Community, connection and history

Tonight NYCSubwayGirl will come above ground for the New York Junior League's annual benefit held at Sotheby's.

One afternoon in the subway, I chatted with a member of the organization. I had heard about the Junior League but didn't know anything about what it did or stood for. I was excited to learn of their signature project 'The Playground Improvement Project' to restore NYC playgrounds, and this year will be their 20th restoration.  A worthy cause. I was asked to participate in the live auction package which will include an evening of NYCSubwayGirl Cathy Grier performing: An original concert, a cocktail party with cabaret and French inspired songs, a Blues concert? A folky sing-along? A lullaby to the kids? Winner gets to choose.

NYCSubwayGirl is committed to helping out organizations that serve the community.  For example, last week I performed to benefit Columbia County Habitat For Humanity to help raise needed funds to complete their 11th building in Hudson NY.

Next week I'm performing with Laurie Anderson and Joy Askew to benefit Art For Animals, an organization dedicated to not only educating children about animals, but also providing well needed medical funds to animal shelters.

Some background:

NYCSubwayGirl evolved after I was featured on the cover of AMNY one morning. Commuters rushing past as I perform may not catch my name so I thought of keywords used in searching the internet and NYCSubwayGirl was born.  That's a good marketing reason, but on a more personal level, NYCSubwayGirl is a way to participate in the underground fabric of sound and be a presence in the urban environment. NYCSubwayGirl is also the part of me that loves connecting with people and seeing the powerful influence music has on all of us, whatever the genre or style. It's the sense of community I feel while performing in public spaces that really gave me the impetus to create NYCSubwayGirl. 

I love singing under the elegant ceilings of Grand Central Station that captures my voice as if in a cathedral. And when I sing on the platform at Astor Place, the acoustics capture a edgier effect. Performing against the backdrop of a gorgeous mosaics wall in Times Square as multiple subway lines converge is a poetic dance of people, art, music and sounds. These places have one thing in common; the life force of this amazing city and the people who live and travel here. And of course when I get a chance to come above ground for a concert, club or benefit performance, I'm thrilled.

People often ask if I'm from New York. I was born upstate in Ogdensburg where my father was a civil engineer who helped build the bridges across the Saint Lawrence River. He also worked on the Harlem-Broadway Bridge. Three of my grandparents were born and raised here too (my mother's father arrived from Antigua in the late 1920's).  One great grandfather played the piano to silent films in NYC movie houses and another worked in the garment district. When I was 20  I performed my first NYC club date at Folk City. I have been living in NYC since 1996, when I returned after living in France for many years. I love my NYC history. 

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image by k.kilmartin


on 2011-04-26 16:16 by NYC Subway Girl

It was a great event.  The winning bid was $2300.  Fantastic!

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Sotheby's bidding on NYCSubwayGirl

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NYCSubwayGirl package Junior LeagueNYCSubwayGirl dresses up

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benefits NYJL Playground Project