I Don’t Believe in Miracles – I Rely on Them

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September 21, 2010
By Posted in Herald Square Subway Station | 1 Comment »

At the elevated subway station a lady who walked down the stairs and was already on the street saw me approaching the subway stairs. She turned around and volunteered to help me bring my busking gear up the stairs, even though she was going in the opposite direction.
First miracle of the day.

At the Music Under New York busking spot at the 34th street subway station, five hip-hop dancers were about to set up. I apologized to them that I have a permit to busk at the spot. They asked if they could at least do one show before I start my performance. I asked them how long it would take and if they could do it right away.
They were a bit intimidating. I hoped they wouldn’t give me a hard time: once they were set up and performing – they might not want to relinquish the spot to me.
After a couple of minutes they decided they will just go busk up stairs in stead of in the subway.
Second miracle of the day.

Busking at 34th st subway
Photographer: Tobias Stäbler

As I started to play my music, the subway station was pretty deserted. It was a slow, gloomy, sleepy Monday. I played a couple of songs, but got no response. I longed to be back home…
An African-American guy approached me. He talked to me but I didn’t understand his accent and all I could make out from his long speech was “never complain”. I nodded to him, thanking him for his encouraging words and I thought: “Never complain”. Pretty much immediately a guy bought my CD and people started paying attention to my music.
Third miracle of the day.

SawLady busking at 34th street subway
Photographer: Tobias Stäbler

A guy named Seth, from Monte Negro (Yugoslavia), took pictures of me. A lady (not with him) asked him if he could send her the photos. She told him that she is publishing a book about music. Just yesterday she sent a picture of a guitar to her publisher, for the book’s cover. Now that she saw me, she would rather use a photo of a musical saw instead, since it’s an old world instrument. She asked me if I would mind being on the cover of her book.
She told me that the guy who took my photos was previously sitting across from her on the train. On top of that, the first story she ever wrote was about a girl named ‘Natalia’. She said this morning she felt it was a blessed day.
Fourth miracle of the day.

subway violin

At 3pm violinist Michael Shulman came for his permitted busking time at the Music Under New York spot. The hip-hop dancers were back. They asked him what time he will be done busking there.


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One Response to I Don’t Believe in Miracles – I Rely on Them

  1. Mary Ann Weiss on September 22, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Hi Natalia,
    I’m a senior, American Studies major at Skidmore College (in Saratoga Springs NY) and for our senior paper we have the opportunity to write about ANYTHING cultural that interests us. Being from NYC, the first thing that came to mind was subways! I’ve focused my topic on music in the subways and while doing research I stumbled upon your blog-you are incredible and provide just the information I’m looking for to start building my paper. I was wondering if I could some how speak with you-over the phone, email, anything- and get your take on the underground music scene.
    I would really really appreciate any help you could offer!
    Mary Ann W.

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