Kalimba a Terrorist Threat?
I got to the Music Under New York spot at the Times Square subway station at about 11:30AM, and found 2 Andean musicians playing there. I also found a film crew waiting for me!
Monique, a sensitive, intelligent young lady studying film at the Barnard school came to film a short documentary about me. With her she had two friends and also one of her friend’s mother, Amy. I discovered I had two things in common with Amy – her father-in-law played the singing saw (he was from Hungary and immigrated to NYC early in the 20th century), and – Amy studied at the Martha Graham School of Dance (in the 70’s), just like me (in the 90’s).
At noon the two Andean musicians vacated the spot for me and wished me a great day.
While Monique and her crew were filming and interviewing me Ming Jun, the Chinese cello player showed up. He thought he had the permit to the spot, but it turned out his permit was for 3pm. So, he went to play at the GrayBar spot at Grand Central Station to pass the time until 3pm.
The guy who sings on the trains and walks with a cane stopped by with his partner. They sang ‘Pretty Little Girl’ as a gift to me.
A lady told me her father used to play the musical saw. I introduced her to Amy, who’s father-in-law played saw What a coincidence that 3 people with a musical saw connection happen to come together!
William, the white-butler statue guy was working to the left of me. He remembered to set-up not too close to me, for which I was very grateful.
The other gentleman who sings on the trains came to say ‘hi’, smelling nicely of good cologne.
A guy didn’t believe the sound was actually coming from the saw. I asked him how much he is willing to bet on it. He said $100. So, I turned off the back-up music and showed him how the sound is really coming from the blade. There was a guy watching (he later told me he is practising to be a stand-up comedian) and I told him to be the witness. But the non-believing guy wouldn’t admit he was wrong and just kept asking me why I don’t play the violin…
A Dianetics guy walked by carrying a folded table and chairs on a cart. Surprisingly I didn’t see any more dianetics folks – usually they go in groups of 2 or 3.
The youngest looking guy from Dwayne’s hip-hop dancers group, the ‘New York City Float Committee‘ showed up. He asked me if I’ve seen his friends today and I told him that he was the first to show up at their usual gathering spot. He said they plan to meet there but go perform outside, as it is too hot in the subway.
This kid always shows up wearing a different hat. He has been collecting hats (and sneakers to match) since 1996 and he has a closet full of them. He has maybe 100 different hats!
This kid really knows how to turn somersaults.
At 1:45 the guy who strums his guitar while barefoot walked by on his way to his daily spot on the N/R/W/Q trains platform. Of course he wasn’t barefoot yet (he only takes off his shoes to perform).
A guy told me that he is a trombone player. While traveling he was stopped at an air-port on account of a kalimba he had in his bag. The guards almost confiscated the instrument from him on pretext of a terrorist threat…
At 2:10 the Barefoot guitar player walked out of the station… I wonder what happened that he left his post so soon?
At 2:20 Delta Dave came by in his wheel chair, carrying his amp. He didn’t have a permit for today and was scouting for a spot to sing. He asked me if there are a lot of tourists today.
While I was talking with Delta the guy who always yells out “Saw Lady, Saw Lady, Saw Lady, she’s so happy, Saw Lady” walked by, yelling his customary greeting.
Dwayne’s group had gathered a long time ago, and decided to stay underground today. At 3pm I handed the spot over to them. They started their show and Alex, the little “Michael Jackson” dancer joined me in watching them (as I was packing my gear). Alex had a permit for 6pm for Grand Central Station – he was killing time until then.
At 3:15 a policeman put an end to the hip-hop dance show. A moment later Ming Jun (the Chinese cello player) showed up for his permitted spot. As the dancers were packing up their gear the youngest kid told me this same cop has had a grudge for them since the 90’s.
I noticed William, the statue guy, was gone – maybe the policeman chased him out, too.
On my way home on the train a tall kid was selling m&ms. In his spiel he explained he was saving money to travel to Rome.