Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
#1. Cat On The Hat
Wandering the streets of the city is a man with a cat (pictured above; names Nicholas) on his head. This has been the case for some years now. The man has trained several cats to do this; Nicholas is the third. He makes his living posing for pictures, likely mostly with tourists. Humans Of New York quoted him as saying, “You can make about 75% more money with a cat on your head than you can with a cat on your shoulder.” I guess this is a recession proof job? Hey, whatever puts tuna on the table.
#2. Rat Man
I’m not cool because I don’t own a pastel blue rat with a choker. But this guys is. “Rat Man,” who has a possy of dyed rats, hangs out in different areas of the city, just as his rats hang out on different parts of him. Sometimes he holds them in his mouth, which I can’t decide if I find sweet and paternal, or just creepy uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a bit of both.
Rat Man. Get with it guys.
#3. Free Hugs
Ok, technically this one is not limited to New York (although somewhere you are sure to find someone holding up a sign is Union Square). I wanted to take this opportunity to share the origin story of the Free Hugs campaign. It was actually started by Juan Mann (pictured above) in Melbourne sometime back in 2006. The idea was popularized by the Australian band Sick Puppies, who were friends of Mann, and used footage of his “Free Hugs” walkabout for their video for their breakout track “All The Same.” Following is release in 2007, the video gained a lot of attention and the movement earned popularity enough for the Free Hugs campaign to spread around the world. Check out the video here:
FREE HUGS (be advised: this is very moving)
#4. Matthew Silver
Performance artist, whacky prop artist, weird exhibitionist, professional oddball, or maybe, all of them. Matthew Silver usually does his street shows in Union Square, Washington Square Park, and Astor Place. I’ve also seen him preform at Bizarre Bar, so this guy is all over the place. No, literally, all over the place. His scatterbrained and offbeat antics have earned him quite the reputation in NYC, usually as “the weirdo in speedos,” but his strangeness is…strangely infectious. People may see him and think, “there goes the craziest person ever,” but the truth contrasts this. Matthew knows what he’s doing, he simply has his own way of doing it.
“For myself, I always wanted to perform, I always wanted to be a clown, I always wanted to make people laugh. And you can live your life waiting for somebody to ask you to do things, and hope that you’ll be chosen to do that, or you create opportunities for yourself. I always though that the character of the weirdo street person, the clown, the weirdo, the village idiot, was always an amazing character, so I wanted to be that person.” – Matthew (viewing.nyc)
You think Blue Man Group was considered normal the first time they put on a show?
PS: I went out of my way to avoid the Naked Cowboy. He’s been talked about enough, and he really is neither naked, nor a cowboy.