By Robin Cohn
I heard beautiful classical guitar in Central Park this morning. Then again, I hear it every day as I take my early morning walk. Gifted classical guitar player Carlos Konig plays in the Bethesda Arcade, the beautiful arched interior walkway linking the Mall and Bethesda Fountain and the Central Park Lake, mid park around 72nd Street.
Classically trained in his native Chile and New York, Carlos has a vast repertoire, including classical, popular, Latin, and his own work. Often, I find Carlos playing to himself, lost in the music. Other times, when he hears me clomping down the steps towards him, he begins playing my favorites. Regulars wave or stop to chat. While some people go by oblivious, many passersby stop to listen.
Vignettes occur daily. You’ll see the dog Brie stretched out in front of him, a rapt listener. At times she rests her chin on Carlos’s knee as he plays. A young woman sits next to Carlos playing her harmonica to his accompaniment. When he sees children, he plays songs to entice them. You’ll often find him strumming birthday and graduation music for those celebrating around him. And he takes requests.
You’ll spot Carlos, a West Sider, riding his bike to and from the park. With his great passion for music, Carlos feels himself lucky to be surrounded by nature, seated in a beautiful walkway framed by arches featuring a stunning tiled ceiling. He says he hopes his music adds to the park’s beauty. It certainly does.
Year round, his desire to share his music is a gift for visitors from all walks of life. And, of course, me. His “office hours” are 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Like the Bethesda Arcade, created in the 1860s, Carlos is a Central Park treasure. Take advantage of his feast of beautiful music serenading those lucky enough to listen.
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