I suppose every writer in some way or another watches people. Some may do so unabashedly. Others are a bit more discreet. Yet when your life insists you always notice the forest as well as the trees, you can’t quite help but become enamored by the little idiosyncrasies, flubs and casual behavior most wouldn’t notice until people were no longer doing it.

For instance, right now I’m sitting in Madiba Harlem (or MIST Harlem depending on which sign on the building you’re looking at), and most of my fellow patrons would notice the diverse hairstyles, ages and complexions of the people in the coffeeshop. Most would notice the “Mandela for President” advertising bill framed on the corner wall. Quite a few would notice the quote by Steve Biko displayed just above the 3-shelf bookcase near the north entrance. Some might even notice how many times the double-decker tour buses ride pass on 116th St. littered with tourists who a decade ago would never have ventured north of Central Park without a “guide” of a darker hue.

Because I see these things and more, it feels quite arrogant to assume no one else would. People watchers notice a lot of details that gets imprinted on the mind, but can rarely find an outlet for expression in their daily lives. That’s why the arts gives us hope that our attention to detail is a worthy trait.

Here’s a short list of a few other things I’ve noticed over the last few weeks:

Candy Crush Saga

Quite possibly the most popular game played by bored commuters on trains, subways and buses in the tri-state area.

You’re being watched at all times.

The thought that goes through your head as you go about your daily life and realize that there’s a camera in virtually every corner of every room, office, elevator, waiting area and street lamp on the East Coast. London may be the most wired city in the world, but Newark and New York are not too far behind.

Low self-confidence

The ailment most men who insist on manspreading on public transportation seem to be suffering from.

And now for some friendly photos taken while people watching or moving from A to B between people watching fun. 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Allegiance at Long Acre
  • Bryant Park on a Friday night
  • Person of Interest camper
  • The beautiful homes of the UWS
  • UCB Theater