This Valentine's Day, A Sweet Look At Almost Love

  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall
  • Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Hide caption
    Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" drawings will be collected into a forthcoming book, and can be found online at missedconnectionsny.blogspot.com
    Sophie Blackall

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In the back pages of newspapers, alt weeklies, and, of course, the online classified ads giant Craigslist, one can find the seeds of love stories — better known as the "Missed Connections" section. These posts are a kind of cupid's bow for those who are too busy or too shy to talk to those strangers who strike their fancy.

In New York, the subway is a common backdrop for these ads, and so the New York Transit Museum is celebrating Valentine's Day this year with a party honoring those missed connections and the art they inspire.

Sophie Blackall i i

hide captionSophie Blackall is an illustrator living in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her forthcoming book is called Missed Connections: Love Lost and Found.

Barbara Sullivan
Sophie Blackall

Sophie Blackall is an illustrator living in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her forthcoming book is called Missed Connections: Love Lost and Found.

Barbara Sullivan

One of the artists featured in the program is Sophie Blackall, an illustrator working in Brooklyn (via Australia), and she spoke with NPR's Audie Cornish about drawing the Missed Connections ads she reads on Craigslist. Her drawings, which you can find (along with Blackall's musings) on her blog, will be collected in a forthcoming book from Workman Publishing, Missed Connections: Love Lost and Found.

"I illustrate children's books for the most part," Blackall says. "And I long wanted to do something a little more grown up. Then I found Missed Connections quite by chance. The most wonderful thing about them was they were infinite; new messages were coming in faster than I could keep up with them."

In one of her drawings, Blackall depicts the following post: "Tree with legs. Nice pants. I'd like to see more of you. Btw, your dog winked at me." In her illustration, Blackall shows a man completely obscured by the giant pine tree he holds in his hands.

"This was around Christmastime, and it was a Christmas tree, I'm assuming." Blackall says. "We've all seen that on the street – it's such a great image of someone obscured by a tree, with just legs underneath. And the dog winking was a perfect touch."

When asked if anyone in the ads ever responds to Blackall's illustrations, she brought up one of her recent drawings: "One of my favorite pictures is called 'We Shared a Bear Suit at an Apartment Party.' I thought that was brilliant. How could you share a bear suit with somebody and not exchange any details? It seemed like such an intimate thing to do."

If you are in New York on Valentine's Day, you can attend the Missed Connections party. i i

hide captionIf you are in New York on Valentine's Day, you can attend the Missed Connections party. Click on the image for details.

Sophie Blackall
If you are in New York on Valentine's Day, you can attend the Missed Connections party.

If you are in New York on Valentine's Day, you can attend the Missed Connections party. Click on the image for details.

Sophie Blackall

"I drew this picture of the woman with the bear head on and the man in the rest of the body," she says. "It made sense that there were two parts of a whole and they couldn't see each other because she was obscured by the head."

And then, as if by magic, the man who had posted the ad in the first place contacted Blackall after seeing her drawing online.

"He sent me a photograph of himself in that bear suit at the party, which was so surreal," she says. "I thought at first that his was the made-up version and mine was the real version, but that's the arrogance of the artist. His was the sort of yellow Winnie the Pooh head, whereas mine was more of a grizzly bear."

So did Blackall's illustration inspire a grizzly love connection? "He never met the girl," she laments. "Sadly she never wrote back to him."

Here's hoping that your Valentine's Day does not leave you alone at a party in half a bear suit — and if you are in New York City, visit the Transit Museum on Monday night. Perhaps you'll make a Missed Connection of your own.

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