The Chef, the Flambeaux and the Empty-Guitar-Case-Guy

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October 16, 2007
By Posted in Union Square Subway Station | No Comments »

On the train on my way to play a guy told me that he saw me play the musical saw in the subway. He went on to say that he teaches guitar at the International School of Music. He asked for my card and said he would post it on the board at the school.

on the train

As I was setting up at the Music Under New York spot at the Union square subway station, I was surprised as I glanced up at the electronic display panel in front of the spot. I usually look at it to see what time it is, and I don’t pay much attention to the changing messages on it. But this time I noticed that the voice announcement being broadcasted in the station at that moment corresponded with the typed message on the electronic display board. The Message scrolled by synchronized with the voice message (as the voice talked the words appeared on the sign, like a teleprompter). The funny thing was – this only happened with female voice announcements… I wonder if the male voice over-head announcements might be synchronized with some other electronic display message board…

electronic sign

There was a guy sleeping on the bench to my left, leaning on a black bag. As I was setting up a blond lady whom I didn’t recognize greeted me with a cheerful “how are you, Sweetie” – it was nice that she seemed to know me even though I don’t know her. It felt like a nice welcome to my day in the NYC subway.

guy sleeping

6 policemen gave a ticket to a lady by the uptown elevator, which wasn’t working (it was barred by a yellow gate).
At 12:04 the sleeping guy on the bench woke up.
at 12:10 two men came to fix the elevator.
The sanitation-lady who never smiles had a new hair cut.


At 12:40 a guy dressed like a chef told me that he sent my ‘Ave Maria’ to Ecuador. He said he listens to my CD on the train. I remember this guy, because when he bought my CD he was dressed the same way and he tried to bargain with me and get me to sell him the CD for 1/2 the price… He told me his name is Jimmy and he asked me to write a dedication in his address book… He said my music reminded him of church.

Flambeaux, a fire artist, told me about a performance place he recommends for me, called ‘The Box’, where he performs. He said this place caters to celebrities and is kept on the hush-hush. If you’ve seen the channel 13 TV ad with a guy blowing fire at Times Square – that’s this guy. He also is the Guinness world record holder for longest fire eating. Totally cool.


At 2:40 a guy with a guitar case stood by me playing rhythm to my music with a shaker egg. He told me the guitar case he was holding is empty – some guy walked away with his guitar a little while ago… He let this guy borrow the guitar to play along with him in the subway. Then the guy walked away with the guitar. The guy who walked away with the guitar said that he hangs around Union Square park, so the guy who’s guitar it is is hoping to see the thief around. He told me he is from New Mexico originally but he had just spent some time in Colorado. He was supposed to go to jail there for a lot of unpaid tickets but he got away…

At 3pm Blackwolf the Central Park Wizard stopped to chat. The guy with the empty guitar case took out a recorder and asked if I would let him play along to my piano back-up of ‘Ave Maria’. While he was playing I talked with Blackwolf who told me that he is doing an interview for a British program.


I gave my spot to the guy with the empty guitar case. He said he will play the recorder there, hoping he might see the guitar thief walking by…



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by Scott R Munson