Joshua Bell, street musician

I read with great interest this piece in the Washington Post about an experiment that the Post did at a DC metro station: they had Joshua Bell himself stand there and play violin music for passersby during the morning rush, his case open for donations, to see how much of a crowd would gather. But for a very few of the adults and all the small children who passed by, people ignored him. I found it astounding that people could be so completely desensitized, dehumanized, so absorbed in their meetings and their spreadsheets and their iPods, that they could not see or hear something as extraordinary as this happening right in front of them.
What do you suppose would happen if they tried this experiment in New York? And not necessarily at the Lincoln Center subway stop. I would bet $100 he would draw a crowd at Union Square. I think New Yorkers are generally more attuned to street entertainment than federal bureaucrats.
Still, this article served as a reminder, a wake-up call of sorts. Pay attention. And not just to the extraordinary.