I’m always amazed at how many musicians play in the subway and not just guitar and sax players either. Sometimes a 6 piece band will be assembled at Grand Central, backup singers and all, as if they were riffing at Birdland.
The other day I actually saw a guy with a tuba strapped to his back like an enormous papoose. Boy, did I feel better about that tote bag I was carrying.
Then of course there’s the Jamaican at Grand Army Plaza who plays a perennial drum roll on pots and pans. One can say he cooks, just not in the kitchen.
My favorite fellow though is the little Italian man at The Hunter College stop at 68th and Lex on the accordion. Unlike most, when the train pulls in he doesn’t stop, he keeps on playing like the band on The Titanic.
What I can’t help noticing is how happy these musicians are. My friend Amy says, it’s because they are doing their art and when you’re connected to that profound place in you that feeds every cell, you exist in pure bliss (who needs Joseph Campbell when you have Amy).
I guess you’d pretty much have to be in your creative truth if you were blowing your horn at rush hour since, I’d say only 1 out of 30 commuters will take the time to give you that ‘coinage of appreciation’ so well deserved.
Not me, I have a special Barbie (yes, I bought it at a street fair) change purse that is filled will quarters to always have something to give. You think I’m cheap? Things aren’t always what they seem there Spanky. I just suffer from what I like to call, ‘Queen of England Syndrome’ rarely carrying cash so the fact I keep this secret stash at all, is saying something.
If I ever have a party, and indeed I will, when I decide to like enough people to make it worth my while to clean, I’ll know where to find the entertainment: Penn Station, the underground walk to the shuttle from Times Square, Astor Place on the number 6.
And then there’s that cute, little Italian guy who plays Granada’on the accordion at 68th and Lexington. I’ll save him for that special somebody I’m going to cook for one day.
So you think that’s funny?
It could happen.
This is New York, remember?