Click Here To Purchase Book

Buy Book
Heidi Kole
Mailing List

Posts tagged: Music

Oct 20 2014

NYPD at it (illegally) again


Video: Cop Reads Law Permitting Subway Busking, Arrests Singer Anyway

A subway busker was arrested for loitering after a confrontation with an NYPD officer over whether or not he was allowed to be performing. The incident happened at the Lorimer Street / Metropolitan Avenue station on the southbound G train platform around 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

Here’s how the video uploader described the quality of life incident: “One of NYPD’s finest arrests a man for playing in the subway after he recites the law word for word that allows him to perform for donations,” the uploader wrote. “He continues to sing as he is being handcuffed. A “fuck the police” chant subsequently follows.” Watch the confrontation below.





The video starts with busker Andrew Kalleen, 30, already arguing with the officer over whether or not he is allowed to be performing there. “You just need to know the law,” Kalleen says to the officer while begging him to read MTA’s own “Rules of Conduct” about the matter. As onlookers shout, “we have bigger problems in New York City than someone playing guitar,” the officer eventually reads the relevant section of the rules (Section 1050.6c, which Kalleen wisely seems to have memorized) from a phone:

Except as expressly permitted in this subdivision, no person shall engage in any nontransit uses upon any facility or conveyance. Nontransit uses are noncommercial activities that are not directly related to the use of a facility or conveyance for transportation. The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations

The onlookers clap at the end, but the officer is unmoved, insisting that Kalleen needs to leave: “Being ejected doesn’t mean you’re arrested, it means you’re getting thrown out of the station.” Kalleen says the officer is harassing him, and more and more people begin asking the officer under what grounds the busker is being ejected, to which the officer doesn’t respond.

Kalleen goes back to singing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” for a bit before the officer shuts him down. You can hear people yelling, “On what grounds?” “You don’t have something better to do?” and “There are people breaking laws, dangerous people in this city.”

Kalleen briefly starts singing again when the officer walks away before returning with several other cops. The officer takes the guitar off of Kalleen, hitting him in the face in the process, then arrests him. Onlookers loudly boo and start yelling “Fuck the police,” as Kalleen is taken off.

An NYPD’s spokesperson tells us that Kalleen was playing guitar, singing and accepting donations “without permit of permission” from the MTA. Because he is a “transit recidivist,” which the spokesperson explained as someone having an open ticket or warrant, perhaps related to turnstile jumping or a similar offense—he was arrested and charged with loitering. There was no mention of him impeding transit activities.

BuskNY, a coalition of freelance performers, gathered on the steps of City Hall over the summer to call for an end to officers arresting, jailing, and slamming them with pricey summonses for an activity they know to be legal under the MTA’s guidelines.

Aug 02 2014

Art inspires art inspires art….again :)

Saturday morning #BuskerSketch magic from German artist,  Hardy Wilms : ) 


piconplatformBusker Sketch#6

Aug 02 2014

Things that make a busker go ‘hmmm…’

As a busker, I never quite know what people are thinking, if there’s a subtext goin’ on when they say they love my voice & singing & then follow it with “I’m going to pray for you” 



Jun 18 2014

Favourite quotes of NYPD Officers to me since Bratton’s ‘reign’

“Oh those rules, yeah I know all about those rules, we don’t care about the rules”
“What rules?”
“Heidi, I thought we had an agreement? You wouldn’t sing & I wouldn’t bother you?”
“Oh that that First Amendment thing again, we’ve heard of that, it doesn’t matter, you’re still getting a ticket”
(Lean in & Whispered) “This platform is actually a terrorist target”
“Technically you’re not doing anything illegal, but you still can’t do it”
“I’m gonna give you a ticket ’cause my supervisor wants to see I’m doing something useful, but once I”m gone you can start singing again”
“Have you ever thought of conforming?” #seriously?


Jul 12 2012

‘Manhattanhenge’ over Times Square on way home from busking last night :)

May 16 2012

Favourite Feedback of the day ♥

My favourite feedback of the day from a guy who didin’t talk…he got my heart with this ♥ (excuse the blurry train pic – lotta movement on the #1 🙂

Apr 21 2012

A Guy on Train ~

Guy on train, after pokin’ around, trying to find a place to put a dollar while I’m singing: “That was just a test”
Me: “A test?”
Guy: “A test, to see if you’d stop or keep singing”
Me: “Haha – I never stop unless you have a gun, a walkie & a badge” 🙂

Apr 12 2012

Indoor Sunstainable Garden Project in the Sky ♥

Apr 04 2012

A glimpse into the start to my indoor sustainable/edible garden on the 45th Floor :)

Today my neighbor gave me both a clipping from her Aloe plant as well as some Basil seeds to plant. I’ve wanted to have a sustainable, edible indoor garden here in NYC for a while now & looks like today is the start of my most recent manifestation 🙂 So, my new friends & I will be posting our progress as we grow, bloom, thrive & settle in to our home on the 45th Floor, over looking 42nd St & The Hudson River here in NYC <3

Aloe Clipping day #1 :)Newly Planted Basil Seeds - Day #1 :)And, although not edible, the tired & true Joya plant, rescued form a dumspter in Washington, DC blooms on, happy as ever here in NYC 🙂

Apr 03 2012

A First in The Subway Diaries fan mail department :)

I get a lot of mail re The Subway Diaries – but a hand written note on Birch Bark is a first! 🙂 Love it! <3