Op-Ed Contributor - Desperately Seeking Susan - Ricky Jay - NYTimes.com:
It is not only physical appearance that colors our expectations, but also class, education and location.
Thomas Britton, a low-born 17th-century seller of charcoal, was an autodidact who became an antiquarian book and music collector and an expert on chemistry. Every Thursday evening for nearly 40 years he hosted, on the second story above his coal shop, the most important salon concerts of the day. At this unlikely venue Handel and other notables played for music lovers of all strata of society.
And two years ago the renowned classical violinist Joshua Bell performed as a busker in the Washington subway, and was almost completely ignored as he played for free.