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The Boston Globe

Magazine

First Person

Watching over musicians in Harvard Square

As one of three street-performer monitors for the Cambridge Arts Council this summer, city resident Leslie Condon works to keep order on the sidewalks.

It’s kind of surprising — the nights that are really, really hot and you don’t think anybody’s going to be out, and there’s a million people and musicians out. And then there are beautiful nights that are quiet with just three or four performers, and YOU’RE STROLLING AROUND CHECKING THEM OUT. It is a six-hour shift, and you kind of do a figure-eight lap around Harvard Square and run down Mass. Ave. a little bit.

When we start our shift we go over to the Charles Hotel and pick up our sound monitor. We have to be 25 feet away [from the musicians], and THEY NEED TO BE UNDER 80 DECIBELS. I’ve also got to make sure they’re not angering a business they’re in front of. It’s kind of a low-key job.

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