Privacy is precious in cities. It is indispensable. Perhaps it is precious and indispensable everywhere, but most places you cannot get it. In small settlements everyone knows your affairs. In the city everyone does not- only those you choose to tell will know much about you (Jacobs 1961: 58).
The person I chose to follow is seen in the photo above with two blue bags. I noticed that although she walked fast, she was hunched over a bit because of the bags on her shoulders. She wove in and out of crowds of people and crossed the street slightly before the walking signal flashed. From these observations I can assume that she had somewhere to be or possibly wanted to return home quickly with whatever was in her bag (groceries?).
At first I thought it odd to follow someone, and then it made me realize that someone could be following me and I probably wouldn’t have realized it. I had to slow down quite a lot, making the realization that I walked fairly quickly, even if I had nowhere specific to be. I walked with my hands inside my pocket like I normally would, the only disturbance would be trying to slow my pace. An unusual experience happened for maybe a minute or so when I was walking down the street and no one was walking in the same direction as I was. I hadn’t realized how empty it felt until I was looking for someone to follow.