The Beach Feet Project

A variation on the old head-sticking-out-of-the-sand gag.


The Naked Rudeboy

The Naked Cowboy is a well-known, long standing character in the pantheon of costumed street performers of Times Square in New York City. Created and played by Robert Burck, his act consists of playing guitar and singing--mostly goofy songs of his own penning--on the street dressed in his signature white cowboy hat, white cowboy boots, and white (cowboy) briefs. It is believed that he has been doing the Naked Cowboy routine since 1998, and after thousands--perhaps tens-of-thousands--of photo-ops with enchanted tourists and natives alike, having your picture taken with the Naked Cowboy is one of those uniquely and quintessentially New York Things.

I have been a fan of the Naked Cowboy since learning of his existence. He stands out from every other Times Square character in that his is a unique and original image and character, built from scratch (not derived or appropriated wholesale from mainstream commercial entertainment.) And he is in effect a champion of the fool persistent in his folly, become wise. A template, if you will, for alighting upon a simple, slightly perverse idea and sticking to it, until it becomes famous.

I thought it only fitting that I assume a character in kind for the obligatory photo with the Naked Cowboy. As a fan, at the time, of Ska, the Naked Rudeboy was dreamt up, as a tribute to the Naked Cowboy. ("Rudeboy" is a slang term for male afficionado of Ska.)

Blaine Bubble

David Blaine is an illusionist best known for carrying out bizarre public stunts of endurance, such as spending 7 days buried in a transparent coffin, standing on an 80-foot pillar for 35 hours, and living in a 7'×7' box suspended over the Thames for 44 days. In May 2006 he spent a week submerged in water in an 8' sphere in the middle of Lincoln Center.

Thousands of people would come to see Blaine in his bubble; some for the spectacle, some to point and laugh and shout, some for inspiration.

Some for a little of all three.

Two days later...


SAOM Provideth

A few weeks before its 2006 New York episode I became familiar with the Idiotarod. The event required the use--possibly abuse--of a shopping cart, which are not all that easy to obtain in New York City. Grocery stores go to substantial lengths to prevent bums (and miscreants) from making off with these rather expensive amenities. And the carts that have been plucked from their natural habitat and roaming the streets are invariably chained up or otherwise jealously guarded by their captors.

There were a few days of fantasizing complicated schemes that involved foraying out to the suburbs to raid megastore parking lots where carts of unbelievable size and vigor are known to roam free. Then one day on my usual walk from office to subway station, a cart appeared! Sitting on the sidewalk out in the open, in pristine condition, and unimmobilized, unattached, unsecured!

A week later it was the Christmas-present-disguised mobile armory of Team Full-figured Avenging Task-force of Santa Operatives.