Leontyne Price Singing on Your Lap
The train wasn’t working in the Manhattan direction. On my way to play in the NYC subway today I had to take the train going away from Manhattan, then transfer to one heading to Manhattan.
Professor Eduardo Alvarado was playing on the mezzanine at the Times Square subway station. His son, Louis, was listening to how the noise from the music store clashes with his father’s music. We discussed the different busking spots and how none matched what this Times Square spot used to be before the store opened.
As I was setting up by the mosaics a guy rearranged the content of his plastic bag by me. He said: “I love your performance”. I thought he was joking, since I wasn’t playing, so I said: “I haven’t started playing yet!”. He said: “I’ve seen you before”.
A man came out of the elevator with a lady. He had a big medal hanging from his neck.
A guy who listened to my playing for a while with his eyes closed said: “It sounds like Leontyne Price singing on your lap.”
A strange guy kept talking to me and hovering over me while I was playing, telling me how he works with Eminem and other rappers and how he will send me a limo to take me to record in PA…
A man on his way to the elevator was wearing a big medal hanging from his neck. Is it possible this is the same man from before?
A lady asked me to turn down my volume because she needs to make a phone call. That’s a first.
The old hunched-over Chinese lady carrying a plastic bag in each hand walked by a little before 3pm, as she always does.
A man walked by me with a big medal hanging from his neck. This definitely was not the same man as before!
The Chinese dulcimer player who never says ‘hi’ walked by and didn’t say ‘hi’, but a guitar player walked by and did say ‘hi’, as did the lady who paints Chinese name signs upstairs.
A lady stopped to listen to me and she had a big medal hanging from her neck. By this point I couldn’t contain my curiosity any more and I asked her what the medal was about. It turned out she ran the NYC Marathon yesterday. So did her friend who showed me how she is wearing this same big medal under her sweater.
A guy who hung around for a while told me that he is going to commit suicide tonight. “Maybe I will be dead tonight. Don’t cry for me. Don’t tell me not to do it” he said. I asked him why he wants to do it. He said “play, play. I’ll explain to you later”. He seemed a bit strange, but generally happy. He was motioning passers by to listen to my playing. Then while I was playing, he went down to the platform.
Eduardo and Louis were still at the mezzanine. The noise from the store wasn’t bad but the two video monitors in the store window by our busking spot were screening something, causing a crowd to stand with their backs to Eduardo as he was playing. This is a new war tactic of the store owner to get rid of the buskers. On account of this very annoying situation Professor Eduardo was forced to take many breaks in his playing, wasting his time. Louis told me that for half an hour he stood by one of the video monitors, with his arm over the video screen, pretending to be taking a video with his cell-phone, in order to discourage people from congregating to watch the video. It worked, but he couldn’t do it throughout the entire time his father was performing.
On the platform Joachim was playing guitar barefoot.