Skip to content

Observing People

For my qualitative research assignment, I went to Bryant Park in New York City to conduct participant observation. I chose this park because I had passed by earlier in the week and really enjoyed the atmosphere. When I first found the park it was cloudy and not the best weather. The day I went back happened to be an amazing day with sunshine almost the whole day. While observing at the park I learned to really sit back and enjoy what I was seeing. While observing I was able to pick up on certain soundscapes in the environment. Sounds that did not just come from the park but ones in the surrounding area. Being in New York you are always going to hear cars and horns but while in the zone of observing they turned into more of symphony than the annoying sounds that keep you up.

Also, while conducting this research I was able to learn how to better observe human behavior. The way people approached one another and acted towards each other was human and compassionate. They seemed, at least in this park, to be friendly and humanitarian. This was especially evident in the way the library in the park was set up. You could loan any book for however long you wanted as long as you put another book in its place. I thought this was a great idea for the city or whatever library sponsored this to give back the citizens. A way for any person to get a book that he or she liked. The backdrop of Bryant Park was also a fantastic place to sit down and read a book. The park had a nice view of the Met-Life building as well as several other older buildings that towered over the far side of the park. The side behind my chair was open to the city allowing the flow of noises from there to collide with the commotion inside.

The park also had a great mix of ethnicities and backgrounds. From the young adults playing on the ping pong tables to the Wall Street executive types in navy suits and ties. Even the mix of different skin colors representing various corners of the world. The fact that even in one of the most mixed and diverse cities in the world people can be nice to one another. The people in the park showed that we can all coexist without the disturbances of the outside world, because in New York anything is possible, and according to Sinatra you do it your way.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.