Underground economy: Tough times bring more subway music

Street musicians seem to be more visible in New York City these days. Could this be a sign of the economy worsening? The other night I saw a guy playing a piano, yes, a whole piano he had hauled into the West 4th Street subway station.

It's almost become a competition for performers to suss out the best spots with the most reverb and passenger traffic. I discovered one magnificent location deep within the bowels of the subway system near Macy's as I descended three steep levels. What makes it ideal is the supreme echoes. Within a five-minute dash, I heard two bands who had staked out the same station. The music was so good I didn't want to get on the train.