesting or beautiful. Someone could be completely enthralled by you without you even realizing it. I think this artist and me are kindred spirits. I’m glad someone else out there is interested in the little, unnoticed details that can be observed only in New York.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Asthma Girl permalink
    November 18, 2008 4:20 pm

    I love when you stand next to be in the subway and I can smell the shampoo you use instead of the homeless man sitting near us.

  2. Typing Police permalink
    November 18, 2008 5:07 pm

    Whoever wrote the first comment is obviously a tool, and not worthy of your friendship, since they don’t seem to be able to type or proof-read. What a loser.

  3. Neal permalink
    November 19, 2008 2:08 am

    Sarah,

    People watching is defintely a favored pastime when in line, using public transportation, or wandering the city. While at the College of Charleston, I spent lots of time on benches in the cistern or on College Way, letting the songs on my Ipod tell their stories and set my mood while I watched students and faculty mill around campus. I found it interesting to see how friends interacted with each other, how guys looked at the girls they were with when they talked, how girls returned those looks, (are those last two weird?) and also how some seemed so occupied in their thoughts it was hard not to wonder what was on their mind. Also, if you got lucky, you could see someone trip, crash on their skateboard, or even fall off their bike! Haha… c’mon, you know that stuff is funny. 🙂

    To touch on something I previously mentioned, walking around campus with your headphones on is awesome. I loved when the songs that came on fit my surroundings, my mood, or just the day in general. Music moves me. 🙂

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