Times Square is central city for tourists who come to visit New York from around the world. They also are subjected to persons who dress up in superhero garb to get dollars for photos. But its another kind of character that has been opening eyes in the formerly seedy part of New York. The sight of topless women, covered only in paint, but practically leaving nothing to the imagination are the new hustlers on the block.
They are aggressive in their attempt to collect money for taking photos with visitors traveling through Times Square. They collect roughly $300 for eight or more hours of work. Some of the girls, who call themselves “desnudas” have gotten a lot of front page attention in city dailies, in particular with on duty cops who posed with them. It has drawn a tremendous amount of feedback, not all of it positive.
“When I paint myself, I bring smiles to people’s faces.”
explained Pamela Pena, one of the desnudas. But for many people they are an aggravation and negative distraction.
Not since the Naked Cowboy has a Times Square amateur attraction gotten so much word of mouth. New York City Mayor Bill de DeBlasio however is not in favor and has mentioned that action will be taken.
“I’m not going to tolerate it, we’re going to change things.”
For those who have worked hard to transform Times Square into a family friendly environment point out how the city used to look there only a few short years ago. The 42nd street zone once was as famous for prostitution, porn theaters, and crime as for anything else. DiBlasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton responded,
“A number of city agencies are working now to develop new approaches to this and other quality of life problems in and around Times Square.”
But for those who want to remove the offending offerings there but retain a flexibility in expressing New York City and its unique character for those who visit, Daniel Garodnick, Democratic councilman responded on the tricky solution to this issue,
“We need to think more broadly abut how to organize Times Square so as to allow its eccentricity to exist while also giving the public a chance to move around and not be bothered.”