My underground friend Danny’s take on President Trump – “I like Mr Trump. I think he’s a good man. My daughter worked for him at Trump Towers as a concierge & he always treated her really good. So good that she bought a condo on Park Avenue that’s now worth over a million dollars. I like Mr Trump. He’s a very generous man” Danny – The Subway Diaries#GeecheeDan #TheSingingDragon #Danny #Busk
I always describe NYC Buskers (and the homeless for that matter) as “Urban Sociologists” as we are observers. We function on energy, on feeling versus thinking, the latter being what most of this particular city runs on. Innate & intricate observation of humanity & that 6th sense is how we survive, thrive & change other’s energy underground.
Today, standing on a busy corner on 10th Avenue I heard a tap, tap, tap and saw the red tip of a white cane, closely followed by an elderly man who clumsily rounded the corner, obviously not sure which direction he was to move next. I stopped & was just about to offer him help him when he said; “Can someone help me across the street?” I put my arm in his & said “I’m happy to help you. Which direction are you headed, Uptown?” “Yes” the elderly blind man said.
As we slowly walked across the street, everyone else scattered in all four directions without even noticing the elderly blind man, nor his plea for help. He asked my name, introduced himself as Joe & asked;”Where are you headed? I wondered if you could walk me to my bus stop?” “I’m headed where you’re headed. I’m happy to walk you Joe” I responded.
As Joe & I walked slowly up the hill towards 57th Street, he asked me what I did & he told me he lives in a group home & goes to a community center in the day to keep his mind occupied. “How is it where you live?” I asked “Oh, it’s ok. sometimes the people are…well…kind of a pain….” “Yeah, sometimes people, can be a hassle right?” “Sure can” Joe replied. “Probably’d be easier to live with a bunch of puppies” I chimed in, always choosing the fur babies. “Sure would!” Joe replied. Joe & I rounded the corner and I settled him at his bus stop. “Bye Joe. It was lovely walking with you & hang in there at your home” “Bye Heidi & thank you very much”
As I walked away scurrying to my appointment I was now late for, I felt grateful. Grateful of that 6th sense & to connect with someone who needed help, in the middle of this mad, concrete island. I know this is a busy face-paced city but my short visit with my new friend was literally the best part of my day & I wondered how many others on that street corner might have also benefitted from the gift of meeting & walking with Joe. I just happened to be the lucky one
Left in my guitar case. Thought it pretty spot on to share at this point in US & mostly human history ##Busk #Love #Compassion #Serenity
Best busking compliment ever is when a straphanger comes up to you after your song & says: “I was on the train & got off when I heard your voice” #SubwayLoveTonight (Photo – Henning Fischer)
Drunk people are the most tuned & honest people on the planet. They function on feeling alone, void of all social censorship and always speak their mind. Tonight a totally toasted, dude decided to plant himself on the end seat of the bench on the A,C,E at Port Authority, Times Square to listen & dance & sing & yeah almost fall over. numerous times. No matter if he was sitting or standing, every time I sang he got all wound up so I practiced stopping in the hopes he’s get bored & leave, but instead he just gave me a look of confusion & dropped more money in my case asking for more music. Oddly, he seemed to know exactly what I was sensing before, during & after each song & he’d softly share his observations through drunken mumbles & just like “The Drunken Prophet” in “The Subway Diaries”, he was freakishly spot on. The most common phrase mumbled being; “take your time, take your time” which can almost always apply to me. At one point the stumbling, fumbling guy reached into his backpack & pulled out a water & a grape drink, careened over to me & placed them next to me. He would not allow me to decline so, since I was indeed out of water, I kept the gifts. He then spent the remainder of the time instructing everyone at Port Authority, with vast hand gestures towards my guitar case, that dollars were an appropriate show of appreciation for the music. More dancing, ‘air conducting’, and stumbling around, continued until finally, after 2 full hours, he fell into a drunken sleep on the bench.
Today I’ll be speaking & answering questions re the underground & busking in NYC NY, along with Kurt Boone & Matthew Christian of BUSKNY. Stop on by!
I was by The Hudson River when a woman with a scrappy, wet little puppy covered from head to toe in Hudson mud began tugging madly at his leash in my direction. I caught his owner’s eye and removed my headphones to hear her say: “Would you mind? Would you mind giving him some love? he’s been so uneasy today, and I don’t know why. Just craving some affection & love & I just know he won’t calm down ’till someone gives him some attention”
Me, as I walk over to the little soggy spastic creature: “I think most of us feel exactly the same way right now so I totally get it little one.” And as I petted the water logged, mud splattered creature he began to calm down & soon was leaning motionless against my leg in a little mop-like stupour.
Girl: “Thank you so much. He is so much better right now. You’re the only person who stopped”
Me: “What’s his name?”
Girl: “Noah” (Meaning = Rest & Comfort)
omg the kids tonight – adorable. I wish there was footage I could share with you all. One little girl, napping, curled up in her dad’s arms, eyes poking shyly out from under her bangs cuddled there, to my right through song #1 but when I switched to song #2, (“La Bamba” ) I noticed the crowd pointing & smiling & grabbing their phones. I turned & there she was, sitting straight up like a rod & clapping her hands over her head in perfect time, squiggling madly in her dad’s arms.
Author, Poet & Photographer, Kurt Boone kindly invited me to sign copies ofÂ The Subway Diaries tomorrow at his launch of Subway Beats: Celebrating New York City Buskers @ 6PM Downtown NYC, NY. Come out & support NYC Buskers & Artists! <3https://www.facebook.com/events/349609918719414/