Wednesday night, coming home from Manhattan (the 51st and Lex stop of IRT/(E train) there was a Chinese man sitting on the platform playing an Erhu, (a stringed Chinese instrument. See one here)
It's pretty common for this busy station to have (in non rush hours) people selling books and magazines* (their wares spread out on the platform) and its pretty common to have a musician or two on the platform..
The musician and music vary.. sometimes a sax player, playing the blues, (mmm) or a drummer stomping out noise (yes, I am editorializing here!) there are often keyboard players who have amps and all sorts of equipment!
As I walked down the platform to my preferred spot (the one that will put me right at the stairwell that leads to the exit closest to me) I started listening to the music.
It dawned me.. it was Danny Boy... I stopped and smiled at the musician, dug into my pocket for some change to put into his hat, and started singing the burden.. (the pipes, the pipes are calling!)
Only in NY would you find a Chinese musician playing an Irish tune on a subway platform filled with asians of every sort, as well as representatives of almost every spanish speaking country in the word, with a hand full of eastern europeans, and various other ethnic groups thrown in.
And yes, I know all about western vs. non western musical scales, and that Irish music (true Irish vs Irish American) is in many ways closer to Chinese music than one might realize--Still!
A peek at what I am (and was)working on (while riding the E train)
The color is a bit off, the yarn is actually a simple classic navy blue.