Nighthawks – Edward Hopper, 1942
For daygame to work properly you need a big city with a high population density, the more pedestrian the better. Anything over a million people works well, but the magic really happens in the mega melting pot cities like London (9 million), New York City (8.5 million) or Tokyo (9 million). Conditions are just right for Secret Society liaisons – transience, anonymity and, above all, loneliness.
People naturally associate the idea of being lonely as a bad thing. A Street Hustler knows different. When girls are in these big cities as students, tourists, runaways or passing through passengers then there are optimal daygame opportunities. Single people have less of a plan, they amble, they daydream and wander. A dreamy girl alone in a cafe is far more likely to be open to a spontaneous adventure with a cheeky cad than an office girl rushing around on a mission.
Loneliness lets a girl feel free and away from the prying eyes of her family and friends. She can indulge in Secret Society pleasures and fantasies without worrying who’s watching. Likewise, the lonely daygamer who’s landed in a strange new city all by himself has nothing to lose and everything to gain from talking to strangers.
My favourite artist is Edward Hopper, a former resident of Washington Square in New York City and notorious for capturing on canvas this very quality of melancholic city isolation which has beauty to it. The loneliness within stills the senses and sharpens the experiences to cinematic proportions.
As a daygamer, embrace this feeling. It’s the key to unlocking a city’s guilty pleasures.