The seasons are changing. In a small Mission in Capistrano, California, the swallows have returned from their winter migration. Here in New York City, we also have a touchstone to mark the approaching balmy nights. Last week I had my first sighting of The Naked Cowboy in Times Square. True, he lacks the panache of small, delicate birds returning to a Mission, but give me a break. It’s New York. We’ll take what we can get.
The Naked Cowboy is a busker who walks around Times Square wearing just his skivvies with “Naked Cowboy” written on his ass, a cowboy hat and boots. If you stand right in front of him, his guitar covers his shorts and he does, in fact, appear to be naked. He’s been at it for quite some time and has become a Times Square institution.
Some of the locals think he’s just a nut with a gimmick, but I like him. He makes the tourists happy and what’s bad about that? When I pass through Times Square and stumble across his act, I always like to step back and watch the reactions of the crowd. Their faces run the gamut between abject horror and raw lust. The guy is built like a brick shithouse.
There’s a hole cut into the top of his guitar and after he poses for a pic, you’re suppose to drop a few bucks inside. Seems innocent enough to me. My point of all this is that the weather has finally turned a corner. All the cafes have put tables and chairs out on the sidewalks and the new lawn has been planted in Bryant Park. The welcome mat is rolled out, folks.
In New York you can forget,
forget how to sit still.
Tell yourself you will stay in
But it’s down to Alphaville.
You got to put the women and children first
But you’ve got an unquenchable thirst for New York