During the Walkathon I passed through Times Square, where for many years tourists could get their photos taken with the likes of Elmo and Hello Kitty (who apparently is a girl who thinks she’s a cat; or something). Also wandering around seeking tips are various superheroes, Statues of Liberty, and enough unlicensed Disney characters to make Walt turn over in his grave.
Then six years ago, the Desnudas appeared. Before that, women in bikinis and body paint were part of the mix — but suddenly, taking advantage of the fact that toplessness is legal in New York, the bikinis became… bikini bottoms. Still body paint, though.
This went on for a couple of years before one of the local newspapers — the New York Times, I think — suddenly discovered Oh my god, there are breasts in Times Square! Because, you know, nobody in the City had noticed.
And then Mayor De Blasio, who’d also been unaware of any of this, made it his mission to de-breast Times Square. Because the City didn’t have any other pressing problems.
But of course he ran into the whole “it’s legal” issue.
After all was said and done, all the street performers, whether furred or painted, are now confined to one side of the avenue, so people have the option of not coming into proximity to them. A sensible solution that took a nonsensical amount of time for them to come up with.
This photo, which I call “Yawn.” illustrates exactly how the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers feel about the whole scandal.