Union Square station is zing zag of subway lines, power walkers and outdoor advertisements. In the midst of busy meets busy is a bit of relief. Radiohead serenades me as I schlep my heavy grocery bags through the subway station. The unthinkable happens. ” Fuck, shit, fuck,” I proclaim. “My iPod is out of juice.” This is a crisis, which faces many New Yorkers on a daily basis.
Then an angel descends. Appearing like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego and old school Madonna from the 80’s, this angel is highly androgynous. He/she walks toward me. ” No child of mine will ever be without musical stimulation,” says the androgynous angel who sounds very much like Louis Armstrong. Radiohead fades, but something magical romances my ears.
As Union Square station becomes more frenetically pace, as does the beating of drums. The sound compliments the environment like Simon to Garfunkel. The drums beat louder and louder. I walk down to the 6-train platform to investigate. The most jaded of New Yorkers are gathered and equally intrigued by the beating of drums. However, these aren’t you’re ordinary rock n’ roll drums, but buckets.
They beat the buckets creating an extraordinary soundtrack. I stare intrigued. “Buckets, why didn’t I think of that?” The sound also compliments the roar of the subway and the unexpectedly musical sound of the train beating against the tracks. “Wow, for once I’m glad my iPod ran out of juice,” I thought to myself, while almost dancing to the pulsating rhythms.
The New York City subway has it’s own soundtrack. There is the Doo-wop band at the 51st street station. The morning Mariachi band serenade commuters with tales of old Mexico. A jazz musician plays George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in blue” providing a more quintessentially New York sounds.
Not enjoying our favorite song on the iPod can be near tragic. However, New York will never have a day without music, thanks to the city’s street musicians. They keep musical tastes diverse and even bring an avant-garde quality to a see that’s seen it all. The androgynous musical angel smiles brightly above Gotham.