musings of a subway performer and lifelong troubadour

sounds of Whitehall ferry terminal 11/18/09

Added on by NYC Subway Girl.

I perform with so many different accompanying sounds-some I work with, with gusto, others I try to tune out, sometimes in vain. Yesterday I was at Whitehall SI ferry terminal-a great enveloping hall. Music flows effortlessly as I don't have to work hard against competing sound.  I try to be sensitive to the constant announcements and not sing over.  I even think the announcer is sensitive to waiting until I’m not singing to make his speech (but I'm probably dreaming). Before each ferry departure large sliding doors open wide, then slowly close which make people arriving late run, and they sure can run jingling everything in percussive rhythm. The station pipes in bird's song, which I’m not really sure why, and after a while the chirping seems very out of place.  Pigeons that live and fly around the space land with a comical skid on the smooth floor, of course kids try to catch them. Adults ignore them, accepting their presence as a matter of fact.

There's a hierarchy of sorts with the commuters standing at the doors waiting to rush through, and the homeless people that hang out on the sides, the security guards walk around, police dogs sniff, and sometimes bark but they're black and golden labs, so they are not menacing like the german shepards I've seen at other stations.  A security agent said hi, and commented on how my music is the right sound, that other artists are for the most part really too loud and inconsiderate of the space, and probably why they'll stop allowing us to play. I do hope this is not going to happen, I really love this spot.  A guy listened closely for a while-he a guitarist was checking out my fingerwork, then leaving smiled and said "see ya subway girl".

I did have to contend with a guy aimlessly wandering around making farting sounds.  Okay funny at first, or not, but as the hours ticked by it was definitely grating on my nerves.  Another guy was handing out leaflets to people passing him, he came by tipped me and left me one-all about a NSA 911 conspiracy.  I might have been more curious if it wasn't so full of personal paranoia over people trying to kill him (his dentist was asked to poison his dentures, he invites you to learn more on his website, but adds to make sure the battery in your cell phone is removed first otherwise you'll be tracked).  When I was done, a young guy came by and started preaching to the crowd about everyone going to hell, and sinners repent, and only through Jesus Christ will we all be saved.

The Statue of Liberty is visible from the terminal windows.  Ah America, what a place we call home.