Monday, April 17, 2006


At last it's come... We've had the Daylight Savings switchover, which, with the final defeat of winter, has an incredible effect on things like outlook, motivation, and general state of well-being. With spring's insistence on sticking around for a while comes other perks, like hanging out in Central Park, playing with the scrappy ne'er-do-wells pictured above, a.k.a. the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, thereby replenishing a famished bank account...

We play a mix of early jazz, blues, country, and any other tunes that may have been floating around New Orleans when Billy, the guitarist/vocalist, spent five years there, playing the streets. It's not a music that most people tend to seek out, but the magic of it lies in its discovery: it's just about the most perfect music to stumble upon on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Central Park. People don't even realize that they like it until they round a corner and there we are, then they've been watching for an hour. It's fun, happy, feel-good music, impossible not to smile when you hear it. Roll out the tip bucket and the CDs, and you have possibly the best day job in the city. It can be insanely lucrative: over the course of Saturday and Sunday combined, I took in about the same as I would working 40 hours at some crappy job. And a number. Can't beat that with a stick.

So here's to the welcomed return of sunshine and warmth and happiness. May it be long-lasting and prosperous for all.

On a different subject, one of things I enjoy most about the subway is the consistent effort of individuals to modify anything posted in the stations: service change notices, advertisements, etc. I saw this one for the first time a couple days ago and thought it was worth a chuckle, but I pity the one who reads it, believes it, and leans on a freshly-painted pole wearing a new jacket...


Blogger Elizabeth said...

So apparently in Chicago there is a permit required for such revelry. Is it the same in certain areas of NYC? Or can you go crazy street-performing wherever you like?

11:16 AM  
Blogger David said...

Yeah, quite correct. Have you ever heard Levi's story from a couple years ago? Down The Line even has a song about it on their first album.

As far as I know, there are only a couple of places where you definitely need a permit here in the city, popular places like upstairs platforms in Times Square and Union Square subway stations, big outdoor gathering areas, etc. These aren't even necessarily the best places to play. I think you need a permit if you amplify, 'cause that's about the only thing they can bust you on if you're not in one of the special permit spots...

No problems for us lately, so I ain't that worried.

3:12 PM  

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