New Yorkers bare their naked legs on annual No Pants Subway Ride
In the theater of the absurd, one shouldn’t be caught with one’s pants down — unless, of course, you are one of the many people who took part in the 18th annual No Pants Subway Ride.
More than 100 participants gathered at the Old Stone House on Third Street in Park Slope to take the R train to Union Square in Manhattan on Sunday, Jan. 13 in the bitter cold – without pants. This was one of six locations throughout the city participating in this year’s oddball event.
This was the eighth such meeting in Brooklyn at the Old Stone House and one of two meeting locations in Brooklyn for the annual event. The other was in Williamsburg.
Queens straphangers who participated in the pants-less ride met up at the borough’s Hoyt Playground, located along 31st Street in Astoria. From there, the nearly naked passengers boarded a Manhattan-bound N train at the Astoria Boulevard station.
Curious straphangers looked on and some of them took pictures of the unusual sight.
“I found out about this a couple years ago – it’s a fun thing and it’s a growing tradition,” said Julianne Boucher, who took part with her husband, Christopher. “It’s a sense of community – it’s fun to engage with other people.”
Zach Linder, one of 10 No Pants Subway Ride “generals,” said it was important to act normal other than to take your pants off. The joke is funnier if “there are no other distractions other than the missing pants,” he said.
“This was founded by the Upright Citizens Theater Brigade, an improv class, and what makes improv so funny is that there is one unusual thing going on — the lack of pants. Otherwise, act completely normal,” Linder said. “Other funny things tend to distract from the original premise. Some people might ask why you are wearing no pants, and you might reply, ‘I forgot to wear them.’”
Linder said the event was held in dozens of cities around the world, as far away as Australia.
“If you are not here to take your pants off, you are in the wrong place,” Linder told the crowd at the Old Stone House. “It really is a fun and communal experience.”
“I’m doing it because she’s doing it,” said Hannah Colonnese, referring to her friend Hannah Fenton of Park Slope. “She does it religiously.”
Fenton replied, “I take the subway every day to work. Today, I’m going to do something fun on the subway.”
One man showed up dressed as the Incredible Hulk. He identified himself only as Gemini of Sunset Park.
“Why am I doing this? It just reminds ourselves not to take life too seriously — it’s something kind of fun, different. Being out here on a cold, brisk day — it makes you feel alive.”
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