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July 17th, 2012

An Upright Piano on Third Street

About a month ago, someone on Third Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues in Park Slope) wanted to get  rid of an upright piano. They wrapped it in plastic and left it in their building's front yard. Perhaps they were waiting for someone to take it, to sell it, or for bulk garbage day.

The Department of Sanitation provides "free curbside removal of large non-commercial 'bulk' items (items that are too big to be discarded in a container or bag) from residential buildings."

A piano is definitely too big to be discarded in a container or bag.

On Monday afternoon, in preparation for bulk garbage pick up, the piano's owners left the piano on the curb.

A talented local musician I know tried to convince his father to carry the piano to the apartment where he lives. When THAT didn't happen, he had the idea to make a video of himself performing two songs using that piano. A group of his friends arrived on Third Street with a video camera and professional recording equipment.

The shoot lasted an hour or more. The piano is broken and more than a little out of tune. The local musician was able to make the non-working peddles work.

It was, I thought, a sight to behold. In the golden light of a summer afternoon, a young musician sat on an old television set, playing an out-of-tune upright on the Third Street sidewalk, surrounded by friends.

The songs, they were beautiful.


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