Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Strangers Project
In 2009, Brandon Doman found himself sitting outside a coffee shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan and suddenly consumed with this need to know other people's stories. So he wrote up a sign and asked strangers to write something about their lives in his notebook and so The Strangers Project began. Doman now lives in New York City and Lord knows there's no shortage of interesting characters passing by you each day. He's collected more than 5,000 anonymous entries from people all over the country and has recently relaunched the site with these stories for us to browse through or contribute one of your own. (My favorite are the handwritten ones.)
And, of course, like all good concepts, the project has been turned into a book. Hearts, Minds, & Flesh is a collection of 693 entries gathered during the first two years of The Strangers Project. You can nab a print version from Amazon or name your own price for a digital version.
Speaking of strangers and stories, four years after meeting through the blogosphere and sharing endless thoughts through snail-mailed letters, I finally met my friend Tooje in person. I've watched her adorable kids grow up (and miss that she no longer blogs) and she was the one who virtually motivated me to attend the blog event where I would meet A. She and her husband joined us for dinner Sunday evening and on Monday I invited her out for some hot chocolate because the dreary day just called for warmth and more catching up.
As sketchy as some people think it to be, the Internet can be a wonderful thing and there a few people who would've never entered my life had it not been for this expanse of World Wide Web.