A Pantless Subway Ride
On Sunday, January 9th, thousands of New Yorkers gathered at six locations across the city to participate in the 10th annual No Pants Subway Ride. After receiving directions, participants marched to the subways and took off their pants once on their assigned trains. Under strict instructions from Improv Everywhere, the improvisational theater group that organizes the event, the pant-less responded to fellow train riders' questions regarding the location of their pants without acknowledging the oddity of the situation. When curious fellow passengers asked "Where are you pants?", participants offered answers ranging from "I was in a hurry and forgot them at home," to "I wasn't in the mood for pants today," or, the most popular, "It's really hot out today." The weather in New York was sunny with a high of 32 degrees, with wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour.
The pant-less transferred several trains heading uptown and downtown. The uptown 5 train was particularly full of the pant-less around 4:30 pm, leaving many commuters with pants waiting for the next train. Commuters were perplexed and amused by the stunt, with the exception of those unable to get where they needed to go due to the influx of thousands of extra commuters. On a downtown N train, one man expressed his confusion. "I'm losing my mind," he said. "New York City's going crazy. Nobody wants to wear clothes no more!" After repeated attempts to get a logical answer from the pant-less, the man conceded, "It's just a naked Sunday. I guess."
Thousands of pant-less exited trains at the Union Square station at approximately 5 pm, the assigned unification time. The station filled with men and women of all ages wearing no pants. Many police were present and unfazed by the masses of pant-less. Because all of the participants were wearing underwear, no arrests could be made for public indecency.
Crowds swarmed the exits of the station and pounded through Union Square. Many of the pant-less filled the windows of DSW and Filene's Basement, displaying their pant-lessness for all of Union Square to see. Representatives from a group called Pro Pants handed out a pamphlet promoting the use of pants, written as if society is generally pant-less.
"Some may tell you pants are a gateway clothing, and that you'll soon be wearing lederhosen and going to wild parties, but don't worry," the pamphlet read. "Pants will bring you and your loved ones closer together." Those from Pro Pants were as unclear and nonsensical in explaining their support for pants as the pant-less were in explaining their lack of pantS.
After the celebration in Union Square, the pant-less crowd paraded through the streets, at one point storming into a Walgreens on 14th Street. Inside the pharmacy one pant-less and shirtless man crowd-surfed for approximately 35 seconds. No one was injured. Another pant-less woman complained that she didn't want to go home and put her pants on. She said that she wished there was an after-party.
According to Improv Everywhere's website, some 3,500 people participated. The pant-less were seen throughout the neighborhood afterwards, continuing the day's duties such as shopping at Trader Joe's--without pants.