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Thread: People watching

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    People watching

    A place to share your observations about those zany creatures perched atop the planet Earth's food chain.

    Got a visit at the front counter from a guy I affectionately refer to as "F. Scott Fitzgerald". Whereas most citizens would be content to pound on the counter and say something like "My neighbor at 1234 Main Street is a complete slob. There's garbage all over his porch and he's had two inoperable cars in his drive that he's been 'working on' for over a year now. He's bringing down everyone's property values. What's the city doing about this loser?....."
    But that wouldn't be good enough for ol' F. Scott. No, he'd much rather thoughtfully take note of the time and say something incredibly pretentious like "A curious sense of trepidation descended upon me when I awoke this morning. From where this impulse emerged I cannot honestly say, but the spirit of inquiry spoke with some urgency and drew me inexplicably towards my bedroom window. My hands anxiously cast aside the curtains, and there before me lay sight of the domicile identified by many as 1234 Main Street. Unlike many of the residences in my fair neighborhood, this particular dwelling possesses a somewhat unique and remarkable appearance. Remarkable owing to its' Chinese character. Do not misunderstand me when I say Chinese and infer that the residence in question has a Chinese architectural theme; no such charming pagoda roof stands there. Rather, the evidence of past consumption of Chinese cuisine lies conspicuously on the front porch. I believe some call the 'evidence' I referred to as 'carry-out cartons'. Numerous specimens of these 'carry-out' cartons sit perched atop the porch swing proudly proclaiming their owner's gustatory affinities for all who have eyes to see. Next, I feel compelled to speak of that which is both blessing and bane to modern man: the automobile....."

    I don't know whether to be outraged that the Fokker has to take up so much of my time, or relieved that instead of the usual citizen's angry rant, a resident can instead placidly regale me with droll tales of property maintenance code violations.

    Go ahead and share any interesting or unusual sightings of hu-mans you've recently observed.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Maister - for some reason the way that your F. Scott citizen was speaking is what I imagine a conversation with you would be like in real life.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Maister - for some reason the way that your F. Scott citizen was speaking is what I imagine a conversation with you would be like in real life.
    I'm kinda bad in that regard, but please tell me I'm not that bad Stanfest attendees please back me up!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    People watching at the home improvement store last night while waiting in the checkout line:

    Couple #1 – late 30’s arguing (somewhat cordially) about their impending purchase. She is obviously the one pushing to buy the black bathroom sink on their cart. He is raising what sound to me like reasonable objections but I note it’s his credit card that flashes out come payment time.

    ‘riotgirl’ – early 20’s has blue and purple streaks in her hair. I could be mistaken, but I think she is in a local roller derby team. What is she buying? Why a bag of Combos, Pepsi, and a pack of D cell batteries of course. Isn’t that what you buy when you go to the home improvement store? Don’t tell me you’re one of those losers who buys those sorts of things at the grocery store?

    Couple #2 – early 30’s. The guy is huge. Probably weighs around 400. She is tiny, maybe 100 lbs soaking wet. He gives her a surreptitious pat on the butt. This triggers a sequence of visuals of what likely follows when they get home. How does she breathe?

    Hal – 40’ish. Scruffy beard. I know that’s his name because it says so on his auto shop coveralls. His purchases include saw blades, chains, and a dehumidifier. We were totally testosterone till we got to the dehumidifier

    Nervous guy – 20-something and looks well dressed. Doesn’t seem to be buying anything. He’s looking around. Then he looks around some more. Then he looks behind his left shoulder….then his right…then over the left again. At this point I have to look behind me to see what he’s looking at. Nothing apparently. Turns out he’s buying a tiny kotter pin. Looks back again. Maybe he’s worried someone will see him buying that kotter pin? Maybe Hal makes him nervous?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    My first planning job gave me a great experience about working the front counter. First I have to paint the picture of my co-worker. She was early 40's, wore clothing that was much to tight for her revealing everything including the rolls, always insisted her shoes were Prada, and was man crazy beyond belief. I noticed a gentleman coming down to our counter using his convenient arm mounted tissue to wipe his nose (most of us call this a sleeve). Coming closer he was doing a little mining in said nose (I'm sure we've all dealt with that guy). Seeing him come our way I quickly told my co-worker, "That guys cute, he's all yours," and grabbed filing to go shove away. I will never forget the look of joy and sudden anger when she saw the next customer.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  6. #6
    Waiting for my son to emerge from the tech crew for the school play yesterday afternoon, a group gathers around a high school girl who has to stand 6'-6" in flats. Another large girl, heavier but not as tall, is nearby. An older gentleman (probably grandpa), a couple of very young girls, and some young teen boys (perhaps 7th graders) soon joined the group. One boy in particular, was rather impressed with the tall girl (a cousin, perhaps?), as he took her arm and held it in his, moving ever closer to her. Since he came up to her, uh, chest, it was painfully obvious it wasn't her heart or head he was intrigued by. She shook him off, gently, several times, but he was nothing if not persistent.
    Je suis Charlie Hebdo. Je suis Bataclan. Je suis Bruxelles. Je suis Nice.

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    My first planning job gave me a great experience about working the front counter. First I have to paint the picture of my co-worker. She was early 40's, wore clothing that was much to tight for her revealing everything including the rolls, always insisted her shoes were Prada, and was man crazy beyond belief.
    I was going to say she works here - dresses like she's 20 years younger and 40 lbs lighter than she is, but then it dawned on me - don't guys pretty much dress the same as they did when they were younger and thinner? (I know I do) It seems we have a double standard and there's a greater expectation on the part of women that they're going to 'dress their age' than is the case with men. I guess there's a reason why many of us Y chromosome-types have a reputation for being fashion challenged. Am I wrong?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I was going to say she works here - dresses like she's 20 years younger and 40 lbs lighter than she is, but then it dawned on me - don't guys pretty much dress the same as they did when they were younger and thinner? (I know I do) It seems we have a double standard and there's a greater expectation on the part of women that they're going to 'dress their age' than is the case with men. I guess there's a reason why many of us Y chromosome-types have a reputation for being fashion challenged. Am I wrong?
    You're right about the double standard and yes many of us are fashion challenged. I think the problem is knowing when you're no longer a size 6 or in my case 32. I also think men have it easier. To be fashionable in the office, a good suit works. If not, slacks and a polo, but I'm sure some of the ladies can tell us how bad our fashion actually is.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  9. #9
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    William Whyte. I can think of nothing other than William Whyte whenever anyone mentions people watching.

    If you haven't watched this... do it.

    http://vimeo.com/6821934

    You are welcome.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Was dragged to a very large mall this weekend and did a lot of people watching - saw ALL types. That's the only reason to go to some malls.

    Also waiting to be seated at a restaurant. It's very interesting to see the different people and how they spend their time waiting for a table.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Also waiting to be seated at a restaurant. It's very interesting to see the different people and how they spend their time waiting for a table.
    This begs for elaboration.

    I will say that with couples with children, there's often an entirely different set of considerations that drives their impatience.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I miss the pre-911 days when you could actually wait in the airport terminals. All the major terminals were good but some, like LAX and LAS, could provide entertainment for as long as you could stand to be there.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  13. #13
    Standin on the corner, watchin all the girls go by
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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