Happy New Year!


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January 3, 2008
By Posted in Union Square Subway Station | 3 Comments »

I guess I must be really tired from the exhausting holiday season – while I was on the train going to my spot I realized I forgot my watch, my Music Under New York permit, the New Year’s Eve hat I always wear on this day and the camera! Good thing I didn’t forget my musical saw at least…
Luckily there was nobody at the Music Under New York spot at the Union Square subway station. There were a couple of policemen near by but they didn’t ask for my permit. Lucky.

There was a homeless man sleeping on the bench.

Homeless sleeping

Soon after I started to play Albert, the messenger, came up from the platform. He heard me play and he came up especially to say ‘hi’ to me. He said he has a delivery to make and he’ll be back in an hour. I told him how disappointed I was that I forgot my New Year’s hat at home.

Costume dressed Chinese folk walked by, still advertising the Chinese Holiday show.

Advertising the Chinese holiday show

I was disappointed to see how little holiday spirit there was in the subway. I wonder if this is the way it had been at the Union Square subway station every year. For me, this is the first year I spent New Year’s Eve away from the Times Square subway station. I loved being part of the goings on at Times Square on this day. But since the record store opened it’s doors near the buskers spot at Times Square, I (and many other acoustic musicians) cannot play there any more. The store owner blasts music out the doors of the store in order to discourage musicians from playing near his store…
So, that’s why this year I spent New Year’s Eve at the Union Square subway station. It was really unfestive… at 12:39 I saw the first sign of the holiday – a little kid blowing a New Year’s horn.

New Year's horn

Arnold, the messenger, came to ask me how my holiday was. He also wanted to know if I’ve seen Albert, the other messenger. I told him Albert said he will be back in an hour. There are a lot of people working as messengers in NYC, and they seem to be using the subway a lot. I see them every where. Some wear a green or brown uniform, others wear regular clothes. Messengers are some of the ‘regulars’ in the subway – people who seem to be in the subway all the time (like buskers, sanitation personnel, police, homeless, pan handlers and vendors).

At 1pm my husband brought me all the stuff I forgot at home. That cheered me up considerably. Especially the hat – I like participating in the holiday spirit. This year, I was more ‘creating’ the holiday spirit rather than ‘participating’ in it, it seemed…

Natalia Paruz playing musical saw on New Years Eve

Arnold, the messenger, returned. He had two deliveries to make today. He said he just returned last night from a delivery job to Virginia. He also works as a technician at a hospital at night, repairing equipment. In addition he has another job opening and closing a church at night. That’s where he is going to be tonight, celebrating New Year’s Eve.
“Where are all the people wearing New Year’s Eve hats?” I said.
“Outside there are some” he answered.

Albert, the messenger, returned. He and Arnold set on the bench and talked.
At 1:53 some people wearing New Year’s hats walked by. “Finally, some holiday spirit” I said to the messengers. “Any day is a holiday for me” said Albert. “When I wake up in the morning I think to myself how wonderful it is to wake up to another day and it feels like a holiday to me”.

New Year’s Eve Natalia playing musical saw

A girl put a green apple in my donations bucket.

A lady from Australia bought my CD.
She told me her sister plays the musical saw, too. I asked her to tell her sister she is invited to the NYC Musical Saw Festival on July 5th, 2008. This is the 6th year I am organizing this festival.

At 2pm Ilie Radu, the accordion player from Moldavia, Russia, came to tell me that he has the permit for the 3pm spot, but that he would rather play on the platform downstairs so I can have the spot until 6pm. He said his daughter is coming from Minneapolis and will be meeting him downstairs at his regular spot on the platform.
Besides the accordion Illie also can play the harmonica and Moldavian flute, but I haven’t seen him do that in the subway. Just like I don’t play bells in the subway, I suppose.

Ilya Radu

At 3:04 I saw the first two people wearing 2008 glasses. I could hear people saying “happy New Year” to one another. At 3:15 I saw the first lady wearing a ‘Happy New Year’ tiara.

2008 glassesNew Year's Eve tiara

As I was playing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ for the last time today I was thinking about the year that was, saying ‘goodbye’ to 2007 in my heart and ‘hello’ to 2008.
Ends a year and its sorrows, let a year and its blessings start.

Auld Lang Syne
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As I left the mezzanine I placed the green apple next to the sleeping homeless man. He was there since I arrived this morning.

When I got to the platform I could see Ilie playing the accordion on the opposite platform. I waved to him and we both shouted “Happy New Year!” to one another.

Ilie Radu

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3 Responses to Happy New Year!

  1. mister anchovy on January 6, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Happy New Year from Toronto!

  2. Nonosse on January 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    With or without hat you and your music are a bless for the New Year 2008 and all year long.
    And once again, I really enjoy your writting style. So true, natural, light, deep and funny.
    (and I love your CD too)
    You are my favourite underground artist :o)

  3. poppimatny on January 7, 2008 at 3:07 am

    Hey Natalia – just want to say thanks for your comment to the Holiday-Nostalgia posting and to let you know how much I enjoy your blog!

    best – P

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