|simple street art|
I did this same thing on the street right outside my dorm when I was a freshman at NYU, I traced the shadows cast by the streetlights with white chalk. At that time I worked hard and did most of the shadows along the entire north side of the block. Curiously, Anne, the mother of Charlotte, also lived in that same dormitory on East 10th Street.
To get a really good effect you need a bright light without any other lights interfering. This fire hydrant was perfect, and I spent less than a minute bent over on the sidewalk.
I was a little embarrassed to be doing this, and I was glad there weren't may people around. I saw what I assumed to be a mother and daughter walking towards me just as I was finishing the outline. At that point I crossed the street and started outlining the shadow of a lamp post.
When I looked back, the mother and daughter were standing next to the door of a brownstone, this was close to the hydrant I had used for this little sidewalk adornment. They were both watching me. The street was dark, and they were poorly lit, and it felt a bit eerie. Not knowing what to do, I timidly waved hello. They both waved back with a kind of sweet happy energy.
Later that night, probably close to midnight, I walked back to my friends apartment. I stood on the stoop and before opening the door I looked across the street to the hydrant I had outlined a few hours earlier. There was a young Asian woman standing there staring at the shadow and chalk outline. A moment later she reached into her pocket, pulled out her phone and took a picture.
Comment from Oct 9th 2014
Wonderful! You do realize that this is the perfect visual metaphor for your blog and your research, right? Tracing the outlines of the shadow. In fact in your interview with Mary Rodwell you actually said, "There is a hidden experience that I feel I can only feel the shadowy outlines of..." at 1:13:54. I thought, "aha!" when you said that, thinking about this image.