Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday night at Columbus Circle

I looked forward to Friday evening all week-- I had plans to see Banksy's new film with R.  The evening out was just what I needed after an intense work week-- great company, and entertainment on the way to see entertainment (as always in NY!). 

I moved through Times Square station to change trains, and although I was in a hurry, my steps slowed as I heard the sparkling notes of a hammered dulcimer.  I dropped in a dollar and walked away, but did a U-turn as the music pulled on the back of my sweater, my hair, my earlobes.

I stood in front of the musician, transfixed.  He mixed in percussion with the strings-- you can barely see the cuff he is wearing around his ankle, which rattled each time he stepped with the music.  His name is Paul Mueller, and he is also a member of a band named Mecca Bodega, which frequently plays around town.  I hope to catch them soon.  I bought a CD for $10, and can say that it's the first CD I've bought from a street musician that actually sounds good.  I'm listening to it as I write, the shimmering sounds floating through my living room.

I was eventually able to tear myself away, and finally made it to Columbus Circle.  Anything celebrating Christopher Columbus seems a little old-fashioned to me now-- with the evolving focus on the rights of indigenous people, he's not really in vogue anymore, and the holiday is more often than not seen as optional for many businesses and schools.  Columbus Circle does not shy away from its namesake, though.

From Columbus Circle, you can also see one of the grand gates to Central Park:

I was a little early for the movie at Lincoln Center, and amused myself by looking at the whimsical wares of a hat vendor.  He was very friendly and very dignified.  After talking a bit, we realized we had both lived in the midwest, which made both of us smile and also led to us each congratulating each other for escaping harsh winters.

Finally, it was time for the movies.  I highly recommend "Exit Through the Gift Shop" if you have any interest in street art, or are just in the mood for something quite different than anything you've seen before.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen the dulcimer guy playing in the subway, too, but I saw him at the Union square station. I also bought a CD from a musician in the subway, also for $10 and it also turned out to be a great CD. I bought it from the 'Saw Lady'. Have you ever seen her? She plays the musical saw:
    Thanks for he recommendation of he movie - I'll check it out (I am interested in street art).