Buskers always put their hat out. This is their job.
I've busked with my harmonica and am good enough to feed myself. (I learned from a pro in Jerusalem may years ago, paying my room and board by working as his "hat passer.")
Here I am in Lyon with a local guitar player. He was a skilled busker, played great music and really made me sound good! Then he did a swell pitch for money "to help this poor American get back home." I didn't exactly understand his French but I think all the laughter came when he said, "with the way he plays that harmonica, we certainly don't want him staying in France any longer than necessary!"
I was happy to play the fool when it turned into euros and spending the evening eating and drinking with the local crowd.
In Paris there are two bridges that support busking. I think it is technically illegal to perform for money in Paris, as it is in other major cities like Amsterdam, London and San Francisco. But as all successful buskers know, be courageous, perform quickly, get your dough and move on.
Pont au Double is right next to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, always with a flood of tourists. The street is closed off which offers a perfect stage for showmanship. On this day I found a skating troupe and enthusiastic crowd despite the cold "white sky" weather:
Hey, watch out! "Oh mon dieu!"
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