I showed up at Grand Central Shuttle today and performed for a steady stream of commuters. People seemed, tired, and focused on their movement. Lots of rolling suitcases which I interpreted as flights are now back on schedule, or people were moving to their next shelter. No matter what, I could feel the energy as a sort of accepted shock, and I was glad to do my part and fill the station with song and positive vibes. I reminded people that we were all in this together and that kindness, patience and support were needed in a time like this.
People were kind, generous and well if I may say so, softer. It wasn't as noisy as usual either and I found singing to be effortless. I had a nice chat with "Piano Red" who told me he had been playing on the street to a daily crowd of generous New Yorkers. I chatted with Calvin who traveled here to run in the Marathon, and although disappointed to not have run in dedication to his grandparents, he was positive, inspired. He gladly let me film him for my Inspiration Project. What Inspires Calvin?
I talked with an MTA worker who had been working non stop, since last week. Nousha Salimi a wonderful photo journalist came by to capture the day and sent me some great shots. One of me and Brisdane Ford, another Music Under NY musician who sadly lost many of his possessions including his keyboard a few years ago in a fire. It was great to see him.
Nousha Salimi photographs
I walked past the Public Library on my way to Grand Central. Do you know that by Thursday 55 branches were open? I applaud Tony Marx the President of NYPL for mobilizing his staff to provide not only a place for people to read books, but to charge phones, connect to the internet or meet up with friends and neighbors. To know the doors were open, this is what a great institution is all about.
Encouraging words from NYPL President Tony Marx:
I hope that you and your family are safe. As our city recovers, we at The New York Public Library are working to provide essential services to New Yorkers who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In the aftermath of this disaster, families across the city have relied on our branches to meet crucial needs. With the support of friends like you, we have built a Library system that is far more than a repository of books; it is a place where neighbors come together, resources are freely available, and New Yorkers can find information and a place to work together when schools and subways are closed. Over the past few days, we have served countless New Yorkers by providing welcoming spaces and making computers, Internet, and charging stations readily available. We've also added programming for thousands of public school students -- and we will continue to offer enriching activities and services in the days and weeks to com
For New Yorkers seeking reliable information, librarians have been helping patrons navigate the FEMA and Con Edison websites. We've also been providing resource and reference assistance via our Ask NYPL phone line (917-275-6975). In addition, we've waived fines and given automatic renewals to all borrowers, extending the due dates for 390,000 items. When the storm caused the cancellation of Library Lions, our annual fundraiser, NYPL decided to donate the evening's food -- enough to feed more than 600 people -- to the residents of hurricane-ravaged Staten Island. We're striving to ease the burden on New Yorkers in every way we can.
and on a personal note, 57 years ago today my parents were married in NYC. Both native New Yorkers. My father who sadly died young, is remembered every day. He was a civil engineer and there are many bridges in NYC that he worked on including the Broadway Bridge across the Harlem River. My mother no longer lives in NY but enjoys the NY stories I tell in my blogs. Happy Anniversary.