One Man and His Horn: Sarasota

The night I played in St. Armands, it was such a pleasant experience, I wanted to ask around about different places in the area.  I was talking to a barista named Katie, and she told me downtown Sarasota would be a great spot. That night I went to my friend Jenny’s house and she let crash there for two nights. She lives an hour north of Sarasota.  I am grateful for that, I also got to meet the rest of her family,Andrew, her son, Cristie, his girlfriend and Hanna-Jean, her grand-daughter.  All of whom were warm and welcoming, thank you!

The next day, Saturday, I went back to Sarasota.  I thought I would do an afternoon there and then go to Tampa for the night time.  Well, the afternoon was great. There was a Farmer’s Market so I set up a little down the way.  There was a lot of racket going on in the garage across the street and music was playing over a speaker, so I moved after 40 minutes.  By this time the Farmer’s Market was breaking down and I thought I would go back that way.  I stayed there for over an hour  and it was great.  A man gave me half of a cuban sandwich, my favorite sandwich in the world.  I had that after my shift was over, it was so good!  I haven’t had a cuban in a long time.  The entire shift was great, so when I was done, I made a call to Ed, and talked it over and decided I would stay right where I was for the rest of the day.

To other Busker’s passing through Sarasota, it is a great place.  There is no permit required, as always just be cool.  Don’t play in front of a business without permission and don’t block the sidewalk.  I was talking to an officer and she said unless people complain, she won’t ask anyone to move along.  So, as long as people are happy with what you are playing you will be fine.

Later on, I was talking with a sever, Ashley, from Tsunami’s,  a new restaurant that opened recently downtown.  She was very helpful, some of the places she mentioned to me, I had already seen.  She told me Main St. is where I would find the most action. I went back later after I was done and gave a cd for her help. I had a concern about live music of course, so I checked out the whole street.  I found a perfect spot right at the beginning, next to the roundabout.  There was a breakfast place that closed at 2:30, so I set up there around 5:45 and played until 9:00ish.  It was a wonderful experience! I met a man named Tim, who heard me from down the street and came over to listen for a while.  He said it reminded him of New York.  I talked with for bit in between tunes.  I told him what I do and gave him a cd.

There was one guy who came up to me and said “You know, when I am out here panhandling, people get ticked of at me, what you are doing is no different!”  I told him, “Yes it is, I am working, I am doing something”  He said “Oh really? Can you give me a job?”  I said “No, I don’t have any work for you!”  He said “See, there you go!”  I looked at him, with a look of are you freaking kidding me. Then I said “Get the hell outta here, I’m working here.”  and he left.  I don’t know what was up with him, but he didn’t bother me, I was having to good of a time.

I had the best time in Sarasota.  This was the best stop on this tour so far, in all aspects. The people of Sarasota are really nice and helpful and generally, quite pleasant.  There is also something to be said about a homeless man who comes up and says how much he appreciates the music and drops a couple of coins in my tip box.  That doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it just amazes me.  This is a place, I look forward to returning to sometime in the future,thank you Sarasota!

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