I decided to take my video camera with me into the city today. I recorded every subway musician I heard to and from Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown to my destination in the Lower East Side. It's a total of 4 trains and several blocks of underground subway tunnels. I pass by these musicians without a second thought, without eye contact, and usually without dropping change into their hat or bucket. But back when I first moved here, I was stunned to see so many people line the tunnels, corners, and platforms of the dirty, cold, and crowded subways. I've seen people with full sized harps, cellos, and keyboards down there - a tremendous effort when I realize the narrow stairs and escalators they have to navigate through to get there.
So today, I made a conscience effort to stop for a few moments at each one and give them the encouragement that I myself so desire as a performing musician. By the end of the day, I was really digging at the bottom of my purse to find enough change to donate. But I hope wherever they are now, they can appreciate that they were my magical moments for today. I hope they are for you too. (P.S. the last performer is by FAR the most entertaining!)