New York’s Own Piano Man

Piano Man

Spring has sprung in New York, which means Sundays are for buying bagels, sitting in Washington Square Park and listening to all the various musical melodies wafting through the air.

You have the jazz quartets playing a mix of Motown and jazz, the Showtime guys doing backflips on the cement, the random pigeon whisperer and then there’s Colin Huggins, also known as ‘crazy piano guy, also known as ‘he guy who plays the piano in Washington Square Park’; a baby grand piano!

Huggins, once an accompanist for American Ballet Theatre as well as music director of Joffrey School, decided he preferred being his own boss and now tinkles on the ivories in Washington Square Park, much to my delight.

Stored in a Manhattan Storage location, just under a mile from the park, the day begins by Huggins pushing the large baby grand up 6th Avenue dodging and darting aggressive taxis and mammoth SUV’s and swinging his way into the park.

Where he decides to set up is dependent on the day and other buskers around, but he has been known to move around during the day.

Piano ManHuggins introduces the song in his wry sense of humor, which range from the classics likes Beethoven and Chopin to move contemporary classics like The Beatles and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing.

Babies love it, the older generations appreciate the classical music and tourists are amazed at the whole spectacle of a piano in the park.

Huggins plays at least 2 days in the park, up to 12 hours, more when the weather is perfect. And he works on his album on the other days.

And he says the beauty of being his own boss; he can reject any song he wants. And what is the most popular request he gets? Billy Joel’s Piano Man, which he is quick to ignore.

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

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