A few weeks ago, a piano appeared on my street. Its origins were unexplained, although presumably it came from one of the buildings behind it. Judging by its dilapidated condition, I guessed someone left it behind while moving out. Set on the curb, along with the rest of the trash and recycling, it seemed like it was no longer wanted. Sad, little piano.
But being a Friday night in early summer, there were plenty of people walking by and many stopped to play a quick tune, giving the dilapidated piano a final friendly send-off. I sat on my stoop, debating over the phone with a friend whether or not to see a movie ("I hate movies about infidelity." "Well, I hate scary movies & Katherine Heigl." "I don't think there's anything out there for us right now...") and watching the passers-by display their musical skills.
Someone played "Fur Elise" (of course) and someone else broke out Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles." It was cool to see how many people had some song hidden up their sleeve, leftover knowledge from childhood's piano lessons.
I personally have "Black Forest Polka" burned on my brain, though I'm not sure why that little ditty stuck with me. Perhaps I should work on memorizing a new (prettier) piece, for just such an occasion as coming home on a Friday evening and finding a piano on the street. Shoulda-coulda-woulda.
By the next morning, the dilapidated piano had disappeared, along with the rest of the trash and recycling. It was fun while it lasted.
A street piano near Lincoln Center
Last week I learned that the street-piano-fun wasn't over yet, thanks to a new public installation called "Play Me, I'm Yours." They've placed 60 pianos around the city, and for the next week or so you can stop by any of the locations and play!
A girl shows off her piano skillz on Saturday evening