Guys Begging on Trains

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On my way to my designated spot for the day in the New York City subway there were no seats on the train – that’s unusual for this time of day.
There was a guy walking from car to car begging for money.

crowded subway train

When I arrived at my spot at the Union Square subway station there was a guy handing out flyers there. He repeatedly said: “Brand new book, just released through Amazon. Discover the pages of a new book, an eye opening book”. Over and over, tirelessly he kept saying this to passers by, trying to get them to take his flyer.
I was curious, so I went over to him just before setting up, and got a flyer. It turned out to be an advertisement for a Christian book – “Christ, Christianity & the Catholic Religion” by Joseph Whyte.

The ‘flyer guy’ was originally standing a little way to the side of me, but as I started to play he planted himself right in front of me, blocking my view of the people passing by (and their view of me). I approached the ‘flyer guy’ and asked him if he would mind not standing right by me. I explained why and he was very understanding. He moved back to his original spot and we co-existed in peace.

Some of the “regulars” – passers by who seem to always walk by my spot as I’m playing – waved ‘hello’ – the blond blind lady who walks with a blind-cane and Pat, the painter/poet who sells his art work upstairs in the Union Square park.
The “rooster guy” who wears a hat full of feathers also walked by and greeted me with a well executed cuckudoodledoo. I don’t know why this guy imitates a rooster in his wardrobe and speech, but he does it very well.

As usual, the Dianetics people arrived at 2:10 carrying their gear. They are pretty punctual.


At 3pm Geovanni Suquillo, the Andean guitar player, arrived for his permitted spot. This is his first week playing with permits but he has been playing in the subway for a long time as a freelancer. He is leaving in a few days to visit his country of origin – Ecuador, where he will play in a concert. He will also perform in a concert in Columbia before returning to NYC in a month. His family engineers roses on a huge farm in Ecuador. They grow 6 feet tall stemmed roses. This means that the rose bush is huge, and when you cut the rose, the stem is 6 feet long at the top of which is a gorgeous, large rose. Geovanni told me it’s always spring in Ecuador. How perfect is that!

6 feet tall roses

On the train back home there was a guy walking from car to car begging for money. This was a different guy from this morning. His speech was: “If you have a gift to give – G_d Bless you. If you don’t have a gift to give – G_d Bless you anyway. If it could happen to me it could happen to you. The point is – it shouldn’t happen to anybody. G-d Bless you and have a nice day”.

beggar on train


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by Scott R Munson