New York

Rediscovering New York: David Ippolito “The Guitar Man” (Bonus Video)

David Ippolito "The Guitar Man" of Central Park sings to the crowd

Have you ever found something by chance and you say to yourself, “This is so great! I’m going to come do this all the time. I’m so excited I found this thing! I have to tell everyone about it,” and then life happens and you completely forget about it?

That happened to me a couple of years ago when I came across David Ippolito The Guitar Man in Central Park, and I just rediscovered him yesterday. I was walking around, took a left when I normally go right, and there he was, he and a hundred or so fans just where I’d found him over 24 months earlier, just north of the West 72nd Street entrance next to the lake. It was as if I’d fallen into a time warp, he looked exactly the same. I think he was even wearing the same ripped jeans and tank top from the first time I saw him—his signature bare feet dusted with dirt.

David Ippolito "The Guitar Man" of Central Park

Holy crap! How did I forget about this guy? The man whose been singing every Saturday in the summer—weather permitting—in the same place in Central Park for 23 years, according to a comment he made yesterday. He’s bright and cheery and sings with an enthusiasm that belies the thousands of times he must have performed there over the last quarter century. He encourages everyone to participate and sing and the best part, he makes everyone smile. A lot.

Boaters on the lake in Central Park stop to listen to David "Guitar Man"

Boaters on the lake in Central Park stop to listen to David “Guitar Man”

David sings a mix of his own songs, James Taylor, The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, plus a variety of tunes that I recognize but, frankly, have no idea who made them famous.

He sang “Vincent” by Don McClean yesterday, dedicating its sad and soulful lyrics to Robin Williams. The regulars in the crowd sang along and I did too, a few verses that came to me out of nowhere. Isn’t strange how you don’t realize you remember the words to a song until you hear it being played?

It had a good time. I’d planned to stay for just a minute and found myself sitting there on the grass enjoying the show for nearly two hours.

Don’t you just love when that happens?


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