Kayhan “Lefty” Barateli has been playing the guitar since he was 16. Though he’s from Rockland County, from the age of 19 he was playing in the subway with the rest of New York City’s buskers.
For the past 11 years, Lefty has played his own original music in the subway and it has become his primary job. “Busking in the subway was my saving grace,” says Lefty, who usually makes a couple hundred dollars a day busking.
As an unlicensed musician, it’s difficult to perform in the more popular subway stations, but you can usually find him somewhere at Union Square.