“Sing For Hope” is a non-profit organization that annually places pianos (this year – 28 grand pianos and 60 uprights – 88, get it?) around in parks and on street corners throughout the boroughs of Manhattan. Anyone can play the pianos. At the end of the installation (Saturday, 7/2/11), the pianos are donated to local schools, hospitals, and community centers.
I wandered over to Times Square
where there is a piano on Broadway at 42nd Street, and another on Broadway at 45th Street.
At the first piano, on 42nd Street, as soon as I got there, a gentleman walked over and sat. He put his shopping bag down on the ground next to him and began playing. He played so wonderfully.
If anyone recognizes his profile, please let me know who he is. I believe that he is SOMEONE.
He was that great.
When he was finished, he thanked me for my “Bravo!”, picked up his shopping bag and headed west on 42nd Street.
Over at 45th Street, there was a young couple playing and singing.
They were fearless, and full of gusto – and creating a bit of a crowd. I was amused how Mr. Wonderful on Piano #1 drew no one but me.
Isn’t that the way it goes? The Great often draw a small fan base, while the decent become Megastars.
Ah, Philosophy of The Arts…
Sadly, inner city reality set in, as the other night, a 500-pound white piano was stolen from Williamsburg Oval Park in the Bronx. And, a second piano was vandalized over the weekend in Fordham Plaza, also in the Bronx.
After a couple of days of publicity, a piano was donated anonymously to replace the stolen piano. Groups of strangers gathered together to hoist the new piano down the 4-story walkup and into a volunteer’s truck. In the Bronx, other strangers in the area helped carry the piano from the truck to the park.
According to this report, “children of all ages are once again tickling the ivory on a free piano in Williamsbridge Oval Park.”
Moral to this story?
One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl!
Especially in The Big Apple!!
Play the pianos today and tomorrow while you can. Or, watch a genius play. The link at the beginning of the post has the interactive map to all of the 88.
88 Pianos, that is.