seen & heard (or not) in 19106

just walking, no conversation

One of my current writing challenges is imagining the movements of my characters.  For example: “‘You’re kidding!’ Sam said, and threw her hands up in the air.” But do people really throw their hands up in the air? Or would she put her hands on her hips? How do I describe gestures? What does angry body language look like? Sad body language? How does a little kid move?

Yesterday morning was sunny and warm. I treated myself to a pumpkin spice coffee (decaf. so the little baby doesn’t arrive in March jazzed up on caffeine) and an old fashioned donut from Dunkin Donuts. I stationed myself on the corner of 6th and Chestnut in front of Independence Hall and watched people walk by. I took pictures and jotted down their conversation in a notepad. The most surprising thing: there was barely any conversation. Maybe it was too early in the morning. Maybe people needed their second cup of coffee. After 45 minutes my coffee was empty, my donut was long gone, and I decided to go home.

[the captions are taken directly from my notes]


2 responses to “seen & heard (or not) in 19106

  1. You’re better off going to an outside bistro for lunch or a place that has happy hours after work – where business people go to let their hair down. Is there a Little Italy like in NYC? – they’d emote like no tomorrow and you’d have no problem hearing them. You could also consider taking a low-level acting class.

    BTW, If I yelled “you’re kidding!” I’d probably shove the person or put my hands on my hips 🙂

  2. I do a number of my runs around Independence Hall area and even during the high touristy season a lot of people just don’t really talk even in big groups (unless there are loads of schoolchildren or something) a lot of them just lay back and take in everything. To a tourist, there’s a lot jumping out at you, the Mall, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell building, and you’re trying to grasp everything at once. Recently took our relatives from London here, and they needed a few minutes to grasp everything around them. It’s generally a quiet buzz.

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