Spider-Man unmasked! Elmo and Minnie, too

The New York Times:

A vaguely defined ecosystem seems to exist within the community, with subspecies divided by costume type: The Disney, Pixar and “Sesame Street” characters gravitate toward one another, and the superheroes hang out with other superheroes.

The cartoons, superheroes and other assorted characters are a bizarre, fascinating yet annoying as hell part of what Times Square has become.

  • Last weekend my wife and I visited friends who had just moved to Hollywood. My wife wanted to see James Garner’s star which is right in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre–the heart of Hollywood Blvd. It was the same scene there: tons of people in costume for photos and tips. It was kinda creepy. Not everyone in costume seemed mentally balanced. We walked past three Spidermans on one corner while one of them was in the middle of a violent rant. One of the other Spidermans said “Dude, calm down. You’re scaring the children.” That just got him going all the more. We made a hasty exit.

    • Yeah – it’s a shame that there’s little that can be done about this. Really does ruin a lot of the “atmosphere” in those places.

      • I’m with you. But I do have to admit that a lot of people sure were having a good time taking pictures of their kids with the people in costumes. And it beats panhandling. So I think there are shades of gray here.

        • Couldn’t you argue it’s just panhandling but in costume? 🙂

          • lucascott

            Yes and no. In hollywood they are not allowed to mention the whole tip thing. And they aren’t allowed to harass folks to take photos. If they are caught doing either they can be arrested and banned from being out there.

            What are worse are the dancers. Right now, there is construction going on outside the red line station which is right where the dancers like to set up. Literally half the sidewalk is cut off from construction and then there’s like four different dancers there blocking a huge chunk of the rest with their ‘space’ and the onlookers. And no cops around to do crap about it. There is only one entrance and I literally have to walk a block the wrong way because id can’t get through

  • Moeskido

    We passed through Times Square yesterday, on our way to and from one of only two excellent shows I’ve ever gone back to see twice. A Saturday afternoon full of costumed characters, “repent!” picketers, street vendors, and god-damned clueless, shambling tourists who habitually stop at almost every confined spot where people are likely to need to walk through… while they gawk or try to decide which noisy place they haven’t researched to go next. I’m amazed we were able to find a pub that was relatively quiet and not overrun by pasty, slack-jawed morons with bratty kids screaming for chain-restaurant food.

    And those costumed characters? Not so much with the staying-in-the-role.

    • You can’t tease like that and not tell! What was the show?

      • Moeskido

        “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

    • “overrun by pasty, slack-jawed morons with bratty kids screaming for chain-restaurant food.”

      Welcome to every high traffic tourist destination on the planet. 🙁

      • Moeskido

        Times Square was a different kind of place before Giuliani turned it into a nincompoop theme park. Whatever was unique about it before then is now largely gone.

  • TimeDoctor (zjs)