A new campaign to enforce eight "quiet zones," including in some of the city's most hallowed spots for street performers, is turning virtuosos like Epstein into outlaws.
After years of being left in peace to perform her baroque repertoire on the beautiful, golden instrument, Epstein, 59, says she's suddenly being treated as a menace.
Park police, she said, accused her of destroying the grass where she sat and ordered her to move on.
"They say we're responsible for the bare patch but then you see people everywhere playing soccer with boots and cleats," she said in bewilderment. "They were actually pretty nasty and I'm not used to police intimidation. It's basically putting us out of work."
Nearby in the mosaic-lined colonnades next to Bethesda Fountain, a few brave souls performed Mozart and Gospel songs in defiance of the ban.
"I've been ticketed and arrested because I wouldn't stop singing," he said. "My life has been devastated by this."
Central Park representatives say they have nothing against musicians. They just want don't want them in "quiet zones," which have been marked with new, shiny green and white sign