Grand Central Station Graybar corridor 1/08/10
Graybar performing spot is like performing in a perfect performance hall, the sound, the natural reverberation is incredible. As I sing under the amazing granite-limestone? dome, the sound envelops and carries down the corridor towards the main terminal. Over the past years small kiosks have set up throughout the corridor selling all kinds of stuff. I am sensitive not to be too loud for the merchants who, unlike the steady stream of passing commuters, do get to hear my entire 3 hours of performing. Joe, the coffee shop across from me, brings in a steady crowd and the smell of coffee is intoxicating.
Today I set up wondering if it would be too cold, it was in the teens outside and the Lexington doors are only about 200’ away from me, but the air didn’t carry anything too icy!
I love singing in this spot, it’s effortless, and today was another kind of day where if I had been my only audience I would have been content. I know that sounds strange, but hey if I can’t enjoy what I do then I need to change careers! People were definitely grooving on what I was doing. Ian introduced himself-he works at Rosetta Stone, and thinking I was too loud I said so, no he replied I was thinking there are people who make millions, and sell out stadiums and are less talented than you- you guys (meaning me and the other MUNY performers at this location) are amazing and I so appreciate it. He put a huge smile on my face.
Later, when I was in the middle of singing God Bless The Child a woman walked up and listened intently, when I finally focused on her face I realized that we knew each other. It was crazy amazing electric flutist Carolina De La Norte. Our lives intersected in 1997 when I first returned to NY after living in France for many years. I rented a storefront space from Carolina in the lower east side on Houston Street, before it became uber trendy and when artists like us actually lived in these former stores. Ours was The Bakery Outlet (now a laundrymat). I lived in the front- gloriously happy with my luck of a street level space to write and work and live, (tucking myself into the storefront everynight by pulling a large steel grate down just far enough for me to slip inside). Carolina had a great rehearsal space and all kinds of great musicians either rehearsed there or hung out. Hiram Bullock lived in the space after me for some time (I hope his soul is happy-what a talent he was).
The last time Carolina and I played together was at Arlene’s Grocery for a gig of mine. Imagine a female Ian Anderson-she’s wild and fun to jam with.
She was passing through GCS after getting off a train from Connecticut where she’d been storing some stuff at her brothers. She has since relocated to LA where she is happily settling into the music scene there. We talked for a while and voila she had her flute with her and so like old times we jammed.
I love what I do……