Monday, June 13, 2005

Pitch Camp - Urban camping in Times Square

I work in Times Square. I'm here every day, I walk in around 9:30 and I leave around 6:30. It's usually packed here during the day. My office looks over the square and I can see the setbacks that ABC and MTV use for stages for bands.

I have watched Times Square evolve from a disgusting arm pit and asshole section of Manhattan back to it's former glory days from the origins of the Great White Way.

I've seen lots of promotions here, from the girls in the GAP outfits handing pink roses to Red Bull MINIs. There's NASCAR, The Wedding crashers with the huge wedding cake. ABCs studio grew out of nothing as did our own MTV Studios.

Pitch Camp - Urban camping in Times Square

A couple months ago, Zach and I were talking and thought that it'd be cool to gather a whole bunch of people to go camping together one night right here in Manhattan. We agreed do a test run in Times Square. On Saturday, June 11th at midnight, Zach, Paul, and I arrived to pitch camp.

Folks from all over the world stopped and talked to us to find out what we were doing. Some bought us supplies (we'd made a pact not to leave our traffic island until morning) and two even brought pizza. Many hung out for a while and left us their names and addresses. A few are pictured below.

We spun stories about being there to be first in line for Jessica Simpson tickets (one group almost joined us) or claimed to be photographers for North Face taking product photos in the urban landscape (the cops seemed to buy that one.) But people just seemed to love the idea that someone was actually camping out in the middle of times square for the heck of it.

Over the course of the night 10 cops visited and talked to us, but most left us alone. One said that he wished that he could join us. The campsite was finally broken up by a pair of cops just at sunrise.


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