One’s Measure of Success

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January 30, 2013
By Posted in Union Square Subway Station | 3 Comments »

When I played at 14th street subway station today a lady came to me and said “I haven’t seen you in two weeks – is it just that I wasn’t in the right place at the right time or were you not playing in the subway?” I explained it was too cold to play in the subway. One’s measure of success is not when people notice that you are there, but when people notice you are NOT there!

Saw Lady at 14th street
Photographer: © Michael Tapp

At 1:30 a drummer asked me what time I’ll be done busking today (he wanted to play at my spot when I was done). When I told him 3pm, he asked if I can watch over his drum, so he could run home to get his CDs for sale. I said ‘sure’.

A guy said to me: “I have seen you in my dreams”.

A lady told me her friend in Australia is my fan. She wanted to buy my CD and have me sign it for him, but she only had a $100 bill on her.

The homeless lady who panhandles on the trains and who was having a hard time walking came to say ‘hi’. I haven’t seen her since her operation. She looked well and is now walking without a cane. She does physical therapy and her leg is in a cast. She is now having trouble with her arm, but she is in good spirit and optimistic.

It was 2:30pm and the drummer who wanted to busk after me at 3pm and who left his busking gear with me wasn’t back yet… I began to wonder what I should do with his busking gear if he isn’t back by the time I need to leave…

Somebody put a small box (that used to be for facial soap) in my donations box. When I opened it a wonderful citrus aloe smell came out, and a few cents.

My musical saw’s tip-handle broke! I didn’t even know that could happen. The strange thing is it broke above where I hold it – so not even where I apply pressure…

The drummer returned at exactly 3pm with his CDs.


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3 Responses to One’s Measure of Success

  1. Reg on December 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Wonderful diary of a day in NYC. And I’m glad the drummer came in time. Hope to run across you in Union Square sometime.

    • The Saw Lady on December 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you, Reg! I hope you’ll run across me in the subway, too – it’ll be nice to meet you!

  2. shanie on July 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Dear Natalia,
    I discovered your work enduring my Queens Arts and culture research today. I think what you do is fabulous. Quite frankly, I never heard of such a thing but I am intrigued and excited. Especially that you were self taught. Naturally it required great focus and discipline. The fact that you are now playing it all over and your story is being told all over the world, and despite your set back on a career you wanted, and from one woman to another – I AM SO DAMN PROUD OF YOU! Go girl!! I WISH YOU NOTHING BUT THE VERY BEST!

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