Music is Good for the Stomach

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September 22, 2007
By Posted in Union Square Subway Station | No Comments »

Alberto, the pan flute player who is a ‘freelancer’ (plays without a permit) was at the Music Under New York spot at Union Square when I got there. He said today was “so-so”. He prefers Times Square. Well, don’t we all :) That’s why it’s so hard to find a vacant spot there!

Union Square subway

A guy asked me if I play the theremin. He said he saw a program on TV about Robert Moog (the modern day manufacturer of theremins, whom I had the honor of meeting years ago) and it made him think of me.

All my usual Union Square friends walked by and said ‘hi’ – the blond blind lady, the mute lady who begs for money on the trains (she really is mute, maybe also deaf – unlike those who pretend to be so), the guy who always claps his hands for me, the guy who always says “breath” when he sees me (he once told me he teaches yoga and he thinks I breath well, so whenever he sees me he reminds himself to breath…) and the “rooster guy”. Though I’m beginning to think maybe the “rooster guy” is actually a “bird guy” because today, he didn’t make rooster sounds, but rather general bird sounds… He was wearing his feathered hat, as usual.

A guy said to me “you always make me smile”.
An older guy said “thank you for your smile AND for your music”.

A guy bought my CD and said he will write about me in , a music guide. He said it should appear there in about a month. I hope I remember to check it out…

Union Sq. subway station

A tall guy said: “I’ve missed you! Ever since 59th street a long time ago. Your music is good for my stomach”. He patted his stomach, walked a little bit away, stood there listening to my playing while patting his stomach and smiling…

A lady said “I’ll always think of you when I hear “Amazing Grace”.

John, the gentleman who played piano at my friend Heidi’s wedding came to tell me ‘hi’ and that that is who he is.

The older guy from before (who said ‘thank you for your smile and your music’) returned and sat down on the bench to listen. When I finished playing Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ he came to tell me “when you were playing I saw the top of the Sistine Chapel. I saw this (and he mimed his two fingers pointing at each other and touching – referring to the painting of Michael Angelo of God’s and Adam’s fingers). And that’s the nicest thing I could tell you”.

Sistine Chappel cieling

Betina Hershey, who used to dance with me in a tap-dance troup I used to belong to, back in the days before my accident, came to give me a hug. She introduced me to Nick, her fiancé. They are getting married in a month. They were on their way back from a recording studio where they just recorded 9 songs which they wrote for one another. This was their wedding gift to one another.

A girl by the name of Hazel told me she plays the saw (a Sandvick Stradivarius). She started a few months ago and she bought my CD on iTunes.

Angelica, a young composer I met at the last Musical Saw Players Festival I organized, came to tell me that two days ago she bought a musical saw from Peter (the guy in Chicago who sells my CD on line). She said her goal is to be able to play Satie on the saw.

An older gentleman sat on the bench. After a couple of songs he came to tell me that he enjoys seeing me. he said “sometimes I come in, sometimes I don’t. To see the Doctor”. so I said “I hope you’re OK”, so he said “Say a prayer for me”. I told him I will and I played the ‘Lord’s Prayer’, praying for him. I noticed he had no teeth.

Three firemen gave me an ovation.

People really say nice things to buskers in NYC. New Yorkers may have a reputation as being tough, but they sure have a heart of gold.

Unusual thing somebody put in my donations box: a guitar pick.

At 4pm I decided to call it a day. I really needed to go to the bathroom… :)

N/R/W platform at Union Sq


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by Scott R Munson