Play Me, I’m Yours: Street Pianos in NYC

Esau at the piano

Yesterday morning, sixty pianos miraculously appeared on streets and plazas throughout NYC’s five boroughs.

I had just returned from a trip to Texas (about which more soon) to find that the summer solstice had arrived, bringing with it the launching of “Play Me, I’m Yours,” a brilliant street art initiative.  Esau and I strolled over to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in search of a street piano.

And there, tucked behind the scary sculpture,

in a lovely spot overlooking the gardens, was a brightly painted piano with the invitation (or is it an injunction?):

Play Me, I’m Yours.

And play people did, including Raphaela, pictured below, knocking out a rousing rendition of “Merrily We Roll Along.”

The little painted stool is tethered by a locked chain to the piano, which is, in turn, tethered to two heavy cinder blocks.

At the end of each day, the piano’s keyboard is locked by a “piano buddy,” who unlocks it each morning. Piano buddies are also responsible for protecting the piano from rain by unfurling the roll of plastic attached to the back.

In my neck of the woods, you can find pianos at 70th Street and the Hudson River, Lincoln Center, Dana Discovery Center at 110 Street in Central Park, Saint Nicholas Park, Riverbank State Park, Harlem Art Park and Saint John’s.

To find a piano near you, volunteer to be a “piano buddy,” or just find out more about the installation, visit Play Me, I’m Yours: NYC 2010.

The pianos are up for two weeks, so make music, New York!

Explore posts in the same categories: 2010, In the City, June, strange encounters

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7 Comments on “Play Me, I’m Yours: Street Pianos in NYC”

  1. mthew Says:

    Esau plays hot ragtime. You can tell just by looking at him.

  2. Rebecca Says:

    How delightful! In my tiny Ohio town is an old telephone booth that’s been converted into something akin to the world’s smallest modern art gallery, with always-changing installations (http://telephoneboothproject.blogspot.com/). I live in a really hippy town. :)

  3. pat hoey Says:

    Bravo and brava to the piano people! More of suchlike could save or city…

  4. Georgia Says:

    Astor Place, here we come!

  5. Charlotte Says:

    If we did this in Afghanistan we’d probably win the war or at least hearts and minds; what a great idea!


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