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At Sunset on Valentine’s Day, over hundreds ranging from lovers and dogs to singles and children, gathered on the bluffs at the end of Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay, California to bear witness to the last performance by artist Mauro Ffortissimo. After this final performance of his, the baby grand piano will be cart away and burn.

In Mauro’s “Sunset Piano” performance, other musicians were also involved along with a female fire dancer, who performed her routine on top of the piano. There were lots of cheers for Mauro during his final performance. After everything was over and done with, majority of the audience stated their disappointment and sadness that the piano had to go so soon. In fact, even Rick Kowalczyk, the mayor of Half Moon Bay himself, was sad to see Mauro and the piano go. “Mauro and I were able to exchange a few emails, and I met him on the bluffs. I enjoyed his performance immensely,” stated Rick, who tried his best to enable Mauro to keep the piano on the bluffs for a longer period despite the fact that he needed permits in order to do so.

A few days ago when Rick heard about the enforcement code, which required Mauro to have a permit for placing the piano on the bluffs for which he did not have, he tried to figure out if there was anything he could do about it. Thus, he made a call to the city manager. Unfortunately, it turned out that it was the kind of situation where the city would only enforced the rule if there was a complaint. “I’m told there was a complaint, in spite of the clear popularity of the piano and his playing,” explained Rick.

Regardless, Mauro had already made up his mind that shifting the piano would be the proper thing to do. “All good in the hood. They gave me 10 days, and I am grateful for it. No need to bend the rules. I don’t want to put anybody on a tight spot. Thanks so much anyway,” said Mauro. According to Rick, he was unable to turn things around given the short amount of time that he had. Currently, he is finding out means of putting in place a process to fast track permits for art installations in future. “Tonight was the last performance on the Half Moon Bay bluffs, although it is fitting that the final performance be on Valentine’s Day. I found Mauro to be a gentleman and very understanding of the situation. Mauro not only brought out the community through his art and music, he also brought people from all over the Bay Area to Half Moon Bay,” he said.

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