Strangers At Scudder Plaza

It was another hot one here in the Great State of New Jersey this past weekend.

Sunday, I wanted to give my wife a few hours “off” so me and the kids headed out, first to a blueberry festival, and then, in the early afternoon, into Princeton.

On Princeton University’s campus, there’s an area called Scudder Plaza, the central point being a reflecting pool and water sculpture called Fountain of Freedom, by James Fitzgerald.

While a nearby sign says “no wading”…it’s pretty hard to keep people from strolling through the ankle deep pool. Or to keep little kids from just flat out laying down in it.

It was there with my kids, though, that I was able to continue on with my 100 Strangers project.

As me and the kids were hanging out, this gal, covered in a multitude of colors came to the wading pool to cool off. Thought maybe she had done some type of “Muddy Buddy” race.

She was there with a young guy, and they were, obviously, very into each other. Very sweet. Also a little embarrassing for me as Olivia and Chase had no problem just hanging out near them while the two were holding hangs. Personal space isn’t an issue to them.

I was with Matthew in his stroller and only had my S95 with me. Not really my portrait camera. But I just had to know WHY she was covered in all these colors – almost looked like it some part of some Hindu celebration.

See what I mean?

I had to find out the story. So, as they were getting ready to leave, I introduced myself and asked to take her portrait.

She told me her name was Lexi, she’s 19, and had just completed a race called The Color Run in Philadelphia. It’s a 5K charity event where the runners get hit with colored chalk at various internals.

Sounded like fun, actually. That’s one way to pass three plus miles of running. I told her about my portrait project and she happily agreed to sit for a quick portrait.

Wanting to find out more, I chatted with her friend as well.

The young guy she was obviously mad for was this gent, Johann. I couldn’t shoot one and not shoot the other, though he wasn’t quite so spectacularly colorful.

At least not in actual color. Personality, very much so. Johann, 21, graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston recently and will soon head to London to pursue his craft.

Johann studies classical music, see, and he aims to be a conductor. He kind of has that Edward Norton look to him.

Talk about pursuing a passion, so I wish him luck.

And what’s really sweet about this story is that Lexi and Johann met while scooping ice cream at the local Thomas Sweet ice cream shop there in Princeton.

I asked what’ll happen to their romance when he heads to the other side of the pond. Both looked at each other and declined to comment – I’m sure they’ve had numerous conversations about it.

Perhaps they’ll make a run for it…or maybe a musical interlude is on on the horizon.

Either way, I wish them luck. They are numbers 84 and 85 in my 100 Strangers Project (slideshow).

Hope Lexi and Johann keep in touch to let me know how it all turns out.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2012 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved

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