New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Street Magic

Street performing has declined substantially in NYC since the 1970s-80s. At that time, one could find many acts performing simultaneously in the parks and in the evenings on the streets themselves. I have heard a number of explanations for this decline - territorial aggressiveness (and resulting intimidation) by some acts; increased cost of living in the city making it difficult to survive on the income from street work, and perhaps a cultural shift with fewer people looking for alternative work styles. Ramon is one of the best street performers working in NYC. He is a closeup magician with an excellent persona - funny, strong presence with a take charge style, appropriately aggressive but never abrasive. Fundamentally likeable. His act is crisp and professional, never dragging. Click here for his website. He is seen in this photo in Washington Square Park working with an audience member (who happens to be a friend). We have been having a "heat wave" in the city as of late with temperatures reaching the 60s. So, of course everyone has been out to take advantage of the the last warm days before winter - performers, residents and visitors. A street show is one of perks of being in the city, adding to the enjoyment of a beautiful day...

10 comments:

Ruth said...

My daughter met the "naked" guitarist in Times Square; he said he makes $50k/year with his gig. (He wears underwear that he hides behind his guitar.) What's that a bottle of? Whiskey?

joeyjoey said...

Ramon is THE BEST magician working the streets of New York City. I'm happy to see someone continuing in the tradition. He brings back memories of Jeff Sheridan and his ability to captivate and amaze an audience. Keep on Ramon! Nice post Brian!

Anonymous said...

This guy lives a half a block away from the park; used to see him doing his thing in the Park much more frequently back in the day (several years ago, 4-5?), not so much anymore. Quite entertaining for sure.

-L

dutchie said...

I love street artists.
In Rotterdam we have a street festival at the end of summer and it's always a good laugh.
Thanks for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

he must love his job! i envy him

luggi said...

Everybody's talking about the last days before winter, here, New York, Europe. They should be talking about the last days of winter. Pretty soon, New York, Los Angeles, it all might be irrelevant. Sorry about the pessimism, but how can you not be worried?

Perhaps there are fewer street musicians because only twenty, early thirty something year olds on the make and without children can afford to live in New York these days.

Ian said...

Don't forget that through the Giuliani years, cops were showering street performers with "quality of life"-violation summonses. (I got several myself.) This equating of street performers with public urinators and drunks was a big reason lots of people gave up on the sidewalk venue.

Anonymous said...

Lively photo, interesting comments both about the man himself and about street artists generally. They aren't very numerous in Sydney, apart from Aboriginal dancers or didgeridoo players on circular quay. Very much geared towards the tourist.
Looking at the photo again, I wonder if the girl looking from the back saw the 'trick' that you're not supposed to see?

Brian said...

Luggi;
I believe your analysis is correct. Cost of living has done much to make it difficult for most.

Nathalie;
No, that girl did not see how it was done. Ramon is too skilled for that.

Brian

JonaThan said...

Hi,
I am sure to 100% I have seen Ramon already in Bavaria! He has done there really unbelievable things with cards, cigarettes, coins and other things! He is simply brilliant!