There is a joke about how to find a young actor in New York City? Just say "Waiter!" in a loud voice, trying to get his attention. Well, I'm seeing more musicians than I used to see under the streets of New York, and I'll bet that many of these people are looking for both extra money and for greater exposure.
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Not all of the musicians playing underground are sponsored by the MTA Music Underground program, where many musicians audition for the right to put up a banner that shows that their acts have been vetted by the MTA. Recently, I saw people in two areas of the Grand Central transit complex which have not been vetted on by the MTA.
The train I usually would take to work each morning usually arrives at Grand Central on track 36, often discharging its passengers on a straight walk to the NYC Subway's 42nd street Shuttle. Just inside the subway's part of the complex, I was greeted by some music not befitting the time of day: "A Little Night Music". But the way the musicians above played the music, I wished I could have hung out for a while and listened to them some more. Alas, I had to get to work, and I didn't want to be late....
When I reached the shuttle platform, I was greeted by some "Family" music. No, I'm not talking of the Addams or Manson families, I'm talking old world here - the Corleone family. This gentleman was playing the theme from "The Godfather", and I again wished I could stay around some more to get my musical fix for the day.
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On my way home that day, I encountered the next group setting up for their performance in Times Square. I thought I had seen them before and wasn't impressed, so I didn't hang out to hear them play a set.
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If one travels through a key underground station in the NYC Subway network, one will likely encounter a performer of one kind or another. Some are good. Some are bad. But there is always something interesting to see and hear if you are aware of your surroundings.
And on that note, I'll close out with a picture of someone who stood out (at Grand Central) while I was walking to my train to take me home....
This picture does not do the person or the Blue coat the person was wearing any justice. It stood out like a gemstone which was being perfectly lit. And sadly, I couldn't take the time to get a good picture as I had only 2 minutes to make it to my train.....