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Close Talkers



Image #1: The closest of the close talkers in the Marylebone area of London


Remember that Seinfeld episode about the close talker? How our ideas of too close have changed! I find myself backing away from neighbors in conversation when I feel they are crossing that imaginary six foot line, wondering why do they keep walking towards me? And if I keep backing up will the keep moving closer? This is Miami where strangers greet you with a kiss on the cheek and the Latin culture has turned gringos, like me, into more touchy feely kinda people. Staying apart just doesn't feel right.


But now I find myself reminiscing about places where people did get too close. Crowed parks and benches on that first perfect day of spring (or winter if you live in Miami) and when the sun first peeks out or that dreadful heat breaks here in sunny Fla. I feel very fortunate to live in a place where sheltering in place means long walks outside, waves and chats with my neighborhoods at a safe distance and standing at the seawall at the edge of my street to look at the water. But with parks closed and cool pop-up events on hold, let's remember some of these places where close talkers were socially acceptable or at least an acceptable annoyance! Here's to the good times.


Image#1: A crowded bench in the Marylebone neighborhood of London. Strangers just piling up onto this round sidewalk bench. The people watching was fantastic.


 


Image # 2: Take it to the Street

Aix en Provence's main drag attracts droves of people. Why? Let's deconstruct the photo. Obligatory fountain, rows of full shade trees, big stripped crosswalks and bollards (those small metal poles along the sidewalks edge) to keep bikes, mopeds and cars off the sidewalk. People on foot only please.


Image #3: Courtyard park in Le Marais district of Paris

An oldie but goodie, this photo shows the carefree ease of Parisian living with ample grass, designated paths for walking and, of course, the obligatory fountain. The buildings around the park make it feel cozy and the row of manicured trees and iron fence protect the space from cars and motorbikes. Are you seeing a trend with the French?