Once again it’s time to bare your Sunday best as the annual No Pants Subway Ride is scheduled to take place in cities across America and the world this weekend.
The event is staged by Improv Everywhere every January in New York City, where in 2002 it “started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year.”
“Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants behave as if they do not know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants,” according to Improv Everywhere.
Boston and Philadelphia, who like their fellow Northeast city of NYC, are known for their liberal riders and transit woes, have also been joining in on the pantless ride for several years. Though each location, characteristically, has its own way of organizing its events, ranging from New York's highly detailed instructions to Philadelphia's almost come as you are.
Here are the details for all three cities. Skip to the city of your choosing:
Requirements for participation:
-Willing to take pants off on subway
-Able to keep a straight face about it
-Sunday, Jan. 10 at 3:00 p.m. sharp (Over around 5 p.m.)
-Seven meeting points spread out all over New York City. Details below.
-Bring a backpack/bag and a MetroCard
-Wear normal winter clothes (hat, gloves, etc.)
-RSVP to the Facebook Event (Optional but appreciated)
How it works (as outlined by Improv Everywhere):
There are seven meeting points this year to choose from. The Manhattan meeting points tend to be very crowded, so if you live in Brooklyn or Queens, definitely go to one of those. Everyone should meet at their chosen meeting point at 3 p.m., but can be early.
Astoria: Meet at Hoyt Playground
Brooklyn: Meet by the Old Stone House
Downtown Manhattan: Meet at Foley Square
Lower East Side: Meet at Sarah Roosevelt Park on Houston
Queens: Meet at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park
Uptown Manhattan: Meet at the Great Hill in Central Park
Williamsburg / Bushwick: Meet at Maria Hernandez Park
At the meeting points, participants will be organized into groups and assigned a specific train car. Once everyone is divided up participants will head to nearby subway station[s]. Participants are asked not talk to others once they enter the subway system. No one knows each other.
Sit in the car normally. Team leader will have already divided people into smaller groups, and at specific stop people will depants.
According to organizers:
"As soon as the doors shut at the stop before yours, stand up and take your pants off and put them in your backpack. If you’d like to use a briefcase, purse, grocery bag, or whatever instead of a backpack that’s fine too. If anyone asks you why you’ve removed your pants, tell them that they were “getting uncomfortable” (or something along those lines.)
"Exit the train at your assigned stop and stand on the platform, pantless. You will wait on the platform for the next train to arrive. Stay in the exact same place on the platform so you enter the next train in the same car as you exited the last train.
"When you enter, act as you normally would. You do not know any of the other pantless riders. If questioned, tell folks that you “forgot to wear pants” and yes you are “a little cold.” Insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their pants. Be nice and friendly and normal.
"Remember: Taking photos is not keeping a straight face. Enjoy the experience and resist the urge to document. Take those Instagram shots when the ride is over."
All train routes will converge on Union Square. Exact route will be explained at the meeting point, and may involve a transfer.
Final advice: "You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, 'I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt.' Wear two pairs of underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable. Don’t wear a thong or anything else that might offend people. Our aim is to make people laugh, not piss them off."
– Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St.
– $10 advance (tickets here), $15 at the door
– Reasonably priced drink specials, delicious food will be available for sale
– Pantsless dress code, pants check available, 21+ with ID
– RSVP on Facebook (Optional but appreciated)
All you need to participate in the Philadelphia No Pants Subway Ride is a SEPTA fare, two hours of free time and underwear, which is of course mandatory.
The meeting point is the courtyard of the Municipal Services Building, located at 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd., at 3 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 10.
According to the event’s Facebook page, participants will “talk strategy then get on the subway. Anyone looking to document the event via photography is welcome. Voyeurs are not.”
Anyone participating in the Boston No Pants Subway Ride should meet at 1 Pemberton Square at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10.
-MBTA card with at least $5
-Photo ID if planning to attend the afterparty
-Backpack, purse or other bag to store your pants
-Two pairs of underwear is suggested for modesty / warmth
-Normal winter clothes (hat, gloves, etc.)
-The idea is to make people laugh, not offend them
Participants should look for someone holding an umbrella and line up. Organizers will then hand piece of paper assigning each person a route, train number, specific train car and a travel buddy if they don’t have one to give the allusion that the city has been taken over by pantless riders.
The ride will last about an hour. Riders are supposed to remove their pants at specific stops, while giving no explanation and pretending to be normal, to confuse riders (watch the video below for more specifics on how this will work).
911 Boylston St.