Posts tagged: Columbus Circle
“Yes I had to get off the train when i heard you sing=)” Ricardo Luss Nigaglioni – rap artist who hopped off the “C” train when he heard me on¬† the platform & ended up jamming w/ me for 3 hrs….magic!
Hi you guys, so I’ve missed you all ‘muchly’. Finally got a sec to write here & hope you all are doin’ super!
So last week @ 59th where I’ve been frequenting quite a bit these days, about 20 minutes into my groove a guy in an e green t-shirt wandered up and¬† stood staring at me as I dove into my version of Den ise LeSalle’s “Right Side Of The Wrong¬† Bed”. He was average height, on the thin¬† side and obviously not very wealthy, at least not demonstratively so, (one never knows who has what in a city like New York). His bright green shirt looked extra ‘emeraldy’ against his dark¬† brown skin and he stood stransfixed as I sang. I¬† thought perhaps as I sang and kept an eye on the guy who was standing super close, staring at me; “He must know the song or something. It must remind him of something in his past.” That’s usually the case when someone stands and stares¬† like that.
I wrapped the song and began to tweek my strings to get them back in tune since I’d just replaced¬† my old strings with a pack of brand new ones given my sweat from the summer had¬† rusted the old set straight through and my instrument was beginning to sound more like a tractor with a dying motor than a guitar.
Anyway, as I was¬† tuning the guy in a the green shirt spoke up; “Is that a Western guitar?” he asked
“Uh…well,¬† I¬† don’t think so – it’s just an acoustic with a pick up”
“But is it a Western one?”
“Ummm…I don’t think¬† so, but uh, maybe” I responded, thinking perhaps if I allowed for the possibility that my trusty Epiphone was, in face a “Western” guitar, he would stop asking.
“Yeah, it’s a Western guitar.” He proudly concluded. I thought that was that on the inerrigation. Ha! Who am I kidding, it’s the subways, I’ve been down here for five years, I should really know better by now…
“Are you gonna be here in September?”
“Ummm…yeah, I think so, I’m kinda here year¬† round. So it’s a good bet I’ll be here in September, yup”
“Do you have Western jeans? You know dark ones?” Ok – at this point I was¬† ready to start in on my next set of tunes as there was a big crowd and as much as I¬† enjoyed chatting about ‘Western garb’¬† with¬† this guy, I had¬† some bills to pay.
“Well, I have jeans and I’m not sure where they’re¬† from, but yeah I have jeans” and I began in on my next tune. Once done, the man in the emerald “T”, who had not¬† budged, jumped¬† right in; “How about boots? Do you have those boots, the ones with the pointy toes?”
I bust out laughing as I acknowledged the dollars coming into my case¬† from the other straphangers listening to my music; “Hahaha…I have some boots, yes. And I might even have some with ‘pointy¬† toes’
“So, you have to wear them, you know? In September. You’ll wear the jeans and the boots in September?”
Trying to control my giggles I responded; “Ok, yeah, of course I’ll wear the jeans and the boots with the pointy toes in September. I gotta get back to my music now though. But nice meeting you!” And I started up on my next tune, the music and lyrics swallowing up the remaining grin still plastered across my¬† mouth.
The day went on as planned and sans any more ‘wardrobe consults’.
Then, today, on the opposite side of the A,C,E @ 59th, the Uptown side (cause there was a sax player on the Downtown) – Poet Minor stopped by, ofered her smiling energy & snapped a shot – I love visitors!
…then, not a minute after Minor left to go uptown, up saunters the same dude, this time in a blue¬† “T”. What are the odds? Why does the ‘crazy’ always show up when the cameras are not rolling!
“Haha – hey!” I giggled and greeted my newfound wardrobe master, always intregued to see a familiar face, no matter how ‘out there’.
Without a word the guy opens his¬† backpack and pulls out a¬† folded, crumpled piece of paper. He unfolds it, smooths it out and turns it around to¬† show it to me. Written on the paper are both the name, address and cost of a pair of dark blue¬† Wrangler jeans. Omg this guy is intent on getting me dressed like a cowboy. What a hoot!.
“This is where you can get the jeans” he said to me.
“Wow – thanks…I mean, yeah, thanks for that…what’s your name, I forgot.” I said, knowing I’d not ever been told, but not¬† wanting to seem rude.
“Jamal, I’m Jamal”
“Well, thanks Jamal…for the information. Thanks a lot”
“So¬† you have the boots right, and you just wear a plain white shirt with buttons and … and …” And I¬† could see his mind was going fast now, working overtime to dress me just right. “And a vest, you have a vest?” And before I¬† could answer in the negative he kept going; “And a hat, you know one of those hats, the western ones”
Ok, I was almost doubled over at this point. Of course no one else on the platform had any idea what our conversation was about or what was making me stifle laughter more than play music, but the commuters waiting for me to sing seemed intregued none the less.
“Well, I have some of that stuff and I really appreciate you showing me the store info and directions, that’s really nice of you Jemal”
“Here, it’s for you” and he handed me the paper
“Awe, thanks¬† Jamal. I’ll look into it. I gotta get back to playing some music here, but thanks so much.” Jamal gave me a look that made it very clear he really didn’t want to leave until he was sure I would, in fact somehow¬† get the exact wardrobe he’s so vividly seen me in for all of two weeks now. But he seemed to ‘get the hint’ once I stashed the folded paper and strummed my first chord of my next tune. That seemed to be Jamal’s cue to go cause he bowed his head and turned with conviction and walked away.
Man, what am I gonna say to the¬† guy come¬† September when I’m still not dressed like a cowboy? I thought to myself as I floated back to my music. Well, I’ll cross that ridge when my possy gets to it
I figured that was my requisite dose of¬† ‘crazy’¬† for the day but….nooooooo, heck no in fact. I was nearing the end of my energy, not to mention bladder capacity, when a tattered looking¬† guy sauntered over, and bent over my case. I didn’t flinch but I¬† have to say¬† I had no idea what his¬† intentions were. I almost offered him a candy and a dollar to¬† try and abort and alternate plan he might have but before I could offer he bent¬† down and picked up the ‘public’¬† copy of “The Subway Diaries”
Ok, ok…cool, he’s gonna read the book. That’s cool, I thought to myself. The dude¬† was more than¬† dishevled, he had bags stuffed in bags and a stack of¬† free papers from what looked like the past zix months¬† that he wedged between his knees as he¬† leafed through the book.
“Must be a wold¬† adventure” The black, deshevled guy said in an affected British accent, that oddly resembled a Monty Python character.
“Yeah, it’s been an adventure for the past five years. That’s for sure.”
“Well…” the Monty Pythonesque¬† dude chimed in; “I’m a street performer of sorts myself”
“Really? What do you¬† perform?”
“Well, I perform, but mostly above ground. I”m a wizard” He responded matter of factly.
“A wizard? Really?”
“Yes,” the wizard continued, “I’m the wizard of New York. They’re doing a documentary about me” and he bent down, leaning over my case. I wasn’t sure what he was going to grab onto next, but to my relief if was my pen. He stood up and¬† looked around and mimed writing, indicating he needed something to write on.
“Oh, here” and I handed him the back to Jamal’s¬† wardrobe instructions.
“Perfect, perfect. I’ll¬† write down some information for you. Perfect” And I started in playing again while the¬† wizard meticulously scribbled on the back of the piece of lined notebook paper, for what seemed an¬† eternity. “I take forever to¬† write sometimes,” as he continued to slowly etch his words.¬† Once he was done and I’d¬† stopped¬† singing he handed it to me, “Here, it’s for you. It’s marvelous, marvelous this world.¬† Thank¬† you for sharing the music” the wizard said as he tried to remember where the pen came from.¬† I motioned to the case and he dropped it back in. And without another word he reached down and grabbed the half a years worth of newspapers from between his¬† knees and hopped onto the waiting “C” train.
I looked at the paper, not having a clue as to what he¬† was¬† writing all that time. I was fully prepared to see nothing that made any sense at all but no, there was a website a name of his documentary and an¬† email address. Go figure. So here it is, so you all can google it for yourself. I know your¬† curious : )
Ok- so that was my day.
How was yours? : )