The Famous Faces of 667 Boylston

maryImage source Boston Herald

There’s no way to accurately quantify the crazy number of crazies that roam the streets of Beantown on any given day. From religious advocates to the most opinionated of the homeless population, to solicitors begging for my hard-earned cash, it’s hard not to catch a glimpse of some serious characters during a day-to-day routine in this city.

As the lucky inhabitant of a window-view office in the heart of Copley Square, I’m able to observe the regular craziness from afar with little threat of actual face-to-face interaction. This m.blog post would be a novel if I described each outlandish character, so here are my picks for the top three famous faces in our ‘hood:

  1. Yelling Man. Every day at precisely 5:00 PM, the anonymous, safari hat-wearing wanderer known at mm/c simply as “Yelling Man” marches down Boylston Street to announce a booming, urgent message for all to hear. The problem? With all the sirens, car horns and chit chat on our bustling road, it’s tricky to interpret Yelling Man’s important words of wisdom. Usually it sounds something like “YOU WILL ALL MISS ME THIS SATURDAY!” or “I TOLD YOU YOUR FEET WOULD BE COLD IF YOU WORE SANDALS TODAY!” One of these days I’ll head down to street level just before 5 to hear the real catchphrase, but for now translating his nonsensical memos is thoroughly amusing.
  2. The Piccolo Player. Another one of Copley Square’s early-evening entertainers, The Piccolo Player stands on a Back Bay corner playing familiar patriotic tunes as we wrap up our work every night (weather dependent). His go-to is Yankee Doodle, but there’s never a shortage of jolly jigs when Mr. Piccolo is around. And you’d be shocked by the range in which his tunes can be heard. Blocks and blocks of Boylston Street office buildings are fortunate enough to be surrounded by woodwind melodies when the end of the work day rolls around.
  3. The Spare Change Songster. Everybody knows the tune. “Does anybody havvvve any channnnge? Does annnnnybody have any change? Change, change, change, change-cha-change change!” It’s my favorite change cup plea, with just enough repetition to get stuck in my head for days. The Spare Change Songster is a walking legend in my book.

Who would you add to the list? The “Can I have one dollar? Can you spare one dollar?” gal? The metro Boston distributor who’s always down to hug a stranger? This list could go on and on…

Posted by Mary

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