The barely costumed characters crowding Times Square this last week are not fans of people trying to tell them what to do…It can at times feel like a full fledged freak-fest.
And even with the last year proclamation of New York City’s Designated Activity Zones (DAZs) – the city-mandated areas created for desnudas to bother pedestrians for tips – many are irritated with law enforcement’s seemingly lax way of enforcing the policy.
Desnudas are what you see when you go to Times Square: painted nude panhandlers that are often colored in star-spangled patterns and prowl the streets of Times Square looking for any schmuck to get money from.
The New York Post sent a reporter to go out and get the story of the desnudas and other panhandlers…But the reporter was greeted with countless numbers of insults and wild gestures.
‘I told you, if you don’t have a tip, then f*** off!’ one nude star-spangled desnuda yelled to a Post reporter.
A reporter walked through the pedestrian plaza with the Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins, who at one point said: ‘Watch — the Hulk always goes and touches people.’
The costumed green brute was outside the 47th Street and Broadway zone and would reprimand expected costumers for money by putting his huge arms around them.
Tompkins confessed: ‘The Hulk drives me crazy.’
A block south and over at Seventh Avenue, a trio of Minnie Mice working in cahoots with each other. When a tourist took a selfie, one Minnie would crash the photo but soon the others would join as well.
‘Suddenly, there’s three Minnies in your picture,’ Tomkins said. ‘And a Batman, and a Spider-Man. And they all want cash. And they’re all outside the zone. It’s a total f****** scam, and it happens thousands of times a week,’ he said, clearly frustrated. ‘It’s those same three f****** Minnie Mouses.’
The Times Square Alliance said that it observed the DAZs between 45th and 47th streets from four to 9pm, several weeks ago. Observing 20 workers, they saw 418 character-initiated encounters and found that 67 per cent of them happened outside a DAZ. Only 43 per cent of the interactions actually amounted in tips while 88 per cent involved characters touching members of the public.
Robert John Burck, the Naked Cowboy, was said to be one of the most law-abiding. ‘You can make it work if ya try!’ he said.
Uncomfortable incidents – one where a Spider-Man wouldn’t let go of a 13-year-old until their father paid $10 and a Batman who snatched $50 out of an Irish tourist’ wallet – prompted the creation of eight DAZs a year ago. Failure to stay within the guidelines warrants a fine of up to $500.
After the first year was done, only 220 summonses had been issued, which if you know basic math, amounts to less than once a day. Tompkins added that part of the problem is that these panhandlers just ‘dart back into their DAZs’ when cops approach.’
This is a problem that the people are going to have to solve themselves. They allowed a crappy mayor to be voted in, so they get crappy policies.
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