Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Eighteenth Day of Christmas

Daily Photo(s): Yup, that's a piano on the
N/R/W platform at Union Sq.

I love the music that fills these city streets and subway platforms. Sometimes it even spills on to the trains - and then I watch in awe as those cheerful mariachis wheel their upright bass in and out of the subway cars, staying balanced long enough to play a Spanish guitar-fueled song and pass a hat.

I like the guy that plays steel drums (often at 42nd street). It's nice to get away to Jamaica for a minute in the middle of the day. And then there are the enthusiastic rock/soul bands, mostly younger guys playing trumpets and trombones, with back-and-forth choreographed swaying. (They are usually accompanied by the syncopated oompah-oompah's of a sousaphone, who thinks he's in charge, but I can clearly see the trombones control this beat.)

Tonight on my ride home, I encountered a brave xylophonist plunking out a bossa nova melody. He was pretty good. But even more impressive was this piano player, above. How did he get the piano down the stairs to the platform? Did he wheel it from somewhere nearby in the neighborhood? Or did he and his piano arrive via the subway from Queens?

I had a lot of questions, which all went unanswered. Did I really want to spoil the mystery? No. I wanted to stand there listening to Puccini as Mr. Piano Man took us all on a little trip to Italy. Until the N train arrived - for once - all too soon.

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