The Israeli Connection
When I arrived at the Music Under New York busking spot at the 34th street subway station, an Andean pan-flute player has been playing there for two hours. Tomorrow he has a booth at a street fair where he sells Andean clothings. He is worried that it might rain and the street fair will be cancelled.
A lady asked me how to get to Macy’s. At the escalator next to me two MTA construction guys were working on fixing the escalator. I could hear they were getting a lot of similar questions from people.
Four Nortenos conferred by the ramp. They then split up – two went down the ramp while the other two went to the newspaper stand.
A guy from Argentina stood behind the columns to my left and videotaped me for a long time. He didn’t ask my permission to videotape me, and he filmed as if he didn’t want to come near me. A sanitation worker told him he shouldn’t film me from so far away – that he should go near me. The guy wouldn’t budge and continued to film.
The sanitation worker held a newspaper in front of the guy’s camera to block his view of me. The guy didn’t budge and continued to film.
The sanitation worker gave up and left. The Argentinian continued to film me.
I finished the song, went over to him and told him that what the sanitation worker was trying to tell him is that if you film a busker – you have to ask their permission first, other wise – it’s like you’re steeling from them. I told him that he hurt my feelings by filming me the way he did. The guy didn’t care – he just left.
It took me a whole hour to shake off the sad feeling he gave me. I have never said ‘no’ to anybody who asked permission to film me (regardless of whether they tipped me or not) – it’s the showing of respect to the busker that is important.
It was nice of the sanitation worker to step in on my behalf.
Photographer: © Chuck Capriola
Somebody gave me Israeli coins. That will come in handy when I go to Israel in September.
A young guy told me it’s three years that he’s been living in Thailand. “I make movies but really I just relax and do nothing”, he said.
At 3:15 Michael Schulman, the electric violin player, came for his permitted spot. I told him about the Israeli coins I got. Turns out he lived in Israel 15 years ago for two years. His girlfriend is from there, too, and might be going there in two weeks. “The Israeli Connection”, Michael said
At Times Square, where I changed trains, a guy was playing keyboard with his left hand, while playing trumpet with his right hand. He interspersed his trumpet playing with singing.
On the train were two Nortenos playing accordion and guitar and singing.