Pearls Before Breakfast - washingtonpost.com
HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L'ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play. It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, January 12, the middle of the morning rush hour. Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? On that Friday in January, those private questions would be answered in an unusually public way. The musician did not play popular tunes whose familiarity alone might have drawn interest. The acoustics proved surprisingly kind. So, what do you think happened? So, a crowd would gather? "Oh, yes."
Related: Violin in the Metro