Hey my favorite readers, ‘tis I, the one and only RIDE! Today I want to tell you all about one of the craziest and most bizarre New York City traditions. That tradition is the “No Pants Subway Ride.” I know what you’re all thinking, and yes riding the subway with no pants in the middle of winter sounds like a terrible idea! While it may be uncomfortable for both participants and innocent bystanders, it is still part of the New York City Culture. If you rode the subway yesterday, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You may have had a brief encounter, and yes, pun is certainly intended.
It all started as an innocent prank. Back in 2002 seven friends with the goal of making people laugh, smile, and possibly cringe. Of course they had one person record a video of the passengers reactions to the pantless subway ride. The video sat around for several years until the creator eventually uploaded it to YouTube. You know what happened after that; it went totally viral, just like those Beyonce pictures from the super bowl.
Eventually the No Pants Subway Ride became a widely known event in which thousands now participate. Here’s how it is broken down: random passengers board subway cars in various stations all over the city. They pretend not to know one another and just act like it’s any other chilly day in New York City. Then the pantless folks get off and go on their merry way. The event is now organized by a group called Improv Everywhere. Now many groups and cities have made this tradition their own. You may find pantless subway riders all over the world, recreating this silly tradition.
What is the significance of this silly prank? That’s a good question, and the answer might change based on who you ask. Personally I think it’s a great excuse for New Yorkers to smile. There are very few things that even make us grin: good coffee, decent pizza, and the day Chris Christie shut down the lanes to the George Washington Bridge so that the Jersey folk couldn’t make it into our city. That being said, it’s hard to remain stoic when it’s twelve degrees outside and the person next to you on the subway is wearing a down jacket, scarf, boots, and no pants. Thanks for reading! I do however request that everyone who wants to RIDE wears pants… the whole time.