People don’t generally go around giving compliments to each other or wishing random strangers a nice day. But when Improv Everywhere put a podium in a New York park with a bullhorn and the words “Say Something Nice,” that’s just what happened.

A city is often considered a more anonymous place, where people rush by each other and don’t interact. New York has that reputation more than most. Little touches, though, can make a difference in the way people feel about urban spaces. Performance art projects like this one show one of many ways to do that.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.