Old Man in a Village in Jamaica


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It was raining. On the platform of the 59th street subway station a trumpet player was playing “New York, New York”. There were some small puddles near the Music Under New York busking spot, but not too bad. This spot is known for having rain come down on it whenever it rains outside.

Saw Lady at 59th st
Photographer: © Brian Roche

A young lady in glasses came to say ‘hi’. Turns out she worked at Spike TV when they took me to be filmed for a TV show pilot on a farm in upstate NY a while back. She is now a graduate student of social studies. She told me that Spike TV just laid off 850 people. Being one of them, she decided to go into a completely different and more stable field.

An old man came to tell me that the high sound of the saw hurts his ears. I said I was sorry and I played really softly, thinking that he will board the next train. But to my surprise he sat down on the bench near me and deliberately missed not one but two trains! The sound of the saw couldn’t have been hurting his ears that much…

Saw Lady at 59th st

Gentleman: “I’ve just seen you not long ago, and now I’m seeing you again”.
Lady: “I haven’t seen you in so long”.
Another lady: “I haven’t seen musical saw playing since I was a kid. There was an old man in my village in Jamaica who played the musical saw.”

Heth, the guitar player, was on his way back from a private gig. He told me that he and his brother had a horrible day a couple of days ago when they busked at Grand Central Station: first the Hypnotic Brass Band gave them a hard time and then the hip-hop dancers did. Heth & Jed had the permit for the spot but the brass band and then the dancers tried to muscle them out of the spot. It’s sad when buskers don’t have respect for fellow buskers.

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One Response to Old Man in a Village in Jamaica

  1. stan on March 21, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Natalia, i just wanted to ask where you got your license from, i’m trying to figure out where i should go to get one… i was thinking City Hall but, i’m not sure. get back to me if you can, thanks

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