My first weekend session, and I wanted to play somewhere today that people might come with some sense of joy.
So I thought I'd head to a place I might go with my kids - that is, make them come with me for Father's Day - if they were here.
The Natural History Museum stop was just as busy as I thought, and it actually had some pretty good, resonant acoustics as well, with a decent amount of time between trains.
There's plenty of tourists and families off to the museum. I've been learning from recent experience about making eye contact and following passengers with your body as they come past - make it seem like you're playing just for them. It always worked for me when I was the audience rather than the performer.
But I learned a more important lesson today. When you're playing at a big tourist location, play on the platform where they'll be spending more time. I was playing on the uptown platform, because it looked busy, sounded good and there was a good spot to play. But by far most of the people were going to the museum, so they weren't sticking around.
What I should have done was go to the downtown platform, where people would be waiting after they came out of the museum. There'd be more of them, they'd be waiting for longer and they'd be in less of a hurry.
By the time I figured that out and headed downstairs though, this guy was already set up and you could hear him all along the platform. If it was any consolation, he didn't seem to be doing any better than I had.
I played for about an hour and ten minutes and made 50 cents.
Crazy Dreams - Paul Brady
Waiting For My Real Life To Begin - Colin Hay
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
100 Miles - Catie Curtis
Tracks Of My Tears - Smokey Robinson
The White Hare - Seth Lakeman
People Get Ready - Curtis Mayfield
Drift Away - Dobie Gray
My Beautiful Reward - Bruce Springsteen
American Girl - Tom Petty
You Can't Always Get What You Want - Rolling Stones
May You Never - John Martyn
Galway Girl - Steve Earle
Peace Love and Understanding - Elvis Costello
On my platform today I got into a nice conversation with a guy about Curtis Mayfield after I'd played 'People Get Ready'. We talked about how tragic the end of his life had been, and how we should all be thankful for what we have and celebrate each day, simply because we don't know what tomorrow might bring.
So, finally, for fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers everywhere...