In real life or in his mind?


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October 30, 2008
By Posted in Times Square Subway Station | 1 Comment »

As I was climbing the stairs up to the subway station a young guy asked me “Do you need help?” Usually people hold the bottom end of my cart while I hold the top and together we lift it up the stairs. But this guy grabbed my cart with ONE HAND and carried it by himself all the way up the two flights of stairs!

Nobody was at the busking spot at the Times Square subway station when I got there. The record store next to the spot was playing loud music and in addition – they now have video screens in their window. The screen right next to the busking spot was playing an exercise video.

store at Times Square station

A musical saw player who attended the annual NYC Musical Saw Festival two years ago stopped to say ‘hi’. He doesn’t play the musical saw as much these days.

A guy told me that he plays guitar and asked me about my bow. “Does the hair tear a lot?”
He asked when I would be at this spot again and I explained that on account of the hardship the record store owners are giving buskers, I only come to this spot once every two weeks these days. The guy replied: “See you in two weeks!”

Dave and his three sons who play guitar and percussion on the trains stopped to say ‘hi’.
A man and a woman were handing out religious pamphlets titled ‘End of Times News’, published by the Praise Temple in the Bronx. I was playing ‘Danny Boy’ and the pamphlet guy sang along with me as he was distributing his pamphlets. I told him that he has a nice voice. He asked if I have other religious songs I could play. I told him I do, but on account of the loud music coming out of the store I can’t play soft music – no one would hear me. He said “No, you play – G-D will make you heard. I could hear you from way over there despite the noise from the store” he said, pointing to the other end of the mezzanine.

Times Square subway station

Guitar player/singer Luke Ryan’s daughter and his grandson came to say ‘hi’. It was her birthday and her four and a half year old son was taking her out.

Martina, who used to sing opera in the subway dressed as an angel with wings, came to say ‘hi’. She doesn’t sing in the subway any more – she is trying to focus on auditioning.

The religious pamphlet guy asked me how he could get a permit to perform in the subway. He said he wants to preach in the subway. I told him he doesn’t need a permit for that but he said he wants to bring his son to play the keyboard and drums while he is preaching.

Wane, the big homeless guy with curly hair who always carries a big back-pack, came to say ‘hi’. He told me he has $20,000 by now. He said he travels a lot to Oregon. I’m not sure if that is in real life or in his mind…

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One Response to In real life or in his mind?

  1. Margarita on October 30, 2008 at 12:26 am

    I saw you playing on the other side of the subway station last week. I was so wrapped up in my life’s problems and suddenly, the sound and sight of you playing your saw lifted me up into another world. I think I have seen you play before but for some reason it this particular instance that struck me. Not only are you incredibly gifted – I have never seen a saw player so artfully and subtly bend the saw and never heard an instrument sound so enchanting – but you are also an amazing performer. It was hard to tell you and the saw apart. The whole thing touched me so profoundly and unexpectedly, I couldn’t get it out of my mind all day. I am so glad that you are out there intriguing and inspiring people with your beautiful music and your heartfelt love for (and connection with) your instrument. I think your strange and wonderful music can make people realize that we our problems and differences are easily eclipsed by all the beauty in this world. Thank you for dedicating yourself to this worthwhile endeavor, and for giving me an image to remember when I need to put things into perspective.

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