Little New York Conversations are keeping me awake

Little New York Conversations are keeping me awake

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper is the ultimate New York scene. It is deep into the night and the lights still shine bright. Hopper plays with the light giving a hint of how fragile even the strong can be.

Ever since I was introduced to the painting in art history, I felt a deep connection to it. I love art, live art history. This painting transcends that as it catches a snippet of New York time. It is a timeless piece that instead of Greenwich Village could be played out on W. 34th street at midnight after an off-Broadway show starring Parker Posey. Ok. That was a whole lot of New York in that last sentence.

I’ve been inspired to take off my headphones, that block out the New York voices, and take in the conversation streams all around me. None of the snippets make sense individually nor do they make sense as a group. Although, everyone has got a story to tell. Hopper’s painting is about listening and finding those story nuggets. You can walk on by quickly or you can soak in a random thought or two. You could be asleep by 9pm or you can catch some pie at the local diner and get to know the few others seeking pie and light.

As I walked the city without headphones, I soaked in the words. I listened as people spoke loudly and jotted down their very public, vocal conversations. These here are New York snippets that highlight the thirst for acceptance, interpersonal connections, and journey. Although these are snippets from today, the modern-day era, they are probably what Hopper heard his diner Nighthawk characters discussing and contemplating. The hats and shoes may have changed, but the need to connect and find more is still there.

1. “She was getting rehab BEFORE the accident. We don’t go to that guy anymore.”

2. “I wasn’t really looking for a place. But a friend of a friend was involved…you know how it goes.”

3. “I spent a year doing finance stuff but this is now halfway done. You just don’t have a home life.”

4. “Who wants to be treated like someone hates you all the time.”

5. ” I won’t know till I’m there. I had an interview last week for a product management position. …what’s the appropriate amount of time to follow up.”

6. “Brian-listen to me. I need to connect the sink on the 6th floor. My floor is getting all wet. Are you not around? You understand my WOOD is getting all wet.”

7. “Now that I have you on the line, I want to voice my concern.”

8. “it’s like he knew what I was saying. It’s not like he has had a bad life.”

9. “I was 16 once too. I know what i’m doing.”

10. “I know I’m not getting the job because I saw them post the position again 3 days after my interview.”

11. “This was their third date. He was watching scandal last night. Don’t think he got past the bases.”

12. “I’m trying to not drink. No beer or anything past 11. I was in California last year and was so sauced. So sauced, it’s crazy. ”

13. “Hey. Hey how’s the baby. Great. I’ll send you some photos. Yeah. Do that. Got to go.”

14.”I can’t believe you had to drive that chick back. That’s brutal. How sick was she? Man she was I’ll. It took forever to drive back. Had to backtrack like for two hours. Left at 10 and did not get home till about 4am. “

9 replies »

  1. You remember conversational snippets like I tried to remember my dreams for the “Analyzing Dreams” class I took. I was finally able to do that but now I’m almost too good at it and wish I could stop since the subject matter, at least as I interpret it, seems to be repetitive.


  2. Near the beginning of your post, Mimi, you mentioned Edward Hopper. That brought to mind when I was a young woman, touring some museums. The Whitney Museum was one of my favorites, and I do remember that they had some Hopper paintings on display. I did a search and found a video about Hopper and his paintings. Five minutes:

    I’ve always considered myself to be a people watcher. Now, I’ve heard of a people listener. Nice.


  3. We walk a lonely road lost in our own worlds invisible……. imagine if one decides to look up and find the beauty in the moon and the stars……….. wishing beautiful thoughts for you ………….love


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