Posts tagged: The Subway Diaries
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
More uber kind shout outs from Street I Am <3
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.
Last night on my way home from speaking on all things Subway at The New York Public Library, there was an elderly woman our lobby, struggling to walk to the elevator. I helped her in with a friend & then I walked her to her door & made sure she was settled. Despite her real struggle to walk, I was struck by how upbeat & chatty she was, talking & giggling about life, how she ended up out in the hallway alone etc. Along the 1/2 hour journey to get her back home safely I asked her; “Tienes familia aqui in Neuva York?” (do you have any family here in New York?) Her response along with her consistent bubbly demenour floored me especially in it’s contrast to her struggle just to take a step on her own ; “No, pero, la humanidad es mi familia” (No, however, humanity is my family). I smiled & respnded; “Para m√≠ mismo, yo cantaba en el metro y la humanidad es tambi√©n mi familia ” (Same for me. I sing in the Subways & humanity is my family as well) I hugged her & thanked her for allowing me to walk with her as I left admiring her seemingly unbreakable faith in all things good.