I went to play at the 42nd Street/Bryant Park stop today - nice day, I was feeling good about getting out early and catching some tourists as they headed out for their day in the city.
Best laid plans, though...
I set up at a nice spot on the F/V platform; pretty quiet, decent passenger traffic, and started to play. Got a few encouraging nods and a couple of folks threw some change in during the first couple of songs - always a good start. Figured I'd be there for a while but then, four songs in, KBOINNGGGG my D string just found it all too much and unravelled.
I knew how it felt.
But luckily I was only a few blocks away from 48th Street, home of Sam Ash's music shop. Sam Ash took over Manny's, a famous Broadway musical landmark across the street, and about a month and a half ago they moved all their guitar stuff over into Manny's building.
Gone, unfortunately, are all the amazing autographed pictures that used to line Manny's walls of pretty much every famous guitarist from the last 30 years. There's a good article here about the takeover.
On my way up to 48th, though, it was easy to be waylaid by the music 'in the open' - the 'Broadway in Bryant Park' season kicked off today with the cast of 'In The Heights'; then I passed Espiritu Andino who were playing outside the Nokia Theatre. (Mariachis 4, Pan Flutes 4).
The Times Square Alliance 'Best Of The Buskers' series (tagline - "Grate Performances") had a show by Bronx-based breakdance crew NYC Transformerz.
And then of course, there was Times Square's famous and ubiquitous Naked Cowboy, always a hit with the tourists.
Marriage Made In Hollywood - Paul Brady (first time I've played it since I did it for BuskerCam a couple of weeks back)
Who'll Stop The Rain - John Fogerty
Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen
Leap Of Faith - Bruce Springsteen
In all, I only played for about 20 minutes and got $1.60. My running total is now $53.49.
As I've been playing and riding the subway, I've seen posters for this charity, (I particularly liked the one that read 'If there's one bank that needs a bailout it's the food bank') and since I wanted to give any money I made to an organization that specifically works around poverty, children and New York City, I think they fit the bill.
So whatever final total I make during the project, I'll hand it over to the Robin Hood Foundation.