I was on my way home from dinner and a movie with a friend in Soho Sunday evening, and since the weather was beautiful, I decided to take A train and walk home from Columbus Circle instead of taking the 1 train and arriving almost at my door (useless information for non New Yorkers but since most of my dozen or so readers are from New York or surrounding areas it makes sense).
We descended into the subway, swiped our cards, and said goodbye, but to my chagrin, no A train was listed. I started to exit via the turnstile when the man sitting in the subway booth saw me and motioned for me to stop. He then left the booth and came over to me. “I saw you just entered, what’s the problem? No A train I replied. Yes, there is, just head down the stairs and the A will be arriving in 2 minutes”. Was I dreaming? On what universe does an MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) employee notice anyone, let alone me, entering then attempting to leave and, especially on a crowded Sunday evening?
Now I felt trapped and itimidated enough to follow his instructions. Lo and behold two minutes later I was on the A train heading to Columbus Circle! But wait, that’s not the magical part. At the next stop as soon as the doors closed I heard the dreaded words “excuse me ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want to bother you but…..” This usually means some poor soul is asking for money and/or trying to sell something. Something in the tone of his voice, however,made me look up from my phone (usually no one does).
Now for the magic… standing at the door was a handsome, well-dressed teen holding a violin, “my name is Buddy,” he said. “I’m a high school Senior and I just won a scholarship to Juilliard. With your permission, I’d like to play something for you”. My applause at this announcement got me a dimpled smile from Buddy and encouraged more people to join me.
By this time, almost everyone had put down their phones and were paying attention. He was truly amazing and the applause and donations were so encouraging he stayed on past his stop and and played two encores.
One more reason to love New York! See for yourself