Saw Lady for President

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January 4, 2009
By Posted in Times Square Subway Station | 4 Comments »

When I arrived at the Music Under New York (MUNY) spot at the Times Square subway station Moses was freelancing there. His wife suffers from some form of dementia and he is taking care of her. He told me that he finally got a care-taker to come, so he can be free to leave the house. Busking cleanses his mind. He was looking to play until 2pm today, so he will look for another spot.

Dan Stevens, wearing a French barrette and carrying a guitar & amp introduced himself to me. He is a newbie in MUNY. He asked me for busking tips so I said “eye contact”. We talked about how impossible it is to keep up with MySpace/Facebook, etc. “I feel like I need a secretary” I said, “to keep up with all the web activity”.
Dan: “People ask me to be on FaceBook but I say ‘No’ – I can’t, MySpace is hard enough to keep up with”. I agree – how do people keep a life on both? It’s a full time job!
Dan comes all the way from Connecticut to play in the NYC subway!

Dan Stevens

A guy dressed in yellow, working for City Lights Tours, told me he is from Ghana. He asked if the MTA brought me from Israel to play in the subway…

A new sanitation guy swept the floor.
The acrobat without legs set up to do his show on the other side of the mezzanine. I was alerted to his existence by the sound of his toy harmonica.


The guy who walks with a cane and sings on the train came to say ‘hi’.
Saw Lady: “I haven’t seen you in a while”.
Singer: “I’m taking it easy. I’ve seen you on TV. I’ve seen myself on TV, too”.
I think he was talking about the MSG show. If I had a dime for every re-run of this show…

MSG TV show

Three Nortenos in white hats with two guitars and one huge guitar waved to me on their way to the Shuttle.
The guy with a big cross on his neck, whom I see from time to time in the subway, asked me if he looks like he gained weight. I said “no, you look like you LOST weight!” He said he is trying to lose weight, so he was happy with my observation.

Another guy I see from time to time asked me if I vote. “I hope you vote for who I vote for” he said. He then asked me: “Do you wish you could be a political figure? It would have been good if we could vote for you. Having you as president of the country would have been Good:.
Saw Lady: “I don’t think I would want to be president”.
Guy: “You’ll be rich and famous”.
Saw Lady: “Yes, that’s the good part. The bad part is you have to make all the decisions. And did you notice how quickly the hair of presidents becomes grey?”

The girl who used to be a pick-pocket (and switched to singing on the train) showed me her new ring – she got engaged. Her hair grew longer since I last saw her. Getting married was her dream. I’m happy for her.

The noise coming out of the record store next to the busking spot became really loud after the store owner left.
Delphin Tardio, the guitar player/singer came to play at the spot after me. He told me that when he played at this spot before, the store sent the police on him. He explained to the police that because the store is loud he has to turn up his volume. The police agreed with him and went into the store to make the store turn down their volume. After the police left, the store owner came to talk with Delphin: “Why did you send the police on me?” the store owner asked. That was a funny reversal of the situation.

Delphin Tardio

Delphin told me of a new busking spot which Alex (little “Michael Jackson”) started, on the way to the Q train on the other side of the station. It’s a good spot, Delphin said.


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4 Responses to Saw Lady for President

  1. Tristan on January 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Hello sawlady !

    I’ve been on your web site for one hour, reading your fantastic way of life ! To assure you that my interest for your busking life is real, i’ve to say that it’s my first english mail !
    The aim of my mail is not really concrete. Well, I’m also a musician,but surely not a classical competitor! I ain’t got no technic.. I had a rock’n’roll band for 4 years and it has finished since one month.(i think you’ll have to correct my english!). But music is not over for me. I’ve got a “plan” ! But what a plan for a little guy living in a country where studies, family and “life consequences” seems to be a plannish fate. (I talk about me.. well, I read several years of your life, it wasn’t well-balanced !).
    The last summer, I asked my ex-musician : “Why don’t we go to United States ! It’s not impossible !” . The answers was not as enthousiats as my question, maybe the music addiction doesn’t brough everybody in the same places ! (hum, I try to forget that my english is bad, i hope you’ll understand it!!). Day after day, something get high in my head and since few weeks, I had a kind of revelation, well ; busking in new york ! I started my researchs, bought a book name : “The Cheap Bastard’s Guide To New York City”… I really enjoying this idea even if I’ve got no money..

    It seems to be easy for you (it is certainely not as simple), but it seems to be very hard for me ! Living in the common life !
    I think i found the aim of my mail ! (yeah!) I think its to know that “It is possible !” , make the bridge between a crazy dream and an amazing reality ! Where do I go sleep ? How food ? Is there many people who listen to ? Can i earn enough money to survive ? Could i play in Central Park ? Subway ? What about the MUNY ? Is it a problem to play without amplification system ? … questions come easily and I have it many !

    So, I hope I didn’t ennoy you, I hope too that you’ll answer me something , to make my dream more real !

    Bye !
    (I’ll continu to read your blog tomorrow! Really ! Its so interesting !)

  2. Bryan (aka NYCDreamin) on January 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Saw Lady…
    I’ve been reding your blog for about a year now and I love it. I’m more of a “Rock And Roll” type guy, but I love your stories and observations of playing music in the “Underground” of NYC.

    The reason I’m writing you is I found this article about a band called “Dreamland Faces” that features a SAW PLAYER and I knew you’d probably enjoy reading it and hearing of this band if you have not already. The article comes from the local Minneapolis publication “City Pages” and here is the link:

    I’ll keep reading your blog and maybe this summer I’ll get a chance to see/hear you play in person when I visit New York – I was hoping to see you when I was there last year but was unable to…

    Happy New Year to you and continued success!
    Bryan (aka NYCDreamin)

  3. Saw Lady on January 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Tristan and Bryan,

    Thank you for the very nice messages!

    Tristan – I hope you already got my e-mail.
    Bryan – dito and:
    I am planning to invite Andy (the saw player from the article) to the next NYC Musical Saw Festival:

    Happy 2009,
    all the best,


  4. Karen on January 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Saw Lady! It is such a coincidence that the same week I saw you at the Union Square subway you commented on my blog. The saw is such an eerie and wonderful musical instrument. You play beautifully!

    See you again soon.

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