One of the things I love about New York City is the diversity of styles, cultures, and ethnicities all blending and mingling side by side AND getting along.
Plus the food....don't get me started on the rich diversity of food to be had: Korean, Turkish, Greek, Japanese, Italian...just to name a few I consumed while there.
Of course, there are also huge differences in wealth in Manhattan and it was interesting to be staying in the ritziest part of town on East 70th but finding myself in the poorer areas within minutes, thanks to the efficient subway.
Street music is part of the cultural and economic divide as well. Some of the "coolest" musicians are to be found busking... especially down in the underground transit areas. One of the favorites on my watch was the fellow below whose face was as amazing as his percussion.
He should definitely be on Humans of New York blog, a photographic census of the Big Apple by
Branden Stanton: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/photographer/
Another was a doo-wop group singing 60s songs that I heard in the subway on the way JFK on my last day.
That quintet ,with a female lead ,was really compelling and not a one of them was under 70 years old. They had great voices, great moves, great attitude ... a mic and a speaker system. And it was fantastic.
Another successful clutch of buskers is an a cappella group that hangs outside of the Met . I found this video on You tube :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkTi9T7Tg_w&feature=related .
Black American music and voices are unique and I am homesick for them. Once in a while we get a gospel group in Nice and we have a good jazz festival in the summer, but this type of street music is a specialty of the American culture and thrives in New York City.
And to enjoy it , you needn't pay $500. a ticket..... the price that some seats are going for on Broadway.
You pay what you can and you can only hope that it is enough to keep these folks going strong.