Subway musicians take their act to Madison Square Park

Bands working the subway, including Bandits on the Run (above), are featured in the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s new concert series, “Above Ground.” Photo by Dave Fitz)

Bands working the subway, including Bandits on the Run (above), are featured in the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s new concert series, “Above Ground.” (Photo by Dave Fitz)

By Sabina Mollot

At Madison Square Park, one of the surest signs that summer has officially arrived is not with the Shake Shack line snaking halfway around the park—since it’s like that even in the winter — but with the start of its various events.

For years now, summers in the park have included Thursday morning concerts and theater for kids as well as Wednesday night concerts for adults — and they’re all free. The evening “Oval Lawn” concert series has been going for 13 years and another concert series, “The Studio,” which runs at the park in the fall, and is the domain of Americana/bluegrass bands, is now in its tenth year.

This year, however, the Madison Square Park Conservancy has launched yet another series, this one featuring the best of what the city’s subway platforms have to offer.

Called the “Above Ground” series, the concerts have been running at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays since June 24 with buskers headlining. The series will continue for three more Wednesdays with performances by Bandits on the Run (July 15), Mariachi Flor de Toloache (July 22) and Underground Horns (July 29).

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The education of Bill de Blasio

Steven Sanders

Steven Sanders

By Former Assemblymember Steven Sanders

Education has dominated the headlines in state and local politics for the past year. So after 18 months and the end of this school year it is fair and appropriate to grade this mayor and his administration on the job that they are doing.

Ed Koch famously asked “How am I doing?” so now it is time to answer that question for the current mayor… so far.

• Attendance and punctuality…D The mayor has become famous for not appearing on time for most anything. He has kept important constituencies waiting, in the rain, in the cold and in vain.

• Socialization… C  The mayor seems intent on engaging in unnecessary fights with charter school advocates, business groups, the Police Department and even the presumptive Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. As for his fighting with the governor, there is no question that de Blasio has been unmercifully treated and even provoked by Cuomo. But since the mayor fancies himself as a master politician, he should have found a better way to express his angst.

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