Nithya Sambasivan slid her bow gently across the strings of her violin before looking up. “I’m here chilling in the park, playing music,” she said with a smile on her face.

Nithya, who works for Google, lives with her husband and newborn child a block away from Dolores Park.

She’s currently on maternity leave and decided to learn how to play the violin to pass the time. “It used to sound terrible but if it sounds even slightly better, it’s because I come to the park everyday and practice,” Nithya said.

She practices the Classical Indian style, and is often joined by her husband who plays an Indian drum. All Indian instruments are played on the floor, Nithya said.

Nithya practices in the park because “it’s not within four walls and I’m not worried about others listening or complaining, even; It’s a beautiful environment to come and practice.”

Nithya and her family will be moving to Seattle in a month, and she’s not sure where she will practice.

“There will be a big gaping hole for replacing this park in our lives because it’s just been so inspiring in discovering the beauty of music,” Nithya said. “I don’t think there’s any other place like this on earth.”

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