The Ubiquitous Street Artists of Lisbon
All major cities have street entertainers who live off their dubious talents and the generosity of tourists. Lisbon is no different, except perhaps, for the sheer volume of residents and transients who make a living on their play and prey talents.
Street artists congregate at every restaurant, tasca, and cafe with outdoor seating, and, like good Boy Scouts, are always prepared to entertain diners with varying degrees of success.
Accordion players abound as do roaming minstrels who belt out old American songbook standards ....hoping to make a euro or two from stateside tourists.
Some are very entertaining, and therefore, very successful. Others, like the unfortunate didgeridoo player, could certainly not survive on what he ekes from the crowds.
To me, the most entertaining street artists were the fire twirlers, whose fiery batons would light up the night as they juggled and danced and twirled in the warm night air. Their shows were often the highlight of the evening and seemed to garner the most coveted coinage.
Lisbon's street artists make their living from entertaining and can be very persistent about seeking compensation for their showmanship. A word to the wise when traveling in Lisbon. Keep LOTS of euro coins handy so you can pay the entertainers their due.... and make sure to relax and enjoy their show.