Talk to Me (NYC)

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Talk To Me is a cultural phenomenon first observed in New York City. In 2002, Bill Wetzel and Liz Barry started hanging out in lawn chairs on New York City street corners with a sign that said "Talk To Me". What surprised many was that the couple appeared genuinely interested in the subjects that were addressed[1][2] and that there was no ulterior motive to their project.[3]

Wetzel came up with the idea for this project in February 2002 out of the desire to get to know a stranger.[4] The duo spent more than three years in various New York City neighborhoods with their sign. They worked small jobs, and lived in part on an anonymous donation who provided them with one year's worth of their daily stipend, $7. They also hosted a Talk Party in Bryant Park where they shared their experiences.[5]

In 2005, Barry and Wetzel spent thirteen months biking from New York City to San Francisco, pausing en route with their sign and leaving from New York with only $2,000.[4]

As of early 2018 visitors to the "Talk To Me" website will be able to access a printable sign saying, "TALK TO ME" and instructions advising people to print out and wear the sign and talk to strangers. There is a newer website that the public can visit, but is more directed towards visitors rather than talking to strangers.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lynne Duke (2003-07-06). "'Talk to Me' Couple Really Want to Hear what Folks Have to Say". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  2. ^ Jessica Johnson (2002-07-29). "Looking for Tales in the Hood". The New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 2003-08-19. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  3. ^ Tina Kelley (2002-08-14). "Talking the Talk, Even with Strangers; an Inquiring Couple with a Sign are Just Looking for a Nice Story". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  4. ^ a b Joe Garofoli (2005-06-02). "At Many Crossings, They Stop, Look and Listen -- to Hear Talk in the Towns". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  5. ^ Alan Feuer (2003-07-13). "At Gathering for Talkers, Listening Balances Palaver". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  6. ^ Barbara Hoffman (2006-01-03). "HEAR THEY ARE – IT'S A LONG STRANGE TRIP FOR THE TALK TO ME TWO". New York Post. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  7. ^ "Get in touch - NYC Talk To Me". NYC Talk To Me. Retrieved 2018-05-11.

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