Missed Connections

In her bathroom, a friend of mine has some really beautiful illustrations of posts from the Craigslist Missed Connections section.  If you’ve never looked at missed connections, you should — there are some really wonderful notes in there (also some sketchy ones).  Here’s a beautiful one from today:

7 train glances on monday – w4m – 20 (7 train Queensbound)

We were sitting opposite each other on the train. We caught eyes early in the ride, but you nodded off through most of it, but looked up as I was getting off. As the train moved you kept looking at me walking to the stairs.

All I want to tell you is that you have the most beautiful clear blue grey eyes.

What’s striking is how many of the missed connections take place in the subway.  I’ve said before that transit is a uniter not a divider; these posts confirm that, and are a really nice view into that slice of NYC life.

The “ad hoc groupings” that take place on the subway also really resonate with the ideas in Dave Weinberger’s Small Pieces Loosely Joined, which I’m reading right now.  Dave talks about how on the web, groups take on a new meaning — they form and unform quickly, and can be formed by very loose connections (such as commenters on a blog post).  The city is the same way — the people I’m standing with on the subway are an ad-hoc group that unforms just as fast as it forms.  But there’s definitely a connection. Typically, it takes an event of some kind, like a man talking into a banana phone or two people having a loud argument, to draw more outward communications among riders.  But underneath it all, there’s a hidden set of communications going on, and it’s really beautiful to see it unearthed through Missed Connections.

It turns out the posters are by a Brooklyn-based artist named Sophie Blackall, who has a whole poster series + a blog on Missed Connections.  Really nice.

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