Another year and another No Pants Subway Ride has passed us by. And it's about time we clarified something here: Not everyone at Gothamist HQ hates the idea of thousands of people dropping trou and riding the rails for kicks. In fact, some of us think the whole thing is just the sort of harmless fun that's worth embracing. Unlike, say, getting loaded in a Santa suit and offering folks a chance to suck your nuts.
Look, I totally get
the hater's my co-worker's arguments against the annual bit o' exhibitionism—12 years and counting!—I just don't agree. Cheap entertainment is hard to come by in the this town and sometimes seeing some surprise flesh on the subway (that doesn't involve some creep rubbing one out while looking longly at your new shoes) is fun! So what if not everyone going pantsless is a model? It takes all kinds! And if the pretty people don't mind being stared at, why do you care? Plus, unlike most subway entertainment nobody asks you for change at each stop.
Does the annual strip reek of a collegiate stunt? Yes. So what? Lots of annual events do, and that's okay. College is fun (well, not my college, but still). As for the "It's not edgy if hundreds of people are doing it" argument—why does something have to be edgy to be a good time? Millions of New Yorkers spend day in and day out doing boring jobs so they can pay too much for a tiny apartment and never actually get out and do the stuff they moved to the capital of the world to do. If one day a year a few of them want to go ride around on the subway without their pants, who are they harming? It's legal!
And don't even get me started on the "what about the children?" nonsense some lady was yammering on about on the 2 train yesterday. Because puh-leze. Kids will laugh at the event because it is funny. Any New York child who is scarred by seeing a few people in January in their underwear is apparently blind to the half-naked people that populate our town. And for those kids visiting from outside of the city? Trust me, they've just become New Yorkers for life.
Photos of this year's ride by Lina Shteyn Photography