A day with New York's street musicians

The city of New York is also synonymous with street music and is home to several popular  Street Musicians. Here is my chance encounter with Linda, a quintessential New York street musician, who gave me a guided tour of the street music scene in her city :)

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This is Linda :)

I was waiting impatiently outside a men's loo in a dodgy cafe in Brooklyn one hot afternoon when Linda (I didn't know her name then) barged out of the door. I was surely surprised, but didn't show it - I guess I was trying to come across as that super cool Indian guy who is not surprised by whatever comes across his way in America :) But it was odd nevertheless, because she actually walked out with a big guitar and struggling with two bags on her shoulders and panting as if she had just returned from a small hike! I must have looked surprised, because she winked and walked away :)

The next I saw her was on the train station as we waited for our train for Manhattan. She was still struggling with her stuff so I offered to help. Of course we got chatting, and I got to know about her love for music and Indian food. Later she told me that she was a street musician who was on her way to a park for a performance and earn some money. I cooly nodded until she asked me to join her for the day! Now I felt uncomfortable - my mum had also told me to be wary of friendly strangers in trains :) :)

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A beautiful day...lovely blue sky

Anyway, I decided to throw caution out of the window (of the train, of course) and join her as she walked around the city streets singing songs, playing guitar and just laughing and making jokes. Just out of train, we met two of her other street-musician friends and they did a small impromptu performance for us. But being by her side in the park was most fun - she was almost a performer singing next to the water fountain! I was super impressed and I offered to buy her a coffee in a cafe of her choice - she decided to take me to one close by which was also famous for clones! She was not really well-off and even I felt rich with my meagre student stipend - we ended up gorging on coffee and baked delicacies :)

I left her as the sun was setting after a real active day! But I guess these are the perks of solo traveling - the days always surprise you :)

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With his grand dad
new york street musician sunbathing park men male guy girl couples
Everyone just enjoying the sun...it can get rare there
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Kids playing in the fountain!

If you enjoyed this post and looking for more recommendations on exploring New York, here's a great guide: How to explore New York like a local!

Did you know that in Hawaii, it's not the guitar but another instrument Ukelele which is most popular. It developed in the 19th Century and has now become an essential part of Hawaiian music.

Read more: Ukelele Reviews


I basically got inspired to share this story after watching the movie 'Begin Again' last night with friends. The fact that the movie is based in my most favourite city in the world (New York) with multiple references to street musicians there, reminded me of this incident which I had not yet shared on the blog. If you like New York and music, go watch it! It will bring back all your great memories from there :)


  1. New York is beautiful and your article about street musicians adds to its beauty. To experience the Big Apple more closely, travel with www.roundtrips365.com

  2. Oh! How open u r to the world!! Wish I was a guy so I cud do it too..throw caution to the wind! Love NY too...it's so high on spirit and there's a story & choice at every turn. knowing u had this experience...brought me smiles....such treasures, aren't they?


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