Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Buskers and Such

Toby and I rented bikes yesterday and rode around the Prince's Island trails. We ate ice cream and had a great time - the weather has just been beautiful. Now not only are my feet sore, my bottom is too. Twice older couples passed us, dinging their little bike bells for the passing lane. Maybe we will try the in-line skates next. Some guy wearing a tunic-like outfit and interesting colored hair came up to Toby and asked him where he got his "shades". Toby replied that he got them in Oklahoma at Harbor Freight. Under his breath Toby said they are safety glasses, $1.99. The guy remarked that he did not think he would be going to OK today, and we all smiled nicely. I thought the whole thing was a bit odd. I asked Toby if he had accidentally widened his stance or tapped his foot. Toby did not think I was funny.

While waiting in line to get into the zoo, we read a sign that said, "NO Buskers." We wondered what were buskers. Our best guess was that they were people who cut in line. Further on, we saw another sign, "Due to construction work, no buskers." Hmm, apparently we were not right. Toby asked the people in line behind us. The lady said a busker was a person who played music for money - like a guitar player who leaves his case open for people to drop money into. Isn't that interesting. I looked at Toby and said, "Your nephew is a busker!"

Later at the park, I saw a busker playing a banjo and singing - I guess that is very common. I like it. It is much better than the homeless or drunks who wait on corners or outside stores and beg for money. Calgary seems to have more than its share of those guys. Although, I don't think the crime rate is high here. The Calgary news said something about a recent murder being the 22nd of the year. Only 22 murders this year! Some cities in the US have that many in a day, well maybe I exaggerate. The news here was talking about how crime was up and they needed to clean up the "east side" which apparently is where the druggies and homeless live. I guess all cities have their problems, and beggers are a big one here. It does make me wonder what it is about Calgary that they would have a high homeless problem. I would think that with cold weather coming on, the homeless would be moving out. Do they tolerate beggers better than other cities or take care of them better? Any thoughts?

Here is an email from Jesse in CA:

Hey You guys!The weather here inTurlock is rather hot. Yesterday we drove down to Monterey area where it was around 70 degrees. We went straight to the beach which was freezing! We stayed the night there and then went to art gallerys and shops today. We just got back to the house. Lindsay's Aunt carla and Uncle Joe are extremely wonderful. They've treated us like princesses the entire time! Tomorrow we are driving to san Fransico and then thru napa Valley on the way back. I'm gonna get you some wine, Dad! I'll write more later.Love you guys!
Princess Jesse


Buck Pennington said...

Wow..quite a lot to comment on here, if one had a mind and you had the space, Lou.

First: I asked Toby if he had accidentally widened his stance or tapped his foot. Toby did not think I was funny.

Well, I sure did! This bit literally made me LOL.

Second: Buskers. The London tube is famous for them...and they come in all shapes, sizes, and play a wide variety of musical instruments. I even saw a woman playing a harp in the tube once. No kidding.

Here's a great story about members of the Toronto symphony busking just for the fun of it. And here's yet another busking story. A partial quote:

On that Friday in January, those private questions would be answered in an unusually public way. No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities -- as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?

OK. I've eaten up enough space... but remind me to tell you about SFO's homeless people sometime. I had my very "own" homeless guy.

Bag Blog said...

Buck, you can take up all the space you want on my blog any time. Those were both great links to buskers. I met and took pictures of a busker today. I post tomorrow. I would love to hear your homeless man story too.