After a long day of driving from Portsmouth, NH, (where I played barely 10 hours ago) and dropping our friend off at a train stop in Massachusetts so he could fly home via Boston’s Logan International, my roadie and I were pretty tired. But this was my only chance to play in the subway.
I’ve been impressed by many subway musicians in New York City over the years, and it felt almost presumptuous that I could take my place among them, even way past rush hour. But if you can make it here, etc.
I’m not sure what “making it” would entail, but not getting run out of the subway by angry citizens would probably be close enough for me. Even as a self-taught musician I don’t usually suffer from impostor syndrome but this was as close as I’ve come in a long time. I mean, where do I get the nerve?
So I was pleased to witness no eye-rolling, no barely concealed pointing, and no other signs that people were thinking I had no business being there. Most people just walked by indifferent to me…like I was just another subway musician. Success!
A few people reacted more favorably. Notably, I seemed to resonate with teenagers, several of whom were appreciative enough to drop a buck into my guitar case. And a guy with a video camera, who said he goes around New York filming interesting people, asked if he could film a couple of songs. So that’s out there now.
In summer, the subway is often cool and comfortable, like when a train is going by, but otherwise is very still and hot. At 10PM, well past rush hour, there were enough still and hot times that I was quickly drenched (or maybe re-drenched) in sweat. And for a second show in one day, on top of all the driving lately, people seemed to appreciate the great effort I put out to entertain them.
But it had been a long day. I was tired. The bad taste of the Portsmouth show was gone, and soon after, so was I.
Street View omitted because this was well below street level. But this is approximately where I was: