13 septembre 2010

Demonstrations, kisses and Chinese students: one 09/11 afternoon in New York

I spent the afternoon yesterday walking on the streets for an assignment: first Ground Zero (unfortunately we could not get to it because of the different memorial ceremonies happening throughout the day), around Ground Zero and City Hall, the south part of Broadway, then 5th Avenue and Bryant Park. It was a beautiful day, and the sun made the picture-taking process much, much easier: pictures always look good when the sun is shining.
Here is a little summary of my day:

When I was in Bryant Park, I saw a group of three Asian hipsters. On the left part, a guy and a girl were taking pictures of themselves kissing while the third one, a girl with her hair dyed in blonde, was busy talking on the phone. They all had skinny jeans and hip sunglasses, except for the blondie.

I was still taking pictures when the guy in the middle leaned over to his friend on the right, mimicked a kiss and held his arm in the air, in a perilous balance, to take a picture with his Iphone. But he lost his balance and almost fell from his chair. They all laughed and suddenly, the blonde girl saw me and said in English: "Hey! I did not pay you to take my picture!" Then I replied "It's just for fun..."

I thought I might as well engage the conversation and start asking a question right away while still taking pictures, a way to entertain them and keep their mind away from the fact that I was snapping non-stop. "Where are you from?", I asked. "China!" replied the blonde girl with a big smile.
My luck. We pursued the conversation in Chinese. The guy instantly turned around when he heard me speak. They are from Shanghai and are studying at St Francis, a private college in Brooklyn.

Then I left the park and ended up in front of the New York Times building.

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