The Unbearable Banishment: Naked in New York City

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Naked in New York City

The seasons are changing. In a small Mission in Capistrano, California, the swallows have returned from their winter migration. Here in New York City, we also have a touchstone to mark the approaching balmy nights. Last week I had my first sighting of The Naked Cowboy in Times Square. True, he lacks the panache of small, delicate birds returning to a Mission, but give me a break. It's New York. We'll take what we can get.

The Naked Cowboy is a busker who walks around Times Square wearing just his skivvies with "Naked Cowboy" written on his ass, a cowboy hat and boots. If you stand right in front of him, his guitar covers his shorts and he does, in fact, appear to be naked. He's been at it for quite some time and has become a Times Square institution.

Some of the locals think he's just a nut with a gimmick, but I like him. He makes the tourists happy and what's bad about that? When I pass through Times Square and stumble across his act, I always like to step back and watch the reactions of the crowd. Their faces run the gamut between abject horror and raw lust. The guy is built like a brick shithouse.

There's a hole cut into the top of his guitar and after he poses for a pic, you're suppose to drop a few bucks inside. Seems innocent enough to me. My point of all this is that the weather has finally turned a corner. All the cafes have put tables and chairs out on the sidewalks and the new lawn has been planted in Bryant Park. The welcome mat is rolled out, folks.

In New York you can forget,
forget how to sit still.
Tell yourself you will stay in
But it's down to Alphaville.

You got to put the women and children first
But you've got an unquenchable thirst for New York

New York



Blogger mapstew said...

Now THERE'S an idea!

I'd need to work on the physique though, and get a wig, and a cowboy hat, tighty-whiteys, and a whole truckload of sheer 'couldn't giveafuck confidence'! So, back to the gym, again! Well, it's a start!


April 14, 2010 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Map: Don't laugh! I understand he does quite well. And you're right about the confidence thing. He fairly radiates it.

April 14, 2010 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when my theater friends make the trek to NYC they always find him for pics... unfortunately, they are usually from the front, and not the side, so you can't see those delicious legs. damn. yet another reason to get to the big city!

April 14, 2010 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I love it, when we were there all we saw was the man carrying the wooden cross around times square.

April 14, 2010 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

Naked man proves Alicia keys right, "New York - concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do."

April 14, 2010 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: I dare say, you would swoon. His arms are like two big pythons and he's playing a guitar. Does that sound like your type?

MT: Yeah, that guy was a drag. Come back and we'll find this naked guy.

Sid: Another song about New York City tells the truth:

I feel the sense of possibilities.
I feel the wrench of hard realities.

April 14, 2010 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

i can't remember the last time i was even in times square! i think we somehow always manage to bypass the area - yeah, it's the downside of living in a tourist town, survival mode always kicks in!

April 14, 2010 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

Even after 40 years of NYC, and even in its "new" incarnation, I still love Times Square. And that guy makes the tourist in me happy.

April 14, 2010 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

...the focus is sharp in the city...

April 14, 2010 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Savannah: You wouldn't even recognize it. The only thing you have to survive now are the happy crowds. It's better this way.

Leah: You get a BIG GOLD STAR!! Excellent on you! That made my day. Did you know that they're touring this summer and the gimmick is that they're playing Moving Pictures in its entirety? That includes this song.

April 14, 2010 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

I love people-watching; both performers and watchers alike. I started to ask "but can he play", but of course it doesn't matter. I can't imagine the show gets any better than in NYC! Wish I were there...

April 14, 2010 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger ExtraO said...

He's certainly in shape.

April 14, 2010 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Lori: He can play but you are correct that nobody seems to care. NYC gets the gold for people watching.

EOM: In shape and, get this, NO body hair anywhere! He seems quite waxed.

April 14, 2010 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Barlinnie said...

Every city has its great characters, and character is what really attracts us to these great cities.

April 14, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger RubyTwoShoes said...

This feeds my longing for NY, the city I have not yet met. i have a friend who is living over there, and so I am happy to hear that the weather is turning (she is a mere Aussie who cant quite hack the hardcore winters), and that the naked man is churning out the tunes. Rock on

April 14, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

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