Tuesday, January 22, 2008

California Transplant: NYC Subway Arts

Theo is in New York City. I can not imagine a more misplaced guy. He's a kayaker, guide and whitewater instructor, and he has worked for W.E.T. River Trips for a long time. He and his significant other are in NYC experiencing the world class city together. He sent this post to let us know how he was doing. We miss you Theo. Season starts in a couple more weeks. He promises to get back to California for the rafting trips. Here are his words and observations...

The opportunity to live and work in New York City was one that my love and myself could not pass up. Coming from California to the East Coast provided great change. There are many things that we find ourselves still taking in and will be, I am sure, for some time. One of those changes, however, makes itself more noticeable on a day-to-day basis; that is transportation. For me, walking to get to and from where I need to go has replaced driving. Thus, the daily commute is partially done on foot, walking to the next train, bus or taxi, which will take you to your destination of choice. More commonly than not, I find myself using the subway system to get from place to place. This is where a unique world makes itself apparent, where every man and woman seemingly regards one another as equal, and where performing arts create the mood.

My main point in this blog is to reflect on what happens in the New York City Subway, specifically relating to the people, for whatever motive, who are performing, educating, making a buck or perhaps just passing the time.

As a newcomer to New York City, it is a challenge to be another expressionless New Yorker when I hear the powerful sound of a group of musicians creating music. Certainly, the energy provided makes the transit more exciting. Some of the performances that I have witnessed are as follows:

Two mime interpretations; one of a ballet dancer and the other of a clown

A one-man band; playing a guitar, with a harmonica in the mouth, and still having the rhythm to use his feet on a contraption that adds value to his musical sound

Man with a guitar and microphone singing

Man singing; not a great voice, but consistent, as I saw him more than once in the same spot

Asian man playing what I believe to be a Chinese instrument

Several guitar players

Poetry and songs on the S or Shuttle Train; a train that goes back and forth between Grand Central Station and 42nd Street/ Port Authority

Group on foreign instruments (to me) playing beautiful seasonal music

Mariachi on the moving train; really.

A large group of Quakers (I believe) singing

Thank you Theo for the great NYC post. We look forward to hearing more about your new world... and, get yourself back to California for the whitewater trips, bro!

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