The New York City Eavesdropper


Written by Jack Blocker
27 Monday 27th October 2014

If you've recently picked up a copy of Time Out in London, you might have seen the 'Overheard in the Streets' feature. The little snippets are apparently things Londoners have heard other Londoners say, so naturally, they contain the begrudging sense of self-deprecation that we Brits hold dear: "I spend half my wage on Itsu," "I've got cystitis," "I shit myself on a Tinder date. We're meeting again on Friday." etc etc.

A guy called Mete Erdogan recently got in touch from New York, where he's been running a similar project. But instead of just jotting the quotes down, he's transforming them into unique pieces of typography, and uploading them to his Instagram. As Mete records these conversational snapshots in New York, you know they're gonna be a bit louder, a tad more confessional and altogether more outrageous than their UK counterparts. Wanting him to shed light on the soundbites, we got him to explain some of his most popular posts:

"My girlfriend was behind this one. I'm glad to see that it's resonated so much with everyone. What made it funnier was that we were at this fancy Michelin-starred restaurant. In the end, the food comas won out, which was a huge shame for both of us really."

"This was overheard at a yogurt joint in SoHo. (Not sure if this cuisine takeover has made its way across the channel yet - Ed. - yes, it has unfortunately) I recall a group of college girls huddling among themselves and listening to this girl's harrowing story about a failed paint job in her apartment. I heard very little but the story was punctuated with the thoughtful yet saddening realisation that bad people also wear overalls."

"This is one of my favourites. It was said by this older, hardened yet lively cab driver in the Meatpacking District. The first thing he said when he pulled up to the curb was, "Hey kid! I've been lookin' for ya!" When I hopped in the back, he asked if I had entered the lottery that week, the $40 million draw. I hadn't, but he had it all planned out - everything he would do with the money, who he'd give it to and where he'd donate it. He was very partial to his daughter but a little cold about his ex-wives. The Limo Cab was the last item on his lottery bucket list, I thought it was the most imaginative use of his winnings."

"This was a submission from one of my friends, who heard it at this late-night cookie store. I like to think it was in a conversation between two friends, one of whom was slowly killing herself with a dangerous combo of frozen treats and mid-2000s American dramedy."


"This one stemmed from a back-and-forth between some friends at an adult toy store. It was about unspoken sexual connotations of old kid toys. Hungry Hungry Hippos just couldn't gobble enough balls, Bop It always wanted to be roughed up and Mr. Bucket had a very suspicious design and jingle (more nut-gobbling) that invited a logical comparison to the famous latex mock-vagina." 

"A mate of mine is an extremely talented copywriter and his Facebook feed is a treasure trove of brilliant comedic reflections. Probably the best use of Facebook I've seen. This was his observation on a lot of the younger people around us. It made me chuckle and I knew I had to share it."

Check out more of Mete's work on his Instagram.

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