Monday, July 26, 2010

piano man

I'd heard about the pianos that have been left around Manhattan waiting for people to play: I hadn't realized that they are a more common urban phenomenon than that, this summer, and that I would encounter a number around Denver's 16th St. Mall. Most of the music being played made for good listening - that is, this guy was playing something classical; a more decrepit looking character, later, on another piano, was producing some pretty funky jazz.

16th Street, and the park at the end of it, before one gets to the State Archives and the Public Library, is full of quite a number of decrepit and derelict people, and it was sobering to move between them and the folder that I was reading this morning full of appeals to the Governor at the time of the Great Depression, wanting him, in particular, to do something about pensions for the elderly. Or "Penchons" - my graduate training was helpful when it came to the basic palaeography, but it hadn't prepared me for US phonetic spelling - the "git"s and the "bin"s. This was, really, Alice's Colorado Springs research, and my vacation - I so very much love burrowing in archives in true archive-rat fashion ...


  1. This inspired a possible assignment for my 200-level Writing for the Humanities class this fall. RU student reading Walker Percy (on over-theorizing) + reading this blog this morning = scheming to send students out to random NYC pianos to observe the non-theorizing of music (and other arts) in NYC and connections to community. Hmmm...