Street performers in Central Park, New York City.

Street Performance

A walk through Central Park can be a roller coaster. It’s a beautiful place, with some dark associations. Walking those wide boulevards is pleasant. But keep your hands on your valuables. Just in case.

While strolling arm in arm, Nikki and I noticed a group assembling around us. Something told us we were either about to be mugged, or entertained. The latter. Maybe.

Seven street performers took turns to entertain the growing crowd, with well practiced routines and jokes. With fast paced quips and overlaid performances, they were very talented in speech and movement. The show was as polished and precise as the never motionless hat being passed around, which was emptied several times during their 20-minute show. They made a small fortune.

These street performers were tumblers, jesters, acrobats. They flew in and around and over the crowd to a chorus of gasps and applause. Along with our fellow tourists, we spent a chunk of money in that hat, and I have to be honest, we consider it money well spent.

Legally Mugged

But we were just trying to cross the park. We were legally mugged. Perhaps. Separated from our cash by street performers that I assume had no permit. And paid no tax. Unlike the tourist taxpayers seen here assuming the position. It takes skill to get an audience of tourists to engage, to participate like this. They nailed it. When it was done, they smiled and bowed and faded into the landscape with a few quick somersaults. They were gone as fast as they arrived, before the police arrived.

I won’t hold any of this against them. It really was a good show. They earned their money. Kudos.

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