Hundreds came out and took part in the 7th annual No Pants Subway ride. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
Dorchester resident Andrew Walbrown stood amidst a crowd at Pemberton Square Sunday, patiently awaiting the go-ahead to nonchalantly take off his pants and take a ride on the T.
“I’ve always been a nudist at heart, so I could go all day without wearing clothes in public,” said Walbrown, who was one of hundreds of Bostonians to participate in Boston's seventh annual No Pants Subway Ride, organized by a self-described "society of shenanigans," BostonSOS.
The comedy event was first created by Improv Everywhere in New York City in 2002, and now happens each January in cities across the globe.
“I feel there’s nothing to be ashamed of, so this was never awkward for me. I feel at home,” said veteran participant Walbrown, adding that Sunday's 50-degree windy weather didn’t faze him.
“A lot of people might complain, but years past there has been 3 inches of snow on the ground and it's been 20 degrees,” he said.
Inside the T, passengers who weren’t too engrossed in books or smartphones appeared bewildered and amused, some going so far as to question pantsless participants about their apparent wardrobe malfunctions.
“Being Boston, I’m not really that surprised,” said Orange Line passenger Katie G. after spotting a group of pantsless passengers. “Because it’s not atypical to see someone undressing or wearing extravagant clothing on the T, especially the Orange Line. I think it’s funny. … I would participate.”
Organizer James Cobalt decided to make a change this year: In order to get the specifics, participants had to first watch an online video that provided instructions and etiquette reminders.
"It's something I thought might help. I wanted to make the process faster," said Cobalt, who said he loves to watch the responses of unsuspecting Bostonians during the event.
"A big part of it is just making people laugh," said Cobalt. "Then the challenge is not laughing yourself."