In the past I've seen people offering free hugs to strangers in Union Square. Not too long ago I came across the same scene in Washington Square Park. I did a quick Google search, and found that this isn't a random occurrence, but an actual movement called the "Free Hugs Campaign".
It was started in 2004 by an Australian man who felt depressed and alone after returning home from years of living in London. There was nobody to greet him, and he was in need of a hug, so he made a sign offering his own free hugs to strangers and waited to see what would happen.
Apparently, this movement has caught on around the world. Maybe you've seen someone offering free hugs in your own town or city??
Here, a young man and woman are the ones giving out the hugs. While I was photographing them, I only saw one person take them up on their offer. Most people simply glanced over and then walked away, or, like the bystanders in the WS photo and myself, stopped to take photos. :-)
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mesutilgim (79956) 2014-06-15 12:30
Very nice and interesting capture with perfect pov and timing.
I personally would prefer the warm hug :-)
TFS and best regards
SnapRJW (29248) 2014-06-15 12:47
Hi Brenda - I like this idea, a warm hug helps release tension and puts a smile on a person's face. Such a simple act but one that can improve a person's day.
Funny the reaction on the young woman's face... amused? embarrassed? I guess we are not used to strangers reaching out.
An unusual and fascinating DL scene. I've never seen this in Windhoek BTW.
emka (73139) 2014-06-15 14:59
Hello Brenda, Interesting and pleasant scene. Good idea to give someone a hug when he\she needs it. I can also give a warm hug for free :).
Nicely composed picture with excellent colours and sharpness.
Warm regrads and hug:)
wolf38 (30276) 2014-06-16 0:29
Hi Brenda. Truly an original photo. The people who are passing were probably very amused. The basic idea is good and makes clear to people what is really important in life.
Best rgds, Wolfgang.
abmdsudi (39522) 2014-06-16 2:38
Good spot and excellent stuff, the framing works with the smiling figure in the background. Hope they got one two for themselves of a great capture of unusual street life shots ... Interesting candid, Very well done and tx to the extra pict. Congrats
Noel_Byrne (20698) 2014-06-16 11:57
A funny image, and a heart warming one too. The warm fuzzy part of me would want to go over and share the hug, make this purpose have a result. However the cynic inside me would tell me they will likely pickpocket me while doing it. Strange how the modern world has made us feel that something as innocuous as a hug may have a dark purpose. Love the photo and note.
thanks as always
bona (12229) 2014-06-16 16:43
hahaha I saw them in March in Times Square, Carolina hugs one :)
Next year we'll return USA, but we going to visit Chicago this time. I hope have as I have in NY.
I like the photo, the place brings me good memories.
Hugs Brenda, have a nice week
holmertz (37033) 2014-06-19 8:33
This is an amusing and in many ways attractive photo. I am not surprised that most people seemed to have prefered to take pictures rather than getting hugs from unknown people. The bright colors and the nice city environment are a guarantee of fine pictures.
batalay (34723) 2014-06-19 19:02
Of course, nothing that happens in New York can possibly surprise anyone, but your note explains the history of the "free hug" practiced in New York. Just as no one can be surprised by anything there, nowadays cameras have become so ubiquitous, that I'm sure you were not alone capturing this scene.
Have a good weekend,
CLODO (28938) 2014-06-20 0:59
I have seen this kind of scene in Paris, in front of the cathedral.
The girl in the couple seems not to appreciate this offer, she is hidding behind her boyfriend!
Nice street photography.
mursaloglu (8317) 2014-06-20 5:32
Hello dear Brenda
how are u today? great picture . great capture. She says the same things as like the Beatles once upon a time said. Everybody need is love..... Really well done bravo
jcpix (11440) 2014-06-23 17:08
Ahaha, fun shot...how about this for a study in human interaction? :) I would get a kick out of sitting by and watching peoples reactions, I'm sure there are some priceless ones. It would certainly appear as if the approaching lady is amused, but fearful at the same time.
I just had a friend move to Salt Lake City and was actually put off by the fact too many people smile and say 'hello,'...can you believe that would be a problem?? lol
A wonderful look into human behavior, the expression of character is well portrayed here. Daily life with a twist of humor, really well captured and presented. Enjoy the rest of the evening. Take care.
serp2000 (37875) 2014-06-27 5:52
Why not? I like this idea, and I have read about similar actions everywhere in the world. And this is a typical social event for big cities, I think inhabitants of small towns don't want to present their emotions. They are more conservative. Good and very interesting report, Brenda!
I also like the comment of Trekkers.
trevormoffiet (2414) 2014-07-02 4:41
Your photo instantly prompts questions about who is the one in need of a hug.The person with the sign or the person who is being are invited to have a hug. As your note says, it was invented by a person who required a hug. The people passing by obviously didn't need one because they have each other.
BTW The person with the sound system, in my image with the graffiti, was either packing it up or stealing it. There was no music coming from the system at the time.
macjake (52040) 2014-07-04 1:15
I would love to do a long study on who receives more hugs..the women holding up the signs or the men?
hmmm....I'm thinking the women!!!
is it just me or does this give off a little bit of a creepy vibe...i know its not suppose to, but i just can't help myself lol
I like Noel's comment about being pick pocketed while being hugged...thats hilarious!
great post! really enjoyed it.
We're off to Chicago for 6 days, July 19th!!!
Oceania (4522) 2014-07-07 6:39
It's first time I see this kind strange movement, not in person, but from your picture, interesting! The Big Apple leads the trend. The residents of New York know new thing before rest of us.
marabu61 (7351) 2014-07-07 12:07
Couldn't we all do with a nice free hug from time to time...? Unfortunately I haven't met some hugger yet.
Charming every day street scene that brings a smile on my face.
have a great week
annjackman (17751) 2014-07-29 22:40
I have never seen 'free hugs' but what a nice idea. The couple walking towards them do not look very sure about it but then they probably don't need the hugs! A super bit of street life from a city where nothing would surprise me.
Best wishes, Ann