Every other person that walks by stops to say hi

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To my surprise as I got to the spot at 11:40AM – the Andean group playing there before me was all packed-up and ready to go home, even though their permit goes until noon. It turned out that the police gave them a hard time, telling them to lower their volium. They don’t really play that loud. They said they never get bothered by the police anywhere else but that at the Times Square spot the police gives them a hard time.

Oscar the drummer
Oscar the drummer asked me to watch over his equipment while he goes to do some errands.
Gabriel, who plays guitar, gave me info about a place on Canal Street where I could have the battery of my amp replaced.

As we were talking, Frank, who plays guitar, sings in Spanish and whistles on subway platforms stopped to say ‘hi’. He played at the 72nd street station all morning and now was on his way to a different location.

The saw player from Oregon whom I met at the Union square station months ago when the circuse he worked for was in town walked by. It turns out he left the circuse with which he had worked for 10 years and decided to stay in NYC with his girlfriend whom he met here.
He was on his way to performing at a birthday party so he couldn’t stay long to chet.
A guitar player walked by with his guitar and saw that Gabriel has a guitar, so he stopped to ask Gabriel if he could help him with an electric guitar tuner.
Then Gabriel went to do some errands before going to play at the Rosevelt Avenue station in Queens.

Barefoot guitar player
The old guy who sings on platforms with two wood amplifyers walked by and at 12:20 the guy who plays guitar barefoot on the N/R/W/Q platform walked by on his way to his post.
Of course he still had his shoes on when he walked by (he only takes them off to play).

Saw joke of the day:
A guy walked by as I was getting ready to play and asked me if I was sharpening the saw…

A lady told me she had seen me in the ‘Confess/Confuse’ opera at ‘Cornelia Street Cafe’. A guy told me he saw me on TV and then a lady said so, too. That was nice.
'Cool In Your Code' TV show

'Saw Lady' on TV

Then a guy came over all the way from the shuttle to tell me that he has my CD. That was nice, too.

There was a lot of police during the first hour and a half – a group of 4 policemen on my right, anothr group of 4 on my left and a couple in the middle. Mercifully, they didn’t say anything to me.

A group of musicians from Puerto-Rico stopped by to listen to me playing the theme from he movie “Dr. Jivago”. They told me they were on tour. They played in NJ yesterday, and tonight they’ll be playing in NY, then go back home. They were such a nice, jolly and appreciative group – they made my day.

I provided banking sevices to a guy who wanted to change a dollar bill to 4 quarters to make a phone call :)

Norman, a film student from Rutgers Univercity came after 1PM and filmed me the rest of the day for a doccumentary short he is doing as a school project. Unfortunately there was some trouble with the michrophone (school equipment), so he will have to come film me again. But I hope he got some good footage, though. He has also filmed Mat Nozzolio (guitar player) and Yaz Band for his doccumentary but said that I was the liveliest to film :) He also said it seems as if I know everybody – every other person that walks by stops to say ‘hi’ :) That’s what I love about NY – people are so friendly.

NormanPhotographer: Bruce Handy

Photographer: Bruce Handy - THANK YOU so much, Bruce!

Chill and Bow, the two brothers who sing on trains, with their partner came to give me a hug. They always have a kind word to say and a big smile that comes from the heart. As I was playing a last note on a song they walked over harmonizing on that note.

GrayWolf's Dad stopped by for a while, pushing his cart. He was feeling better - he showed me the hospital wrist-band as proof to the fact that he went back to get treatment for his neck. He got liquid morphene from the doctor and now needs to keep his neck warm, so he has a scarf around it.

The guy who does customised NYC art-work canvases (by having passers by sign his canvas) stopped to say 'hi' and noted how GreyWolf's father is my biggest fan (he is so often around when I play) :)
Cavas of guy who does 'I LOVE NY' art-work in public spaces

Kelly, the lady who comes with a folding chair and sits down to listen to me for hours showed up – that was nice. She is one of the subway angels – her hobbie is to listen to subway musicians. I sure enjoy it when she is there.
She always stays until I’m done playing for the day.

Oscar, the drummer, came back to pick up his drum set that I was watching for him.

A guy asked me where I bought my pants. We talked about how expensive Goth cloths are in NYC (and how much cheaper the exact same cloths are in malls outside of NYC). We agreed that these cloths are totally worth their price, though :)

Steven, the ‘Michael Jackson’ dancer showed up with his group of break-dancers. He was hoping to get the spot but then Angel of the Agua Clara band showed up with a permit.
Michael Jackson

The girl who used to be a pick-pocket but now sings on the trains came to give me a high five. I sent her over to say ‘hi’ to ‘Michael Jackson’ because he likes her. I think they would have made a nice couple. But she is looking for a guy with a “regular” job…

At 3pm I gave the spot over to Agua Clara. Their pan-flute player showed me how he has to tune the reeds every time – the weather affects them. He has to put small silver balls into each reed to tune it. Poor people who can’t afford the silver balls tune their pan-flutes with corn.
Agua Clara


5 Responses to Every other person that walks by stops to say hi

  1. mister anchovy on March 25, 2007 at 3:22 am

    That is so cool you have a fan with a folding chair!

  2. Howlin' Hobbit on March 25, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    I know that saw player you talked about. He played with “Moonpenny Opera” which grew out of “Circus Contraption,” right?

    I used to see him at the Pike Place Market here in Seattle (where I both work and busk).

  3. Saw Lady on March 25, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Howlin’ Hobbit,
    Yes – that is the guy! Small world… :)

    Pikes Place is a well known busking place – some day I hope to visit.

  4. Shing on March 27, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Hello Natalia!

    I actually found you because you somehow found my blog on MySpace about
    trying to learn to play the saw! I’m “sawdust bear” or
    http://myspace.com/shingk on MySpace!

    I received the CD yesterday in the mail – I haven’t had a chance to listen to it, but I’m really looking forward to it! I’m really enjoying reading your blog about busking in NY subways too – it’s amazing what street
    performers do and the love inherent in what they do.

    Thank you again!

  5. Saw Lady on March 27, 2007 at 3:31 pm


    THANK YOU very much for purchasing my CD! Wow – small world.
    I hope you like it and that it inspires you to practice your saw :)

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