New York

Catching Up with the Antenna Man


“Hello, people of Earth! I have come to your world…”

Wait a minute, we thought — is that Antenna Man? Turns out it was. We hadn’t seen him on the L train for years. He was slightly less eccentrically costumed — the shades were less ornate, and he had lost the deely boppers that signaled his presence, along with the Sun Ra pitch, to riders in the 90s. (We think we saw him in the 80s too, but we don’t much trust our memories that far back.)

We asked him where he’d been.

“I have been on the planet Mars…” he said, gesturing grandly.

No, really, where you been?

“Well,” he said, “I was working on a TV show for a while. And then I been making a few records.”

Where was he living at? “Brooklyn. But I don’t like my neighborhood.” Where’s that? “Chauncey Street.” In Bed-Stuy? “Yeah, but I got a girlfriend up in The Bronx.”

He also has a Facebook page. His teeth are in worse shape than ever but his playing is very fine — less skronk than in the old days, and more melodic, in keeping with the more difficult busking environment.

No showtimes to report; you’ll see him when you see him.

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