Friday, April 22, 2011

People Watching


Yesterday marked the first day in over five years that I have taken public transit….and I must admit I had a very good day. I am a people watcher! I had forgotten how enjoyable it was to ride public transit and share space with so many people. I cannot go up to each of them and say “How Do You Do” and shake hands. As I taught my children eons ago …nor can I ask them ‘What’s your name and business?’ But I can watch and imagine.

I wonder who they are, where they are going and why. I wonder where they have been, what roads have taken them here. I wonder what their hopes and dreams might be. Such a diverse collection of people from many walks of life and from many ethnic groups.

The 6:40 a.m. trip comprised mostly business and work people; well groomed and well dressed in preparation for the day ahead. The 12:20 p.m. trip included a different mix of passengers entirely.

You could pretty well tell something about the early morning passengers – dressed for their respective jobs; from nurses to business or retail workers to construction or steel workers. But the afternoon group was a great guessing game. People who were very quiet and restrained; those who looked bone weary, others carrying on converations as though they were the only two people in the world.

I wondered why the young lady across from me looked so angry. Her entire demeanor was one of anger – her facial expression was tense, her mouth firmly set, a look in her eyes that could cut through steel at a hundred yards. About ten minutes into the ride; coming to the end of the bus route her expression changed from anger to such hurt and pain. Her eyes glistened with tears. I sort of wanted to give her hug and tell her all would be well.

So many in the afternoon crowd trying so hard to hold on to youth. I believe mini skirts should be left to the ‘mini age’. Well. at least not to the overweight and those sporting as many wrinkles as my three score and ten face! The lady next to me sported such a skirt and very, very expensive wrap around sunglasses! Granted her ‘bod’ was in pretty good shape but not her face. Or the lady with the brilliant sienna hair and green eyeshadow with a facial expression that denied approach.

Many expressions were just blank; as though if they didn’t look at anyone they could remain anonymous in the crowd. And I love the ones with the ‘music’ plugged into their ears ….chatting on hand held devices at the same time. So many now are what I call ‘plugged in’ with cords attached to their ears.

Interesting to check out their shopping as well. Mother’s with small children trying to conceal ‘easter goodies’ out of sight; an upscale boutique shop for the lady next to me; a couple grocery bags from the farmer’s market for some others.

Love people, love watching people. Love to sketch as well if I can do so without being ‘caught’!

The three portraits included are from people on the bus; the sitting figure was done from a distance at the bus terminal.

Enjoy.  And Happy Easter to all; however you celebrate.


  1. The sketches looks great! Thanks for sharing this! The one with colors is good too...Daniel

  2. There isn't any new post. I just wanted to greet you Happy Easter!...Daniel