2011 10 16 Saturday In The Park With Friends

Xiu Lin Tseng, Angelica Jones

IC Date:

Great Lawn, Central Park

Brief log summary::
Xiu Lin Tseng and Angelica Jones encounter one another while each is out enjoying Central Park on a calm Sunday afternoon. They make friends


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A pleasant if cooler Sunday afternoon is a perfect time to visit Central Park for a variety of activities. Some come here to walk, others to run, and others to enjoy the amenities and facilities here, from the equestrian paths to the paddleboats and everything in between. And some come here just to watch people and watch life unfolding around them. For Xiu Lin Tseng, it is an afternoon off without coursework or any calls - yet - from the NYPD, and she is spending it here on the open expanse of the Great Lawn. She is dressed in a traditional Chinese cheongsam tunic of cold grey trimmed with black, and dang lun fung - ankle-gathered pants - of a warmer grey color, black slippers upon her feet. Her long hair is bound back in a braid, and she is going through the precise, dance-like motions of some of her martial forms, all the while watching the plethora of life and activity that surrounds her.

Angelica is standing next to a canvas set on an easel, in her left hand she holds a palette and in her right hand a brush. Several other brushes and a jar of water mixed with paint is set by the easel. On the canvas is an early stage reflection of the park from her vantage, the trees, the bushes, the people jogging about or relaxing. The one thing prominent in this work in progress is the air of relaxation, the utter absence of stress. Angelica looks very deeply focused on her work, barely taking note of anything around her besides the subjects of her painting. She is wearing a white apron over her clothes, and good thing to as it's splattered with random blotches of paint.

Some time later, perhaps just before the light starts to wane, Xiu Lin finally finishes what has been a long and protracted series of forms, including finishing the last at quarter-speed, holding seemingly impossible balance and control in such slow-motion replication of the form. Finished, she dabs at her brow with a towel retreived from a nearby gym bag, and starts walking through the grass towards one of the toe paths. She is approaching Angelica's position, and as she draws closer it will become more obvious to the redhead that she has actually just spotted someone who is a rare breed: shorter than herself!

When Xiu Lin is done with her forms and starts to approach Angelica, the young red head is just reaching to dab her brush in a new mix of colors, before turning to look aside, finding herself in a rare moment where she can actually look down at someone, "you move very beautifully, would you mind if I paint you sometime?" Angelica asks, before returning her attention to the canvas.

The tiny Chinese young woman - the stamp of her ethnicity is pretty well impossible to miss - turns and smiles at the redhead, even though she had not really seemed to have specifically noticed her before now. "Why, thank you." she offers, proving to be - perhaps curiously, perhaps not - without any noticeable accent to her English. "I would not mind that at all. Would you mind if I came around so that I can see what you got of today?" OK. So maybe she did notice Angelica painting today.

Whether given permission or not, Xiu Lin reaches out her hand to offer a warm introduction and greeting. "Pleased to meet you. I an Sue Lynn Tseng." Pronounced close to 'Zeng.'

"Your English is just about perfect, were you born in the States?" Angelica asks, turning to have a better look at Xiu Lin, "I really like your outfit, do they even sell Chinese clothes around here?" Angelica smiles when an interest is expressed in her art, "of course, come over here, you can watch…it's not quite done yet, but I like the mood of this piece."

When Xiu Lin offers a hand, Angelica shrugs as she shows her occupied hands, one with the brush and one with the palette, "I'm sorry, but I don't have a lot of money on my hands and these paints are kinda expensive, so I'd rather not waste what I have on my brush to shake hands. I hope that doesn't offend you, I'm Angelica Jones, nice to meet you, Sue. Is it okay if I call you Sue?"

Xiu Lin smiles and nods, seemingly not at all offended by the observation about her language; she is well aware of how ethnic she looks, especially dressed like this. "Actually, yes. I was born in San Francisco. Raised there as well, though I just returned a few months ago from almost four years abroad in Mainland China and Tibet." That would of course explain her lack of an accent.

Offered a chance, Xiu Lin does come around to take in the painting, examining quite quickly a plethora of details about it and filing them away. She could mention that Angelica seems to have forgotten a few of the folks who were out here today. But that would be rude and mostly unhelpful. She tries not to be rude, and it is a nice and artistic piece nonetheless.

"That's quite alright. I understand. I would not wish to cause you to waste your supplies. They must be precious." Xiu Lin offers. "Of course you may call me Sue, if you like, Angelica. That is a lovely name. The painting looks quite inspired, in a gentle way. If you don't mind an opinion."

"I've never been to San Francisco, but I heard it's really beautiful, I want to see the Golden Gate," Angelica says while largely focusing mostly on the painting, working the brush as if it was guiding her hand rather than the other way around. "I would love to see China even more, I only got to see Japan so far."

"Yeah, especially when you're a high school student with no time for a job, it sucks, but I have to make do with allowance for now. So I really have to save to get new art supplies," Angelica explains, "but I'd love to do a painting of you doing your moves, what do you call that? Karate?" Angelica asks while showing her lacking knowledge in martial arts. Sure she has some training in basic hand to hand combat, but nobody is going to take her for a martial arts movie anytime soon. "Thanks, my friend call me Angel, but I don't know that it fits, I just go with it. So do you know anyone in New York? If not, I could be your first friend." Given an opinion on her paiting, Angelica turns to look at Xiu Lin, "I don't mind it at all, feel free to say what you really think about it. What I'm trying to convey here is how precious the stress free section of nature is in the middle of the bustling city."

"Give yourself time, Angelica. I am sure you will see all of the places you dream of seeing, given a little time." Xiu Lin offers, sounding far wiser than her apparent youth - most would guess she could barely be in high school, at least at first glance - would lead one to believe. "I'm sure you would love the Golden Gate, especially at sunset, backlit like that." The tone in her voice makes it clear: she has seen this with her own eyes, and more than once. And unlike many who may see it every day, she has not taken its beauty for granted.

"What year are you in school?" Xiu Lin queries, just because she's curious.

Rather than seem offended by Angelica's lack of knowledge, or her assumption that Xiu Lin would not know anyone yet in New York, Xiu Lin merely seems gently amused, being of good humor about it all. "I call it 'Wushu.'" she answers, smiling. "And I would say that if you are so kind and open as to offer friendship to someone you just met, then 'Angel' suits you quite well." The girl is definitely beautiful enough, a captivating redhead.

Back to a safe topic, then, like the painting. "I would say you have captured that essence quite well, especially with the washed-out shades of the skyscraper towers as the backdrop to the treeline." Xiu Lin comments with a smile. "I also like your choices of which figures to represent and which to omit. The color palette remains very calm and soothing. It evokes that sense of the oasis."

"There's actually a good chance of that happening, if I really put my mind to it, so you're right, Sue," Angelica says with a smile, thinking about her secret powers, and how all it takes is just figuring out how long it would take to fly all the way there. Of course, she'd also need a GPS, she's not the best at geography. "It sounds like something I might want to paint." Angelica says of Xiu Lin's description of the Golden Gate at sunset.

"I'm a Junior," Angelica answers when asked what year she is in school, though from the looks of it, she's not overly excited and pumped about almost being a Senior like other Juniors might be. "What about you?" Angelica asks in turn, not too sure that Xiu Lin even started attending High School yet from how little she looks. Putting her brush down on the easel for a moment, Angelica looks at Xiu Lin with a warm glow in her eyes, "oh, waw! That's so nice of you to say, Sue! Thank you so much! I'd love to be your friend. I cherish every nice person I meet, there aren't too many of them out there."

Angelica looks mighty pleased at the kind review Xiu Lin gives for her painting, and then reflects, "I think it's nice how we each have our own art, you think you could teach me some of that Wushu stuff sometimes? It almost looks like a dance, and I love dancing."

"If I were more of an artist myself, I would want to paint it too." Xiu Lin offers by way of acknowledgement. Maybe she should try to sketch it from memory, like with the other sketching worth she has been trying lately?

"A Junior. Well, that means you can go to things like the Prom and the Christmas Dance this year." Xiu Lin observes, using her own experience in high school. She was never a Junior, though. She graduated as a sophomore. "Me? Actually, I'm not in school anymore. I pushed myself and finished early, so that I could go overseas. Now that I'm back, I'm actually getting a real job."

Angelica's enthusiasm for their potential friendship is endearing, and Xiu smiles happily. No hug for now, but she thinks about it. "I too cherish each person I meet, for each yields the potential for transformation." Now doesn't /that/ sound like Xiu has had a few too many fortune cookies?

"Teach? My masters said that I should, but I have never taught anyone before." Xiu Lin admits. "The forms and pattens in Wushu can be very much like dancing. I could try to teach you, if you would like." She doesn't bother to warn the other girl that she has been studying martial arts for most of her entire life. No need to scare her off, after all. "As for art forms, I am learning to sketch, trying to improve my technique. And I am handy with a needle, thread and scissors. I made this outfit, actually."

"I can give you painting lessons, if you'd like, Sue," Angelica offers amicably as she returns her focus to her painting, mixing a few paints on her palette and adding a layer to the bushes in her painting, "I guess you're right, I should be able to go to Proma nd the Christmas Dance, it's just, I don't seem to have very good luck when it comes to dances and balls, it will probably be ruined one way or another," and indeed Angelica seems to almost expect disappointment in that regards. Every single time she had a chance to enjoy herself at a dance, some disaster or other struck, and usually the jarring and shocking kinds of disasters.

"You graduated school already?" Angelica sounds quite surprised, nearly dropping her brush, "but you're younger then me! Waw! That's amazing!" Angelica does peer a bit awkwardly at Xiu Lin when she gives the fortune cookie speech, but she's much too nice a girl to say anything about it. She just takes it as a culture clash issue. "Well, you can start teaching with me, it could be fun!" Angelica takes a bit more interest when art is mentioned, "really? Do you have any of your sketches on you!?" Angelica's eyes light up at the last bit where Xiu Lin mentions having made her outfit, "oh my god!! You are totally making me one too! Please, please, please!?"

Xiu Lin smiles a bit. "I could take a few lessons. If nothing else, it might help as a new perspective on visualization." That and composition, to help with her sketching. She does seem disheartened by Angelica's disappointed response about the dances, and doesn't know enough about the girl's background to speak intelligently about it. It's also not quite her place to ask questions. Not right now. All she can say is, "I hope it wouldn't be like that." Hope. It can spring eternal, can't it? Right?

Xiu Lin bows her head a bit. "I have." But she twists her lips wryly at the assumption of her age. This happens all of the time. "Actually, I am nineteen now. I'm just very small, and I apparently have a 'baby face'." The air-quotes are audible. She doesn't seem to mind too terribly, though, despite being assumed a minor on sight. "I do not have any of my sketches with me. But if we get together to try teaching each other, I could bring them along then." She considers briefly. "Perhaps that would be a good idea? I could make you an outfit like this, and if I do a good job it will fit you better for these kinds of activities than most anything else you can get." Better even than sweats, or at least the sweats that most teen girls would wear. "We would need to visit my home or yours, for a fitting."" Up to this point, everything they've discussed has been doable with just cellphone numbers exchanged and meetings in public places. But not so, fittings for clothing.

"Sure, it could do that," Angel agrees with Xiu Lin without really understanding precisely what she means. "Hope is the only thing I have when it comes to dances, and it usually winds up being shattered."

"Wait! You're 19? No way! I can't be younger than you…how do you drive a car? Don't they always pull you over to check on your permit?" Angel looks like she sympathizes with Xiu Lin a bit, rather assuming on the hardships she must face, but also feels a bit annoyed to think that she finally found someone she can look down at, and even that person is older than her. "Anyways, I would love to see your sketches. Maybe I can give you some tips, or learn from you." Angel considers for a moment, and then nods, "I'm sure my dad wouldn't have any issues with me visiting a friend, would you mind if we do it at your place?"

"It seems a shame that your hope is always shattered, Angelica. I wish it were not so, that you could hope for all the wonderful, beautiful things that are supposed to happen at dances." Xiu Lin understands the dream most girls hold of the Disney Princess-like wonders dances should turn into reality. She also understands, at least in part, how hard it can be if that doesn't happen.

"I would not lie." Xiu offers, smiling. "Yes, I am nineteen. And I do not get pulled over: I do not drive. I do not even have a driver's license, only a state-issued ID and a passport." She is loving living in New York City, where she doesn't /need/ a license to get about. "I would not mind if we did it at my place, if you did not. I have a small apartment in Alphabet City. It's very convenient to the bus and subway routes." And she would probably escort Angelica to her stop and make sure she got off safely for home. She's like that.

For now, Xiu Lin thinks perhaps an exchange of cellphone numbers would help, so she fishes in her bag and brings out her own phone. "I should give you my number, so that you can call me." She doesn't ask for Angelica's, but leaves it to the lovely redhead to offer herself when she's ready.

Angel can't help it when Xiu Lin speaks those words, she puts down her brush and palette, takes off her apron and leaves it hanging on the easel, before reaching to embrace Xiu Lin warmly, unless the girl would make a nimble escape, "you are so right, Sue, you remind me of my nana, you're so smart. I wish I was smart like you, it would help a lot." Angelica holds the hug for a moment if allowed before letting go, assuming Xiu Lin accepts her hug in the first place. "You don't drive? Oh right, you're from the city aren't you? Everybody gets by subway over here…"

"It's okay, Sue, I can drive and my dad would let me borrow the car on the weekend, I'm sure of it!" Angelica seems set on having that fitting at Xiu Lin's place, how cool would it be to show up in school wearing oriental clothes. Bending down to reach for her purse, down by the easel, Angel pulls out her own bedazzled cellphone, operating it with quick masterful thumb presses, "do you have blue tooth? I can just send my number to your phone directly!"

Xiu Lin knows - it was only a minute or so ago - how precious Angelica's materials are to her, and so she recognizes better than some how much it must mean to her, that she would put everything away even like that to give her a hug. So Xiu Lin accepts the hug, if a mite gingerly - they're new to each other, after all - still warmly. "I would not say that I am quite so smart. Many are smarter." But she is highly intuitive, and she does have an air of the truly wise about her. Darned insightful too.

"Very well. But you must promise to allow me to meet you at your car if you drive in, and escort you back." Little she may be, but Xiu Lin is fierce, and she will protect her new friend. Not everything in her neighborhood is quite so safe. She has no way of knowing Angelica could melt anyone getting uppity. She holds her phone for a moment, fiddling with it, and activates the Bluetooth functionality. "I believe it is pairing now." And moments later their numbers and other information are echanged, including Xiu's address. Angel will even have Xiu's work number and address, though she may never think to look and realize her little friend is working as a translator for the NYPD.

"I should let you get back to your painting. I would not wish to see any of your precious paints go to waste." Xiu Lin offers with a smile. "Why don't you keep working, and I'll just watch for a while?" Just that simple. Right?

"You're easily the smartest, shortest girl then me, that I ever met," Angelica offers with a smile, thinking she managed to phrase it in a way that Xiu Lin wouldn't be able to deny it. "Sure, you can meet me downstairs and then we can go to your place, my car isn't all that great though, my father doesn't really make a lot of money." Angel offers to lower expectation, not that Xiu Lin is as shallow as the kids in her high school, but Angel has been getting some jeers over the weak car she was driving, no style at all.

While the numbers and addresses eventually exchange, there is an odd interference in the transmission between the two phones, and if Xiu Lin would pay close attention she may notice the screen flickering. Regardless, once the information has been exchanged, Angelica nods and puts her phone back in her purse, "awesome! I can't wait for the weekend then, I'll give you a call!"

Moving to don the apron back over her clothes, Angel grabs a hold of her palette an brush, washing it in the jar of water before reaching for new paints, working on the sky now, "thanks, Sue, I really appreciate how you can tell how important it is for me and we've only just met. I think we'll be great friends! Feel free to watch and ask any questions if you have them!"

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