Saturday, December 15, 2018

And I say to myself...

what a wonderful

As usual on Blogger, click any photo for a better view. 

This one's for Laura over at Coast of Illinois who got me going on one odd reason why I'm especially fond of these guys when she commented that her sad train commute needs buskers. 

Yes, a good busker is a blessing to a commute. Bad ones can be another story but I love these guys.

They play at my stop in Soho pretty regularly (sometimes together, sometimes trombone guy on his own). Funny thing is that they really won me over by their habit of sticking to their regular jazz standards right through the holiday season - NYC loves doing Christmas, and although I do love singing and hearing traditional carols, the incessant aural bombardment of pop Christmas songs in every store sometimes gets to me, especially if I'm feeling a little blue or stressed anyways which sometimes happens to me. I get nipped at by mild depression from time to time and when that happens at Christmas all the be-of-good-cheer stuff can get overwhelming and I get to  where I'd just like to crawl under the covers and stay there until December 26th if not January 2nd. Call it "Holidazed". Can't imagine what it's like for people with deeper depression - if anyone's reading this who goes through that, you have my respect and sympathy.

These guys are good and and if they wanted to, they could go with the holiday theme and do some wonderful brass arrangements of Christmas songs. I would like them and I would give them money, but there's something so refreshing about coming out of the office and walking past all the Soho shop windows pushing you to buy stuff with their holiday glitz, and then getting to the subway stairs and then hearing the strains of "Mac the Knife" drifting up to greet you and know you're getting a jazzy little hiatus from the season while you wait for the train. The first time I heard them was one of those times when my holiday spirits were wearing thin and I was just delighted to find them playing their tunes. Just the break I'd needed. I could just feel myself unwinding while I listened.

I was delighted to find them at 14th street yesterday, I'd gone to the main post office at 34th street (open all night) to put a couple of items in the mail (there some candy and there was some hair, I sure hope I got the mailing labels right!) and was switching from the C to the D here to get back to Brooklyn. I was down on the other end of the platform when I realized I was hearing "Hello Dolly". Went down to investigate 'cause the performing style sounded really familiar, and sure enough, there they were. Nice surprise, made the sort of long wait for a D train way better.

And as long as I'm posting about running errands in NYC - the Empire State Building (also on 34th St.) looked neat with its head in the clouds last night. I'm glad I had a camera along. 


Bursledon Blogger said...

I'm with you on buskers generally, they brighten up what can be a dour commute.

I'm slightly humbug about Christmas brass bands, often playing in a cramped shopping mall at volumes which would have the health and safety police out in force if it were a normal work environment.

By contrast the guy playing solo violin in Farnham last week was fantastic and not a Christmas tune in his repertoire.

Wishing you a great Christmas and watch out for my upcoming Hot Music post.


bonnie said...

Hi Max!

Yes, at first I felt a little funny writing a post about getting tired of Christmas music this time of year, but then I thought "Well, I know that holiday overload is a not uncommon thing" and went with it.

Merry Christmas to you too!

Alana said...

My spouse, who is retired now, spent many years at a retail job and he absolutely forbids me to play any Christmas music within his earshot. He winces whenever he goes into a store playing it. I feel for him! I haven't been on a NYC subway since July of 2013, and I remember an acapella group who made their few minutes in our car for the ride from 34th Street to Gravesend so enjoyable. BTW, I am not a Brooklyn gal, but a Bronx gal. My Dad grew up in Brooklyn, though (my Mom was from the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I still have some family there.

Haralee said...

Yes I get tired of the tunes too. I do not like Bing Crosby or Johnny Mathis, I know, crazy, but I don't. I totally get it when your ears are refreshed with Mac the Knife or Hello Dolly this time of year!

bonnie said...

Ah, good, so not just me! Phew!

OMG, Alana, I can't even imagine working in a store. Auuuuggghh! And oops, sorry, somehow I was thinking Brooklyn - maybe you told a story about being there or about your dad growing up there and I just assumed.

I don't get to the Bronx too often but the zoo's been offering some special tours that sound pretty neat, been thinking I might go up there one of these day.

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

I am absolutely fascinated by your life in New York! It is so very different from mine and always seems to be a place--well, rather like a dream to me. I love to hear about your adventures in the waterways and parks and subways. I feel as though I'm a personal witness to a wonderful movie.
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing life with me!