Christmas Wrapping Paper

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December 30, 2007
By Posted in Union Square Subway Station | 1 Comment »

Louis and Uri, the two Andean musicians, were playing at the Music Under New York spot at the Union Square subway station when I arrived there.
I set on the bench to wait for them to be done playing. Near me there was a homeless looking guy, sleeping. On the seat between me and the homeless guy there were 2 brand new rolls of Christmas wrapping paper (still in their cellophane packaging). The homeless guy opened his eyes. He saw that I was looking at the rolls of paper and he said “You want them? You can have them”. That was nice. Louis and Uri saw the wrapping paper before I arrived but they didn’t want it. I told them this paper will be good for next Christmas, and they agreed with me.

Louis & Uri

A lady told me that she remembers people playing the musical saw when she was a little girl in Brooklyn. She said she is of Scandinavian heritage and at their churches people used to play the musical saw. I told her I am not surprised, as the musical saw was quite popular in Scandinavia during the 20th century.

14th street subway station

By the wall a little further away from me there was a lady selling the sticky looking sticks of dough (does any body know what they are called? I think it’s a South American food). I saw a cop giving her a ticket. I was thinking “I hope I’m not next on his ticket giving spree…”
At that moment members of the Riverside Orchestra, with which I have performed last month, came by. They were on their way to a gig at Town Hall. One of them told me he used to play in the subway with Music Under New York permits, as part of a woodwind group. They used to play mostly at Grand Central Station, but they haven’t done it for a few years now.
“We used to get a lot of weirdoes when we played” he said about playing in the subway.
“You get to see the city from a whole different perspective” I said in reply.
“You sure do!” he said.
By the time the orchestra musicians left and I looked to see what was happening with the cop and the food selling lady – they were both gone.

I started playing New Year’s Eve music today.
As I was playing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ two cops were escorting a handcuffed guy out of the station – going to prison, I guess.

Auld Lang Syne
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Going home I saw the accordion player at his usual spot on the platform. At the other end of the platform there was a saxophone player.

Accordion player


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One Response to Christmas Wrapping Paper

  1. PatM on January 7, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    They are called Churros – the sticky looking sticks of dough – popular in Spain and also most of South&Central America

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