Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Strangers on a Train

I'm currently reading Sidewalks in the Kingdom, which discusses how faith plays a role in determining the kinds of places in which we live (mainly cities vs suburbs). The chapter I read this morning deals with markers of a city, one being that cities allow for random encounters with strangers. I thought a good bit about this, as I'm encounter hundreds if not thousands of strangers every day...what should this mean and how should I become more aware of my fellow neighbors.

The book examines several aspects of "strangers" in cities, but one is that there is an opportunity for collaboration between people from different backgrounds, with different ways of thinking and ideas and etc. Tonight on the subway I got to witness such an encounter.

As I was waiting for the F train at Jay Street Metrotech, two men were playing classical music - one on a cello and one on a violin. It was beautiful, and a small crowd had gathered round. When the train came, people dispersed and one guy, let's call him Bob, tore off the duet's contact info. Once on the train, another guy, Mark, said he really enjoyed the music and asked Bob if he could take down the information. He whipped out his iPhone and that started a conversation about how they both have the same problem with this app and that app. Pretty soon they were talking about graphic design and exchanging business cards. All because the F train is so slow :)

There's really no point to this, except that I love:
1) when what i'm reading aligns with real life; and
2) random moments with strangers on a train.

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