Rome had the Forum. London has Speaker' s Comer. Now always-on-the-go New Yorkers have Liz and Bill.
Liz and Bill, two college graduates in their early 2Os, have spent a whole year trying to have thousands d people talk to them in subway stations and on busy street comers. Just talk.
Using a 2-foot-tall sign that says, "Talk to Me," they attract conversationalists, who one evening included a mental patient, and men in business suits.
They don't collect money. They don't push religion (宗教). So what's the point?
"To see what happens," said Liz. "We simply enjoy life with open communication(交流)."
Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, they decided to walk from New York City to Washington, a 270-mile trip. They found they loved talking to people along the way and wanted to continue talking with strangers after their return.
"It started as a crazy idea," Liz said. "We were so curious about all the strangers walking by with their life stories. People will talk to us about anything: their jobs, their clothes, their childhood experiences, anything."
Denise wanted to talk about an exam she was about to take. She had stopped by for the second time in two days, to let the two listeners know how it went.
Marcia had lest her husband to a serious disease. "That was very heavy on my mind,” Marcia said. "To be able to talk about it to total strangers was very good," she explained.
To celebrate a year of talking, the two held a get-together in a city park for all the people they had met over the past year. A few hundred people showed up, as well as some television cameramen and reporters.
They may plan more parties or try to attract mare people to join their informal talks. Some publishers have expressed interest in a book, something they say they'll consider.