Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who would steal a piano?!


It was just reported, by Gothamist and Daily News, that someone stole a pop-up piano from the Bronx! The culprit not only stole from the public but also the children that were supposed to recieve it after July 2nd. Argh. I'm sad to see that the 88 pianos have been reduced to 87. It's a lost key. Let's hope the guilty would be found...or get a concscience.

UPDATE: A local community group, Friends of Oval Park, will be replacing the piano! Here is the announcement. It's unfortunate to say but this time, please lock it up!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pianos 6, 7, 8...and more!

Well, I went hunting again. Enjoy!

This guy was playing "Lean On Me," when I walked up. He had help from 2 singing vendors working nearby! @ Astor Place

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me
When you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Battery Park! I had a hard time looking for this one. I figured since the Park isn't THAT big I'm sure I can find it...within an hour or so. As I walked along the waters I took in the view of my beloved Lady Liberty, the fishermen and the tourists (well they were in my way, lol). I walked all the way to the end and still, no sign of a piano. I stood for a minute and then I heard tinkering. A lot of tinkering. I turned around and BAM! 20 feet from me a man was brushing up his skills.

I gasped when I took off the tarp on this one. It has the official logo of the event! Yay for Sing for Hope! And it is so shiny. But I seriously wished it was at a less smelly place. It was kind of close to a restaurant's side door. This piano was stationed at the beginning of Coenties Alley. I haven't been back in this area for brunch in a long time.

I love flowers =) This one was hiding in City Hall Park behind City Hall. I was sad to see that this piano had gotten pretty worn from the weather. It's music books were still soggy from the rain probably the day before. A biker came up to me and said he was surprised that this piano was still able to carry a tune! We both agreed that this poor thing has been through a lot. After my photo session I covered her back up.

This trio was IN THE ZONE. The rest of the city was just background noise for them. I was lucky that they stopped for 2 seconds. Enough time for me to ask permission to take a picture of them (but the piano was the star, lol). CLICK. Trio resumes discussing their next piece. Latin dance.

CHINATOWN. I had to pay attention to the detail of this design. It was so simple but so nice. It's a brush drawing of a rabbit (for the rabbit year) and the iris is written over with the characters for sun and moon. I was in Chinese music central when I got here. Columbus Park is filled with old Chinese people singing opera, pop, old school music, playing chess or just chillin. On the other side of the park, you can spot a few basketball games going on. Ah, what a beautiful day. The group, to the right of the piano, was singing "My Heart Will Go On." I haven't heard that song in years and would've never expected to hear it here! Bravo! It was definitely fun to chat with the older people. They looked on as I took off the tarp of the piano. Of course I carefully wrapped it back after I was done. I was explaining to a few of them the purpose of it being here. The piano definitely belonged in this music haven.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nick Franglen underneath our Bridge!

I first heard about Nick Franglen when I was browsing through the Make Music NY 2011 site. His piece is called, "Hymn to Manhattan Bridge." What attracted me to his performance was his schedule. 12 AM to 12 AM. It was no typo. I had no excuse to miss this. I had 24 hours to make a visit. Nick is a British musician who's career spans from the early 90s to today. Nick has collaborated and written music for films, movies and other artists such as Bjork and Hole. His first album came out in 1997 when he was part of a duo, Lemon Jelly. Today, Nick is part of the electronic duo, Blacksand. They have performed in places that are seriously off the beaten path, like the inside of a submarine and abandoned facilities.

I guess it's no surprise that Nick chose to perform underneath the Manhattan Bridge for Make Music NY! Nick had a similar technique in creating a piece for the London Bridge during Fall of 2010 called, "Hymn to London Bridge." These pieces are also reliant on the footsteps of passing pedestrians and cyclists.

I found Nick talking to curious passerbys underneath the Archway of Manhattan Bridge. I photographed one of the pop-up pianos as I waited my turn. I also followed him out to see him pointing at the wires that were dangling up to the Bridge's walkway. Whoa.

Finally, it was my turn to speak with Nick! He is a lovely person. Very welcoming to everyone who wanted to speak with him about why he was there. He was running on the excitement of the day's event! Nick told me that there is a huge difference between the Hymns of London and Manhattan Bridge. Ours is much more abrasive and loud (why am I not surprised, haha). London's Hymn is more cuddly, soft and relaxing. After chatting about his music and how he liked his trip to New York, we finally bid adieu. And so the Summer of 2011 begins.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pianos 4 and 5 (2011)

Yes, I realize the picture to the left is not of a piano, but of a furry purple koala. The lovely lady was in a koala costume promoting a Broadway show while standing in a potted tree. I took this picture after I felt something bump into the back of my head which resulted in me freaking out a little bit and my good friend, Cauliflower, to laugh at my encounter. It was Miss Koala's ear that hit me. Hey, it could've been bird poo. Phew. Apparently Miss Koala got out of the tree and joined us at the piano (Broadway and 45th Street) when someone was playing it. Yay, to music bringing people together!

Onto the next one! Cauliflower and I made our way to the Library at Bryant Park. To our delight, we got there at the same time as a musician did. Craig Greenberg, just started belting out his songs. I'll have to check his music out, soon. While the rest of the surrounding people and we were enjoying Craig's music, a lot of commotion was going about. Then I realized that they were filming scenes for...White Collar! Ohmigoodness, I really like that show! The staff just started to build the set around us and asked if we can move back but offered to let us watch it on their monitors. The set was built in about 10 minutes. It was like watching Nascar. I saw Mozzie!! And Pete and Neal. Oh, Neal.

Oh, yes. Back to the piano. So Craig played a few more songs (which the White Collar staff stopped to listen to as well!) and then decided to head off to another piano. We stayed for a bit more to watch the action. Before we left, we covered the piano back up with its blue tarp since the gray skies were going to arrive soon.

I love the painting on the lower part of the piano that depicts a subway. Classic!

Pianos 2 and 3 (2011)

This darling is like a funky auntie. All bright colors and snazz yet comforting and trusting. I found her under the Archway of Manhattan Bridge. She is styling a knit cover that will also survive our summer showers under the Bridge. Give her a visit!

I was so upset when I was walking towards this piano at Shore Road Park. Why are you covered?? Can I help?? I went straight up and tried to uncover it so it can enjoy the sun!

But before I even tried, I heard "Nyet! Nyet!" I responded, "Da! Da! This is not supposed to be covered today!" The old man thought I was going to vandalize something. What?? Does this face look like it belongs to a troublemaker!? ...

Then I found a note on the blue tarp. "Sorry, this will be a rainy week so keeping covered!" Oh, phooey. You're only here for 2 weeks! I walked away in defeat. Sigh. Maybe I'll give it another try next week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Come Out and Enjoy Make Music New York 2011

Tuesday, June 21st will be the longest day of the year. This is also the annual date for Make Music New York! Make Music New York is a NYC sponsored event that turns the city into one big music festival...for free! On this day, there will be hundreds of bands playing all day from 10 to 10 (depending on neighborhood noise permits) all throughout the 5 boroughs. Most of these bands will be playing outside businesses, parks and community spaces. Please check the link for schedule and locations!

And the longest performance of the day goes to British electronic musician, Nick Franglen. Nick will be performing at the Archway of Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn side) from midnight to midnight. That's right, for 24 freaking hours. This uninterrupted and improvised 24 hour piece is called "Hymn to Manhattan Bridge." Nick will be counting on passing pedestrians and cyclists to make an imprint on his piece. So, I might actually be able to catch this one.

Nick also made a similar piece last year called, "Hymn to London Bridge." You can guess where that one was created.

Pick a neighborhood, a venue or a genre and go enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Piano 1 (2011)

Found one of the 88 pianos from Sing for Hope! This baby was sitting in Times Square on Broadway and 42nd Street. I found it being covered by Cookie Monster, Spongebob and Minnie Mouse. Only after I approached the piano did others realize that it was there. I hope all of you get a chance to show off your musical skills on one of these!

One down, 87 to go!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gaga Invasion

Look at who greeted me during lunch time... Yes, sometimes I travel to get my meal!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pianos Taking Over!!

Hot town, summer in the city!

Now if I can only find someone who can play this on one of the 88 pianos that are hanging out on the streets of NYC. This was brought to you by the non-profit organization, Sing for Hope. From June 18 to July 2, these beautifully painted pianos will be here for your pleasure. There will also be many impromptu performances by local musicians/artists. Check out the schedule and locations here! This is the second year for this program and I hope it will be for many more years to come. After July 2nd, all the pianos will be donated to local schools, hospitals and other community organzations. Have fun!

How many can you find??

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Weekend!

It's Friday and clock is about to hit 5PM...
For those who need a little brain candy, here's a bit humor to get the weekend started!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

You know you're off to a good start when...

...your song is playing at the Jamba Juice in Times Square!

A few friends and I went to patronize the local Jamba during the heat rampage that Mother Nature has brought upon us. Sigh. Nothing a little pineapple smoothie can't fix (temporarily)!

I was bopping along with the rest of the people when Bermuda by Kisses came on. The tune went very well with my pineapple smoothie. It brought me back to the beautiful summers we've had. I hope this year's will also become one of them. I just wished I had a sun dress and my big glasses on, too.

Kisses is currently on tour in Australia. Hopefully the people Down Under will love them as much as we do ;) Lucky for Kisses, they decided to go during Australia's winter season! Back to my smoothie...

What tunes help you keep cool?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Music Frees All Festival - June 1-3, 2011

From June 1 to June 3, check out the Music Frees All Festival in NYC! This Festival will feature funk, afrobeat, soul, hip hop and reggae tunes. Each night will be held at a different venue with a different line-up. Admission tickets are from $5 to $10. The most important night will be on June 3rd, when all admission proceeds will go to the Scotty Hard Trust. Scotty Hard is a music producer and performer who was hit by a stolen vehicle in 2008. His friends and family made a trust fund to help with Scotty's medical expenses. The making of this Trust shows how influential and how many lives he has touched around him, especially in the music world.

June 1: South Paw (125 5th Ave., Park Slope)
Featuring - Turkuaz, Melanie Charles & the Journey, Top Shotta and Super
Osei & Money Jungle
Admission - $5
Doors @ 7:30PM, Show @ 8PM

June 2: Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg)
Featuring - Ikebe Shakedown, Gato Loco, Brooklyn Soul Survivors and
Underground System Afrobeat
Admission - $10
Doors @ 7:30PM, Show @ 8PM

June 3: Drom (85 Ave. A, East Village)
Featuring - Mago (John Medeski/Billy Martin), EMEFE, Ben Perowsky's
Moodswing Orchestra, Mokaad, Nyle vs Naysayers, DJ Afro-Marc and more
Admission - $10
Doors @ 7:30PM, Show @ 8PM

Hope y'all come out to see the amazing line-ups!! My personal favorite is Melanie Charles & the Journey. She'll be on the stage on June 1st. Her vivid and brilliant voice earns her an entry into the jazz sphere.

We can all use a little soul in our lives.