A Puppy, a Turtle & a Snake

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January 30, 2009
By Posted in Union Square Subway Station | 2 Comments »

There were no trains going to Manhattan when I arrived at the subway station. I had to take a train in the opposite direction and transfer to a Manhattan bound train at a different station. When I got to the Music Under New York busking spot at Union Square, Cathy Grier was playing electric guitar and singing the blues there. She showed me her new amp – a Roland which works on 6 AA batteries. She’s used it for 20 hours so far and it’s still going on the original 6 batteries. It’s much lighter than my Crate (because it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery inside).

Cathy Grier

While I was setting up, a gentleman by the name of Mr. Ben David told me that he was born in St. Salvador, lived in Switzerland, and then came to New York to work at Tiffany’s. He studied mime with Marcel Morceau but he was hit by a 6 ton truck. He was in a coma for 8 months and suffered severe injuries. A guy who was with him at the time the truck struck died after 13 months in a coma. He told me that he still does a bit of designing for Tiffany’s and he showed me a small bracelet on his hand. The engraving on the bracelet said “Tiffany & Co. Thank you for 5 years of service”.
Tiffany's store on 5th Avenue

A guy with a puppy walked by. A guy with a little turtle in a small transparent box with a little bit of water in it walked by.
A guy with a very long, red & yellow stuffed velvet snake wrapped around his neck walked by. Musical saw joke of the day: Guy: I SAW that” 2nd musical saw joke of the day: Guy: “Bach, Beethoven and chain-saw”.
At 7pm a band called ‘Brothers Moving’ showed up. They were happy that I happened to be done busking for the day. They came to New York from Denmark 3 weeks ago. They already played in the subway at both ends of the Union Square station. They told me they have a ticket back to Denmark in 3 months but they hope to ‘make it’ here in NY so they could stay forever.
As I was done packing up my busking gear and the band was about to set up theirs, Michael Schulman, the electric violinist, showed up with a permit for the spot. He was very late to his permitted spot because he mistakenly thought that he was supposed to be at 34th street today, which is really his scheduled spot for tomorrow.
The Danish band said they would go play at the other side of the station.
Brothers Moving

On the train, two ladies and a young man were intrigued by my busking gear, so a conversation started. Turns out the young man is from Jerusalem – he is visiting one of the ladies (his Mom) for her birthday. I told him that I would be in Jerusalem soon. So the lady said that she could get her other son to take me to places nobody goes to in Israel: Jericho and Ramala. He plays basketball in “Players for Peace” – a group that has both Arab and Jewish kids play basketball together, to promote peace. This is why her son has access to the Palestinian cities.
Someday maybe I should start ‘Musical Saw Players for Peace’.


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2 Responses to A Puppy, a Turtle & a Snake

  1. Monique on February 1, 2009 at 9:34 am

    That would be sad if he no longer does those inflatable animals. Florida is kind of chilly lately, not as cold as it is in New York of course. I can’t really complain, it’s just frustrating because my school’s hallways are outside and I come into contact with the weather every time I have to go to class. This random weather is killing me. I wonder what was with the dog, turtle, then snake. You meet so many interesting people with sometimes very shocking stories.

  2. Long Dao on February 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I am still playing the saw, just not as much. I can’t make it to the festival this year. Maybe when I leave school. I hope you are enjoying your career as a busker. Its a career that not many of us are brave enough to pursue.

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