Lemonade In Central Park!

Posted by Nipun Mehta on Jul 15, 2007
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At an afternoon meeting last week, Birju, Chintan, Amitabh and Shephali spontaneously decided to roll out a gift economy lemonade stand in Central Park!  Wasting no time, today was the grand debut.  Birju writes:

Week one of our experiments in truth was a rousing success! We showed up to central park at 5pm, collected 250 smiles and were left with no lemonade… and it all took less than ONE hour!!! The box of 1000 smile cards that we started the day with is now down to about 200, thanks to everyone. =)  (Photos are also online).

Lots of stories:

  • about 5 minutes after we started, 2 people just started helping us out of the blue (Utkarsh & Krupal, who have been copied on this message). They said, ‘if we take one, we must help with at least 10’, and so we had new friends!

  • there was a family that came from australia 2 days ago (the son had his face painted as an American flag). After they got their lemonade, the entire family sat about 10 feet away from us for half an hour while the 3 kids sat there explaining to each other how to use smile cards

  • this one dude could not understand how it was free. He kept asking ‘how much it cost?’ then when he finally got it, he said 'you are my brother!' then he had a taste and said ‘this tastes bad' and walked away LOL.

  • on one side of the walkway was our booth, and on the other was Gandhi’s quote, which MANY people read and pondered. We decided to leave the sign up as we left the park

  • one of the first people to come by asked if we had heard about a recent kindness outbreak in japan where people are leaving envelopes of $80 in public bathrooms randomly!

  • some woman on drugs came by, borrowed Amitabh’s cell, called bunches of random people, then hits on Amitabh ;)

  • Kids brought parents because they wanted the lemonade, the parents were interested because of the smile card poster and usually LOVED the idea. Many people took extra smile cards (as we otherwise would just hand out one)

  • LOTS of people wanted to take pictures of us (a couple people waited 20 minutes for the right shot!)

  • we were doing this about 20ft away from a street magician who took time out for a lemonade break after his performance

  • we met people from all over the world, folks left and came back with others. We needed to explain the concept a lot because it was SOOOO foreign, some folks did not trust, many did though

  • the majority of folks that LOVED the kindness idea didn't even bother with the lemonade. people just lit up, you could see it on their faces, like we showed them a new way to be.

Till next Saturday ...

And here's Birju with a big "smile" ...

Posted by Nipun Mehta | | permalink

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Comments (3)

  • aubrey wrote ...

    I love it! I am smiling right now! What a generous thing to do. It's the little things that truly make a difference. (: I also must thank you all for being my inspiration in giving out my old shopping cards. Birju, I love the photo. You already are ' Mr. Happy', whatever you do!

  • Hitesh wrote ...

    Birju and Friends: Thanks for spreading smiles! Hope you guys had fun. I think we could replicate something similar on Pier 39 :-)

  • chie wrote ...

    inspiring..faith goes way beyong fear and uncertainities