This morning I purchased the tickets at a bodega on 7th Avenue in Brooklyn before taking the subway to 14th Street in Manhattan. I was scheduled to conduct Dreams for Free from 3 pm until the tickets were gone as part of the events of Art in Odd Places (AiOP): Number. Janie was with me and as usual her presence made the day more fun.
It was a warm and sunny Friday afternoon—perfect for dreaming. I was anxious about the reception I would get on the 14th Street. The first few people I approached confirmed my fear. They weren’t into sharing anything with me—much less what they would do with millions of dollars.
Janie and I popped into Rags-a-Go-Go to get some AiOP program brochures and we met shop proprietor Joshua Suzanne along with some of her customers. Joshua Suzanne had very specific dreams about changing the face of politics by buying a Senate seat for herself and aligning herself with other like-minded wealthy individuals. Our conversation spanned politics, climate, and Debbie Harry.
Back on the street, we spent a little time observing people. I realized that people taking breaks or waiting for transportation may be more amenable to engaging with us. People standing on the sidewalks smoking were the first dreamers of the day. I especially loved watching the woman with a plastic cape, a hair full of dye, and a cigarette dangling from her lips as she scribbled her hopes for 37 million dollars.
We also encountered a cluster of MTA workers who had just finished their shifts—these men and women enjoyed telling each other what they would do with their winnings. I wondered how many of them kept dreaming on their commutes home that afternoon.