If you walk through the NYC subway you’ll more than likely come across someone busking on the platform–from performance art to struggling bands to teens just practicing their instruments outside their quite apartments. But it’s not often you are stopped cold in your tracks and the hair stands up on your arm from hearing a man belt out oldies such as Unchained Melody and A Change Is Gonna Come. Enter Mike Yung.
Mike has been singing since age eleven and performing in the subways of NYC for the last thirty-five years. He said one day he was convinced by a friend to head underground to make some money performing and it took off from there. Yung usually uses the 23rd St. station in Manhattan as a stage for his shows but is forced to relocate if there is a busker already in his spot. To call this man a ‘must-see act’ (or hear) is an understatement. Mike is the next big thing and clearly I’m not the only one who thinks so. Last year, one of Mike’s videos went viral and The Late Late Show host James Corden was so blown away, he invited him to perform on his show (video below).
And, yes, the man still doesn’t have a record deal as of this post. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more of Mike Yung in the future–at least I hope so.
If you are looking for more on Mike or his music, you can search Youtube or check him out on Spotify and iTunes. You can also catch him on Instagram/Twitter @mikeyungnyc
Let’s be honest, the chances of this being pizza rat are slim to none but we’re New Yorkers so of course it’s the same goddamn rat. Here’s the full story below from NYMag.com.
NYMag: New York got its first subway-rat video of the new year Saturday night when YouTube user JB José captured footage of a rat dragging another, clearly dead rat down the stairs at Jay Street–Metrotech in Brooklyn, eventually hauling the stiff carcass down the platform and off into the subway-tunnel darkness. Since the anthropomorphization of subway vermin is now a thing, JB imagined some possible explanations in his caption for the video:
A little before midnight on Jan 2, 2016 at Jay St-Metrotech, Pizza Rat emerges from the darkness to retrieve his fallen comrade. Was it trying to the “wake up” the other? Was it taking it away to eat? Will we ever know?
Reached for clarification by Gothamist, JB emphasized that the rat really had just appeared and then specifically sought out the body, much to the delight and disgust of onlookers. Rat Law & Order fan-fiction is now sure to follow, but considering the fact that the two closest pizza places to Jay Street–Metrotech are a 99¢ joint and a Papa John’s, cannibalism seems more than likely in this case.
Gothamist: After an extensive manhunt, police apprehended the suspect in Sunday’s fatal subway shoving. Kevin Darden, 34, was caught yesterday near his mother’s house in the Bronx. And investigators believe he had also pushed a passenger in another violent incident earlier this month. The authorities believe that Darden is the man who threw Wai Kuen Kwok into an oncoming D train at the 167th Street station in the Bronx on Sunday morning. Kwok, 61, had been waiting for the southbound train with his wife so they could buy groceries and have lunch to celebrate her birthday in Chinatown. The train’s operator James Muriel said, “I see a body flying across the tracks. I knew that it wasn’t an ordinary jump on the tracks. The guy didn’t go straight down, he was actually in the air. I slammed the brakes when he was in the air. By the time I got to him he had just fallen onto the tracks, there was just nothing you can do. I need 300-400 feet to get a train to stop. It’s a 100-ton train.” Kwok was pronounced dead at the scene and Muriel added that Kwok’s wife cried in his arms. Surveillance video after the shoving showed Darden taking a Bx35 bus and getting off to go to a bodega, where he bought a loosie cigarette and smoked outside. A man who was pushed at the West 4th Street subway station saw the video and recognized him as his attacker. According to the Post, the West 4th Street victim is Asian like Kwok:
Darden… assaulted the first man because he dared to walk in front of him, the sources said. “I’m warning you!’’ Darden, 34, barked at the victim after shoving him to the ground at the West 4th Street station at around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, the man told cops.Darden, who has more than 30 prior arrests, pushed him so hard that he suffered bruises to his hands and back and needed treatment at NYU Medical Center.
The victim, 51, came forward Tuesday after seeing a surveillance photo of Darden that cops released following the fatal shove of Wai Kuen Kwok, 61, in The Bronx Sunday, sources said. He told police he could pick Darden out of a lineup, which helped them get a warrant for his arrest, the sources said.
The Daily News adds, “A second victim also identified Darden as the man who robbed him inside a nearby Bronx subway station just 30 minutes before Kwok’s underground death.” Darden has been arrested dozens of times. In Texas, he was arrested in 2011 for trying to burn down his brother’s house and, on November 9th, he was arrested for trying to steal a tourist’s wallet outside the Times Square McDonald’s. The Post notes, “At his arraignment then, bail was set at $1,000, an amount the homeless man had no chance of posting. But after five days in jail, Darden appeared for a court hearing — where the supporting deposition wasn’t filed because the complaining witness left the country and couldn’t be reached, according to sources. The judge said he had no choice but to let Darden go without bail.” Darden’s mother Joyce Jones said he was mentally ill, “I’m glad they got him off the streets and I’m glad he’s not dead. I feel so, so sorry for those people and what happened. I know that won’t bring him back, but I am so, so sorry.”
To quickly sum this up, the Jamaican woman reaches out to hold onto the pole once the train moves. Her hand gets really close to a pregnant woman who has her face by the pole. Her man defends her and all hell breaks loose.
Couple things here–I get that your chick is preggos but if you’re THAT worried then don’t get on a subway train packed to the doors and don’t start a fight next to her. The only people I feel bad for are those who were on this section of the train. Throw the earphones in and look down!
Side note: How awkward was that silence afterwards? Almost like nothing ever happened.
This is just the repercussions of being a real life pimp in New York City. You can’t pass up a business opportunity and you certainly can’t back down in front of one of your hoes. Just a day in the life I suppose.
Side Note: How about the guy in the blue shirt who immediately regretted trying to break this thing up?!
Gothamist: A subway busker was arrested for loitering after a confrontation with an NYPD officer over whether or not he was allowed to be performing. The incident happened at the Lorimer Street / Metropolitan Avenue station on the southbound G train platform around 1:30 a.m. on Friday. Here’s how the video uploader described the quality of life incident: “One of NYPD’s finest arrests a man for playing in the subway after he recites the law word for word that allows him to perform for donations,” the uploader wrote. “He continues to sing as he is being handcuffed. A “fuck the police” chant subsequently follows.”
The video starts with busker Andrew Kalleen, 30, already arguing with the officer over whether or not he is allowed to be performing there. “You just need to know the law,” Kalleen says to the officer while begging him to read MTA’s own “Rules of Conduct” about the matter. As onlookers shout, “we have bigger problems in New York City than someone playing guitar,” the officer eventually reads the relevant section of the rules (Section 1050.6c, which Kalleen wisely seems to have memorized) from a phone:
Except as expressly permitted in this subdivision, no person shall engage in any nontransit uses upon any facility or conveyance. Nontransit uses are noncommercial activities that are not directly related to the use of a facility or conveyance for transportation. The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations
The onlookers clap at the end, but the officer is unmoved, insisting that Kalleen needs to leave: “Being ejected doesn’t mean you’re arrested, it means you’re getting thrown out of the station.” Kalleen says the officer is harassing him, and more and more people begin asking the officer under what grounds the busker is being ejected, to which the officer doesn’t respond. Kalleen goes back to singing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” for a bit before the officer shuts him down. You can hear people yelling, “On what grounds?” “You don’t have something better to do?” and “There are people breaking laws, dangerous people in this city.” Kalleen briefly starts singing again when the officer walks away before returning with several other cops. The officer takes the guitar off of Kalleen, hitting him in the face in the process, then arrests him. Onlookers loudly boo and start yelling “Fuck the police,” as Kalleen is taken off.
An NYPD’s spokesperson tells us that Kalleen was playing guitar, singing and accepting donations “without permit of permission” from the MTA. Because he is a “transit recidivist,” which the spokesperson explained as someone having an open ticket or warrant, perhaps related to turnstile jumping or a similar offense—he was arrested and charged with loitering. There was no mention of him impeding transit activities. BuskNY, a coalition of freelance performers, gathered on the steps of City Hall over the summer to call for an end to officers arresting, jailing, and slamming them with pricey summonses for an activity they know to be legal under the MTA’s guidelines.
OK, so not a great look for the NYPD here. The cop knew he fucked up but he had already gone too far and had to save face somehow. Probably didn’t need the other 10 cops to save him from the hipster crowd that was gathering but then again the guy had his shit everywhere like it was his own bedroom. Before you go feeling bad for this guy just remember he’ll probably spend a couple hours in jail and then win a big wrongful arrest lawsuit. ‘Merica!
Gothamist: No matter how many times we have to beg, straphangers seem to insist on bringing their snakes on the subway. This week’s subterranean serpent story comes courtesy of one C train rider, who spotted a man with not one, but two snakes at around 11 p.m. last night. TWO SNAKES. Of course, the seasoned subway rider sitting next to our fair snake charmer seems completely nonplussed, even in the midst of what appears to be an intimate moment between Man and Snake. Eric Hertzog, who snapped the above photos, tells us the photo was taken on a northbound C train, and that the snake owner disembarked at 14th Street. “The guy was sitting there with a girl (don’t know what their relationship was) and at first he had a smaller snake just hanging from the railing while another snake was in between his legs. He then took the smaller snake off the railing and was just playing with them for a little. When people got on the subway they all looked over in that direction and probably said to themselves, “What the hell.” One man almost sat right next to the guy but the man with the snakes let him know that were snakes on his lap and then that guy ran to the other side of the subway car. He then put the snakes in separate bags and then both into his backpack and off he went.” Please note that it is indeed illegal to expose your snake on the subway, since MTA rules mandate that “no person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.” The Tale of Two Subway Snakes was first picked up by KTU 103.5 FM, who asked if this was “The Scariest Thing You’ve Ever Seen On The Train?”
“Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking train!” -kinda Samuel L. Jackson