Luggage and Little Girl Left With Busker

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November 21, 2007
By Posted in Times Square Subway Station | No Comments »

When I got to the Music Under New York spot at the Times Square subway station, Raices Group was playing there: two guys dressed in white ponchos, one playing the pan flute, the other playing mandolin. There were lots of different types of flutes at their feet.

Raices Group

I noticed that a section of the mezzanine was marked with a red tape – there was a puddle on the floor there from the rain.

The mandolin player was now singing in Spanish. He has a nice voice. For their last song the mandolin player played a wooden flute while the other guy switched between the pan flute and a recorder.

The Salvation Army bell ringer was on the upper-upper mezzanine. I bet he will be there every day now until Christmas. Amazing how the sound of a little bell carries.

Salvation Army Bell Ringer

Mingjun, the Chinese cellist, finished playing at Penn Station and swung by me to say ‘hi’. He stayed to listen to a whole piece and inquired what it was. I told him it was a piece my husband wrote and Mingjun was surprised and impressed.


An older gentleman carrying luggage, with a little girl dressed in pink at his side asked me if the girl could stand by me while he goes to buy a newspaper. I was surprised, but I said ‘of course’. The gentleman disappeared, leaving the luggage and the little girl by me. I tried to talk with the girl but she was shy. The thought of what if the gentleman doesn’t return did cross my mind… but he did come back :)

During the last few weeks I have noticed a new fashion in the NYC subway – many people are wearing shirts/sweat-shirts that have a life-size drawing of the human torso in skeleton on them.

Bow, Chill and two other singing partners came to sing ‘Pretty Little Girl’ to me. These guys always seem to be in a good mood, and they seem to never get tired of singing. Even after a long day of singing on the trains they still enjoy singing a song just for me. They are true buskers.

A capela singers

At 2pm one of the singing partners walked by me again. He said the others went home but he is going to sing with some other group in the subway now.

At 3pm Steven Clark, the Michael Jackson impersonator, and the hip-hop dancers came by. I told them I am done for the day. No sooner did they set up and the “NY Express” guitar player showed up with a permit for the spot… So Steven and the dancers had to leave. They went back to the lower mezzanine where they had been before. Steven said that he thinks that the stagehands strike in the Broadway shows is good for us. Tourists are seeking entertainment, and since Broadway shows are cancelled due to the strike, the tourists are coming down to the subway in search of entertainment.

Steven Clark

As I was packing up my gear a missionary handed me a flyer. The “NY Express” guy was sitting on his amp, playing jazz on his guitar. I noticed his tip jar was a small, shallow plastic container. That’s unusual for a busker. Usually the size of the tip container is an indication of how experienced the busker is. Beginner buskers tend to have small containers for their tips.
The strange thing was, he kept his tip jar under his legs… A lady wanted to tip him. He moved his leg to the side so that she could tip him, but it was very awkward.

When I got on the train home there were two conga drummers on it. One was playing two congas, the other just one.

Conga drummers on the train


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