The Union Square Button Guy

This is going to be a short one; life is so hectic these days. Learning my way around NYC all over again, and covering a lot more miles in a day --without a car---than I used to in medium sized Tampa.

A couple of posts back, I commented that political buttons were no longer interesting to me, after looking at a few on a vendor cart at the entrance to Strawberry Fields. Well, today I'm eating my words for lunch...

A quiet, smallish man on the outer edge of Union Square Park (which is what I call it, but is probably the wrong name) was selling all kinds of buttons on his table last weekend. I bought four: one with John Lennon's image reads "Give Peace a Chance;" another that reads "Support Organic Farmers;" a couple more for family members: one of Rosie the Riveter with the words, "Si Se Puede," and "Books Not Bombs," and another one for my granddaughter that says "Peace Through Music." At eighteen months, she already has a decent sized book collection, although right now her real love is music. She loves to listen to Beatles' CDs, and she'll dance to almost any song playing on radio, TV or one of her toys.

Anyway the point is, this guy who is from the Phillippines, had an amazing assortment of buttons, big and small, political ( I especially liked the one that says: "Republican Health Plan: Don't Get Sick") and the not so political, and some cool t-shirts too. And some Tibetan prayer beads that I wanted to ask him more about, but I forgot, and so I caught up with him again the following Sunday.

The t-shirts sold by the button guy and a number of other vendors around the park's perimeter are Native American made, of heavy duty cotton, and come in a rainbow of colors, including hot pink tie dye. There's a print of an old photograph circa 1800-?, of four Native Americans on the front, with the caption: "Homeland Security Fighting Terrorism Since 1492." The website for the t-shirt designers is www.westwindworld.com. T-shirt sales benefit native peoples directly.

I 'll look for the button guy again on Sundays, since he said he's "always" out there. There are lots of vendors in and around the park, and so many talented artists. Something was special about the button guy, though. His placidness while I-- and others-- rummaged through his buttons reminded me of a couple of Buddhist monks I ran into at an airport once.

If this is considered a plug, well that's OK.

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