Growing up in The Bronx there were singers that would visit the apartment buildings and serenade in the courtyards. In my neighborhood, they would usually sing in Italian and people would throw change to them from their windows or come down and give them money for singing.
Being a precocious child I wanted to do this too! I wanted to get the attention, the applause... okay I wanted the money. After all, I sang along to Judy Garland and I was damn good. Who the hell wanted to hear some old man sing Italian songs? I was the real deal, I could entertain! So I decided that the next time one of the singers would start to sing their songs, this fat, little Italian boy would belt out some Judy tunes. I went out in the hallway and sang at the top of my lungs. It didn't take me long to figure out this wasn't my audience cause I didn't even get a dime. Nevertheless I wouldn't give up and I continued to do this for a few weeks. I finally realized that all I ever got from this gig was a good dinner from my mother. She was either my biggest fan or she just wanted me to shut up. Maybe I was just singing for my supper after all, but it was damn good and that's my New York.
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