It seems like it JUST happened, and now, here we are again, just days away from the 10th annual time you get to expose your nether regions to the pristine and germ-free interior of a subway car. It all goes down this Sunday, at 3 p.m. If you’re new to New York or have for some reason not been exposed to this treat, there are some rules, from Improv Everywhere. They are brief.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION:
1) Willing to take pants off on subway
2) Able to keep a straight face about it
**THIS IS A PARTICIPATORY EVENT. DO NOT SHOW UP UNLESS YOU PLAN TO TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF. THIS INCLUDES THE MEDIA.**
Well, okay then.
There are six meeting points all over New York City — Astoria’s Hoyt Playground, the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park, the Great Hill in Central Park, and Bushwick Park. You’re instructed bring along a backpack or bag and your subway card, and to wear “normal winter clothes” which you will, obviously, partially take off.
Once meeting and getting divided into groups, everybody gets into their particular assigned subway cars and, when the doors shut, removes their pants (backpacks are for stashing said pants). That’s when things get interesting/social-experimenty:
If anyone asks you why you’ve removed your pants, tell them that they were “getting uncomfortable” (or something along those lines.)
Exit the train at your assigned stop and stand on the platform, pantless. You will wait on the platform for the next train to arrive. Stay in the exact same place on the platform so you enter the next train in the same car as you exited the last train.
When you enter, act as you normally would. You do not know any of the other pantless riders. If questioned, tell folks that you “forgot to wear pants” and yes you are “a little cold.” Insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their pants. Be nice and friendly and normal.
You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, “I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt.”
Fun, not silly. Got it? Also, we’d go with washable.
More via No Pants Subway Ride 2011, on Facebook.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 5, 2011