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(New York Daily News)   The costumed miscreants that plague Times Square and try to bully unsuspecting tourists into giving them tips for photographs are hoping to form a union, which would make it virtually impossible to ban them   (nydailynews.com) divider line 23
    More: Scary  
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3536 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Aug 2014 at 10:46 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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Archived thread
2014-08-12 09:26:27 AM  
12 votes:

jaylectricity: Who are they forming a union against? Unions work because of power of numbers. Many employees, one owner. In this case they would be going up against the general public with nothing to offer but novelty photographs.


I vote we let them unionize. Then we refuse their demands. Then they'll have no choice but to strike.
2014-08-12 11:14:18 AM  
4 votes:

HotWingConspiracy: I'm still completely lost on why this is a thing for tourists to begin with.


Despite the condemnation of Times Square among everyone here, it's a huge draw.  In a city so tightly packed it's one of those spots where you turn the corner to and it just opens up in a way that's hard to describe.  With it being featured so prominently in media, movies and everything else it's just something you kind of need to see once in your life, even if to say you saw it and that's it.

The costumed miscreants prey upon that.  They know people will be stopping to take pictures and they use that opportunity to be available, to insert themselves into the situation, to be pushy and get into it.  They prey upon what a polite society just doesn't do and the anonymity of wearing a costume to weasel their way in and then go for tips or fees or whatever else they want to call it.  In a sense it's a combination of panhandling and a good low-end grift.  They'll make a scene to get what they want and have no qualms about lying or being rude about it.

About 15 years ago I was in New Orleans on my Honeymoon.  Where me and the Missus were staying there was one road that we would walk that lead to most of the destinations we were heading to.  The first night there this guy stops us and does his thing....it's essentially preying on people's nature to be polite and their inevitable desire to just get them to go away, which usually costs a few bucks at his suggestion.  He makes balloon hats or whatever and asks questions and tells stories, and it's usually about 10 minutes of your time you'll never get back.

He hit us the first night and I watched him nail two other couples later that night.

The second night he steps up and starts the schpeil.  He preys upon folks unwillingness to be less than polite in a foreign city and the impression you're unwilling to show to the other person you're with.  A minute in I hand him a buck and told him to keep the hat.  He takes it and walks away without any fuss.

The third night he starts up and I just finally snapped and yelled "Would you just fark off already?"  He acted all outraged and waylaid my uncouth behavior into nailing the couple that were walking behind us.

It's a scam.  The people that do it are manipulating you.  They're preying upon politeness and the fact that you're not going to be in that city very long and want to make the most of it and wasting your time and not wanting to create a scene or piss off a local.
2014-08-12 10:54:11 AM  
3 votes:

Englebert Slaptyback: James!

The only guy I've taken a picture of and tipped was cat on head guy.


???

[farm6.staticflickr.com image 460x460]


Wait... what if it isn't a guy with a cat on his head but a cat with a man on his butt?
2014-08-12 10:23:30 AM  
3 votes:
I too say let them do it.

If they unionize, the people who own the characters these guys are using will have someone to sue when it turns out the guy in the Spider Man suit isn't paying for the right.
2014-08-12 11:50:43 AM  
2 votes:
I think we're all missing the point here...

FTA:Claudia Arias, 22, who was dressed as Catwoman

We'll need to see some photographic evidence.
2014-08-12 11:04:34 AM  
2 votes:
A major concern for Nickelodeon and Marvel and other media corps is how these people are wearing unlicensed costumes.  Yes, they're making money off these properties, which is bad enough, but more to the point, their bad behavior - groping ladies, making kids cry, punching cops - can affect these brands.

If they unionize, they have to get their names out there on a list, and suddenly they'll get sued by teams of lawyers.  Or, they'll wind up having to pay licensing fees, which can be very expensive, and probably have to be vetted in some way.  I don't think they've thought this through.
2014-08-12 09:18:18 AM  
2 votes:
If you take a picture with them, tip them, how hard is that. If you don't want to tip them, ignore them.
2014-08-12 08:48:35 AM  
2 votes:
Who are they forming a union against? Unions work because of power of numbers. Many employees, one owner. In this case they would be going up against the general public with nothing to offer but novelty photographs.
2014-08-12 01:39:04 PM  
1 votes:
We've got a pretty good one in NOLA, French Quarter specific. There is a guy who turns himself into Bumblebee. He stands up as Bumblebee then transforms into the car and rolls around in circles for a few moment. He has a small motor attached to one of the wheels on his ankles and it actually "drives" the car. When he transforms he really does turn into Camero on four wheels and moves like a car. That is the only time that I have ever given money to one of these "performers".
2014-08-12 12:00:58 PM  
1 votes:

big pig peaches: can someone caption the picture with the two Elmos "penis goes where?" for me, please?

I'm on mobile and can't post images.


No. Do your dumb idea when you get home
2014-08-12 11:50:18 AM  
1 votes:

triptheory: New York's alright if you want to get mugged or murdered.


I always enjoy hearing from people who base their opinion about New York on movies set in the 1970s.
2014-08-12 11:47:23 AM  
1 votes:

tripleseven: farkheads who stop at the top of the subway stairs to check their phone before entering the subway.

I usually say very loudly: "There are a hundred better places for you to stop and stand, find one please"


If you just shove them down the stairs they'll never make that mistake again.

\instead, they'll block the handicapped elevator
2014-08-12 11:38:11 AM  
1 votes:

tripleseven: poot_rootbeer: cgraves67: I should get to NYC at some point in my life, but I'm not in a hurry. Plus the locals will probably treat me like a rustic rube, which dampens the appeal.

As long as you don't block the sidewalk, we'll treat you well.

The one that pisses me off the most isn't really the sidewalk blockers, because you can usually get past them.

What really pisses me off, and mind you, this isn't limited to tourists:

farkheads who stop at the top of the subways stair to check their phone when leaving the subway.

And,

farkheads who stop at the top of the subway stairs to check their phone before entering the subway.

I usually say very loudly:  "There are a hundred better places for you to stop and stand, find one please"


I dislike the groups of tourists who clump up at one end of the subway platform, near the single exit/entrance, making everyone else walk along the edge of the platform near the tracks.

To say nothing of those who walk around in the Métro wearing gigantic trekking-style frame backpacks, that smack into someone every time they turn around.

It's like people go on vacation and they stop paying attention to their surroundings, like the part of their brain that handles spatial awareness has shriveled up and fallen out through their ears while they were on the plane.
2014-08-12 11:30:48 AM  
1 votes:

Fano: Nothing good ever comes of someone walking up to you on the street.


Bought my first Les Paul in the 80's for $50 from a guy that saw my concert t-shirt and long hair.  Just cold walked up to me on Comm Ave.  I thought it was probably stolen so I went and checked with the Boston PD.  No one had reported it.  I checked every few weeks for a few months.  It never came up.

I've played that axe through high school and college.  When I barely had a dime to my name it put money in my pocket from gigs, offered me solace and therapy in tough times and has recorded on a few albums over the years.  It put me on stages I never thought I would make it on and in places I never thought I would get to.

So, yeah.  No.

I don't discredit the fact that you may get hustled.  I could have that day, and I was fully willing to take the risk.  But I also think that there are alot of people having a rough go of it and for the trouble of a quick word or kind gesture it's not so taxing.

Sorry your city sucks so bad that you can't risk engaging someone in conversation.
2014-08-12 11:20:57 AM  
1 votes:
i.ytimg.com
I prefer when they had the pimps and the CHUD
2014-08-12 11:20:03 AM  
1 votes:

Skarekrough: HotWingConspiracy: I'm still completely lost on why this is a thing for tourists to begin with.

Despite the condemnation of Times Square among everyone here, it's a huge draw.  In a city so tightly packed it's one of those spots where you turn the corner to and it just opens up in a way that's hard to describe.  With it being featured so prominently in media, movies and everything else it's just something you kind of need to see once in your life, even if to say you saw it and that's it.

The costumed miscreants prey upon that.  They know people will be stopping to take pictures and they use that opportunity to be available, to insert themselves into the situation, to be pushy and get into it.  They prey upon what a polite society just doesn't do and the anonymity of wearing a costume to weasel their way in and then go for tips or fees or whatever else they want to call it.  In a sense it's a combination of panhandling and a good low-end grift.  They'll make a scene to get what they want and have no qualms about lying or being rude about it.

About 15 years ago I was in New Orleans on my Honeymoon.  Where me and the Missus were staying there was one road that we would walk that lead to most of the destinations we were heading to.  The first night there this guy stops us and does his thing....it's essentially preying on people's nature to be polite and their inevitable desire to just get them to go away, which usually costs a few bucks at his suggestion.  He makes balloon hats or whatever and asks questions and tells stories, and it's usually about 10 minutes of your time you'll never get back.

He hit us the first night and I watched him nail two other couples later that night.

The second night he steps up and starts the schpeil.  He preys upon folks unwillingness to be less than polite in a foreign city and the impression you're unwilling to show to the other person you're with.  A minute in I hand him a buck and told him to keep the hat.  He takes it and walks away without any fuss.

The third night he starts up and I just finally snapped and yelled "Would you just fark off already?"  He acted all outraged and waylaid my uncouth behavior into nailing the couple that were walking behind us.

It's a scam.  The people that do it are manipulating you.  They're preying upon politeness and the fact that you're not going to be in that city very long and want to make the most of it and wasting your time and not wanting to create a scene or piss off a local.


Sounds like you were a slow learner. Let me give you and everyone else here a tip a learned from living in Memphis, TN. Nothing good ever comes of someone walking up to you on the street. If someone says "hey" or anything else don't even register you heard something unless you want bums cadging for change with sad sack stories or scams, pick your poison.
2014-08-12 11:15:54 AM  
1 votes:

rzrwiresunrise: No. Just no. They're just like the immigrants in Montmartre, France who approach and start tying a friendship bracelet in your wrist like it's some kind of neat trick. The trick' of course' is when you can't remove it, so you're on the hook to pay. Fark these costumed grifters.


You are in no way on the hook to pay. A small penknife does wonders and leaves a look on their face that is priceless.
2014-08-12 11:07:04 AM  
1 votes:

Tom_Slick: Skarekrough: LemSkroob: I wonder if the trademark owners (Disney et al) will be more inclined to put the hammer down if they are trying to go legit.

Considering how many of the corporations have benefited by the cleaning up of that area I can see how some trademark enforcement would make this all go away.

Right now, there is little the corporations can do, there is a fair use argument. If they were to form a union though they would then be classified as a for profit organization and be subject to licensing fees.


How is it fair use when they're profitting off the costumes?
2014-08-12 10:54:43 AM  
1 votes:
There's an easy way to solve this. Stop travelling to New York.

Seriously. 

Put a dent in their tourism dollars. The tourism bureau will see it as a reaction to the nutbar unionization, and work harder to kick their asses out. 

Also, stop travelling to New York anyway, because it's shiat.
2014-08-12 10:54:21 AM  
1 votes:
I wonder if the trademark owners (Disney et al) will be more inclined to put the hammer down if they are trying to go legit.

I mean, some mexican in a homemade suit by himself isn't worth it for pursuing claims, but once they all band together and have a common organization, now its something to go after.
2014-08-12 10:54:17 AM  
1 votes:
"The costumed characters who have overrun Times Square, posing for pictures with tourists, say they're just trying to make an honest buck, and hope for warmer, fuzzier treatment from the city and its police force. "

It's the NYPD.  Considering the level of annoyance they cause they should be thankful they get to walk home at the end of the day under their own power.
2014-08-12 10:52:28 AM  
1 votes:

unlikely: I too say let them do it.

If they unionize, the people who own the characters these guys are using will have someone to sue when it turns out the guy in the Spider Man suit isn't paying for the right.


Yup, they would then be no longer be able to hide behind fair use and be subject to licensing fees as a for profit enterprise.
2014-08-12 10:04:32 AM  
1 votes:

AlwaysRightBoy: No self respecting New Yorker goes near Times Square. Who cares, let them feast on the tourists.

/thug it up as a union, even better


Yeah but where other than the Time Square Sbarro are you going to get authentic NY pizza???
 
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