Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One Down, Only 11 More To Go

In Times Square, home of the Oblivious, it's exceedingly rare to find someone who is refreshingly self-aware.

Thank god this man knows how obnoxious he is.

Of course that doesn't explain phenomena like:
a) why he's talking to Spider-Man
b) why Spidey looks like he's about to slip him an unmarked envelope
c) why he continues to ask me if I like comedy. Every. Damn. Day. There is a step after Acceptance, Annoying Comedy Salesman. It's called step #2.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sometimes I Wish ESL Hadn't Worked For Me

Trudging through the pedestrian traffic in Times Square at any time of year means that - despite my best efforts to render my eardrums useless via the 8th incarnation of my earbuds - I will inevitably be forced to overhear a conversation that will blow the very fabric of space/time with its stupidity. Trudging through said TS traffic during the holidays raises the stakes of the equation thus: Tourists from the Midwest (x 10 to the power of 7) standing 9 across the breadth of the sidewalk (+345% likelihood) x the probability that I left my good headphones at my parents' house = a 745% increase in blown space/time fabric.

Case in point, here is what I heard not 10 minutes ago, verbatim.

Tourist #1: So which one is the famous museum in New York City? You know THE famous one.
Tourist #2: That's the art museum.
Tourist #1: Yeah, that's the one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

You know it's holiday time in Times Square when:

1) Dingy Elmo changes out his pimp hat for a Santa hat.

2) Santa's silhouette juxtaposes with the Lace stripper silhouette to make this striking high-art image.

3) I finally find out who those mannequins around the GMA holiday table are supposed to be and it suddenly makes so much more sense that it's Carrot Top in that weird Satan worship pose.

And that Donny is actually, er, missing and Marie is instead holding court with Wayne Newton, with Bette Midler presiding. In a Big Bird head.

Did I say "makes more sense?" I meant "makes everything infinitely creepier."

But I choose to look at this as GMA's subtle homage to The Nightmare Before Christmas instead of A Precursor to ST's Vivid Nightmares. Because believing in miracles is part of the holiday spirit.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let Us Entertain You

About two hours ago there was a fatal shooting on 46th and Broadway. You can read the details here.

This is scary and tragic and someone has now lost his life.

However, this doesn't stop the tourists of TS from continuing to do what they do best: being tastelessly overexcited and stationary in the most inappropriate places.

Far from staying away from the swarms of cops now at the area, most were crowding around to get a better snapshot for the family album. Quoth one: “It’s my first day in New York, so it makes very real what you see in the movies!"

Another one cited to a New York Times reporter that this was one of the more exciting moments of her trip - and that included such epic dramas as losing her luggage at Port Authority AND scoring tickets to 'Wicked.'

We're ever so glad NYC can continue to provide the type of exciting "real-life" entertainment that is sure to make Times Square a popular tourist destination forever more. And we in turn thank you, tourists, for providing both material rife for endless mocking in the midst of the most grave situations and excellent resistance for my much-needed elbow workouts. Seriously though, wouldn't you be happier vacationing elsewhere next time? I hear L.A. is fabulously safe this time of year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Celebrating Yuletide Traditions...DTS-Style

I pass by the Good Morning America studios every morning on my way to work. Even though there have been some questionable things/people on display there at times, I haven't written about it yet because I usually put my head down and hope to make it past the corner in less than 10 minutes.

This morning, I saw that they had put up their Christmas windows. The first window was a large but rather classy wreath which simply said "Season's Greetings from Good Morning America." The second window was this:

Right, I don't know why we're being welcomed to fabulous Las Vegas in Times Square - maybe that's where GMA is hosting its Christmas week programming? But forget that oddness for a second. Forget the tacky, overflowing holiday table that this "family" is sitting at. And let's take a closer look at the family itself:

Those don't look like standard issue mannequins to me so I'm just wondering: are they made in the likeness of GMA anchors? Is that supposed to be Diane Sawyer?! If so, why is she wearing Big Bird's hide as a hat? Is this a subtle homage to the Muppet takeover in TS? Or is this GMA's way of giving her the bird for leaving them to go anchor the nightly news?

Also, this is happening underneath that jolly Christmas table, by the by:

A medieval idol-worship ritual? An homage to that unsupervised 8-year-old cousin who got into the egg nog? A friendly yuletide reminder as to how to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? I have no idea. But yeah...Season's Greetings from GMA and DTS (and thanks for saving me the trouble of having to make my own holiday window; that classy wreath had me worried for a sec).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Times Square at Face Value

Yesterday's post inspired me to really embrace those Times Square characters and phenomena that in turn embrace what Times Square means to me. Toilets, giant inflatable rats,

and other bottom-feeding scavengers.

Please note that the rat and the shrimp were within about three feet of each other.

Now the shrimp is there to 'advertise' for Bubba Gump which at least makes sense despite the fact that I never quite got the logic of seeing a cute, cuddly anthropomorphized version of something you're about to eat. I'm using the term 'cute' loosely here.

But I don't really understand the giant inflatable rat. I've actually seen him before, a few months ago, placed outside some other scaffolding on 6th Ave. There are no signs on him to indicate whether he's part of some sort of protest or merely a friendly reminder that there are millions and millions of his doppelgangers scurrying beneath the very streets we're walking on and possibly all over our takeout since he seems to be clutching a bag of it in his claws.

Thanks, street rat. Of course, the other much happier thought that flits into my head upon seeing him is the classic refrain from Aladdin: Riff raff, street rat. I don't buy that. If only they'd look clooooooser.

And then I remember that there's more to me that meets the eye. That I too am a diamond in the rough just waiting for my genie's lamp to lead me far, far away from Times Square to the scantily-clad princess and sultan's riches that surely await me. Thanks, street rat!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And What Happens When You Flush?

If there ever comes a time during this holiday season that you start to doubt your career choices, that you wonder if your job is meaningless, demeaning or unbearably menial - think of this man.

This man is dressed as a toilet in the middle of Times Square. While I applaud that the costuming is much more apropos to its environment than any cheery faux Muppet - and while I actually think Charmin's sanitary new TS bathrooms are a smart idea - let's face it. It can't get more humiliating than having to stick your hand in a felt toilet bowl every time you need to adjust your crotch (and the seminal film Just One of the Guys taught me that this is something men have to do often).

It also wouldn't be terribly unlikely that some drunken, possibly costumed Times-Squarian will one day mistake that felt bowl for the real McCoy. Yeaaaah.

So whatever idiotic task your boss has you on, whatever soul-sucking assignment you are currently undertaking, just think - it could be worse. This is my Christmas gift to you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Context Is Everything

As someone who was in NYC on 9/11, there are few subjects which bring me to a more somber tone. Although I feel there is no way that anyone who was here can ever forget any of it, I generally don't comment on the 'Never Forget' paraphernalia that exists.

Until now.

Seriously?! Okay, yes demolition company - I get that you have a right to express yourself just like anyone else. But maybe considering the fact that the words Manhattan Demolition actually have to appear on your van, perhaps you could've picked a better medium for your sentiments. Ooh...I have a great idea never thought up by anyone before EVER: how about a patriotic tattoo?!

Tacky even by Times Square's standards. That is an achievement, indeed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

And...we're back!

The holiday season is upon us and could I really let this special time of year go by without bringing you the yuletide crazy that is sure to twinkle ever so brightly in Times Square? No, I could not. You can thank Santa for putting you on the 'Nice' list.

And because the merriment of the season has put me in a super-generous mood, I present you with this most rare and ultimate of all DTS photos. I call it, The Man Behind the Dinge.

I wasn't close enough to hear what unmasked Dingy Elmo was saying to the unidentified man with the newspaper - and by wasn't close enough, I mean I gave a wide berth to the dude because the crazy in his actual eyes might have been slightly crazier than the maniacal Elmo eyes I've learned to treasure. But I'm going to pretend the conversation went something like this:

Dingy Elmo: Look at this. What the hell is this? A blue backpack? What kind of a muppet in a pimp hat would be carrying around a blue backpack? Where's my beaded purse, man? WTF? I wouldn't even touch this with my dingy fur. I'm gonna have to actually take my arm out of the fur sleeve to touch this shit.

Unidentified Man: Sir, I don't know you and you're not really making any sense.

DE: Are you even listening to me?! Do you understand how upset I must be to be half-dressed and unmasked a mere three feet from my corner. What if a fucking kid sees me like this, man? Do you want him to believe there's no such thing as Elmo. Is that what you want?!

UM: I'm gonna slowly step away now...

Yes, Virginia, there is a Dingy Elmo. And he continues to mystify and terrify all the boys and girls on the corner of 45th and Broadway every single day. Season's Greetings!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

In Part II of What DTS Did On Its Summer Vacation: Atlantic City Edition, we ask - after a grueling henna session, what else could one need other than a nice, soothing massage?

Luckily, I have two AC "Spa" recommendations which come with extremely top-notch credentials. The first:

As you can see, this massage parlor has the distinction of getting the highly coveted rating of "Voted # [Thumbs Up]." Have you ever seen any place worthy of getting that rating before?! Of course not. The Voted # [Thumbs Up] is the equivalent of 6 Michelin Stars, of a 900 SAT verbal score, of Grade A+++ meat. So elusive that it is thought not even to exist...until, one day, you are lucky enough to spot it in the last place you would expect it. Just a hop away from the image of a urinating defunct Sunday comic character.

You're probably wondering what other massage recommendation I have that could possibly beat that. Only this:

It may not have the rating or the elitist attitude. But it seems to me like a happy ending is being guaranteed. And, sometimes, isn't it all about doing away with the fancy frou frous and getting down to the good old-fashioned simple joys of life?

That's Atlantic City for you: something for everyone.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What DTS Did On Its Summer Vacation

Well, folks, summer is almost officially over. And not only did we New Yorkers get a rainy, dreary, gloomy one, but I wasn't even able to harness the crazy enough to write regular posts on this thing. If there was a DTS Eeyore, I would insert him here now.

Even though this summer doesn't really deserve it, I think I'm going to try to give it one last hurrah by dedicating this new mini-themed blog within a themed blog to it. Because as it turns out, although Times Square naturally continues to be the epicenter of WTF-dom, there is actually a whole world of lunacy out there. And so I present...What DTS Did on Its Summer Vacation. Part 1.

Our first stop...Atlantic City. A city so magical that it must have known how homesick I felt as I tread its hallowed grounds.

Why, what's that I spot above the peeing Calvin image?

Well, I'll be darned. If it isn't Sad Sack Mickey and Unhealthily Obsessive Minnie (Stage 1 of Serial Killer Minnie). Why yes, yes Atlantic City! I would like these images to appear in diminishing colors of brown on my skin for the next 2-3 weeks! What a wonderful way to honor the ancient Eastern art of henna.

Right on my lower back if you please. And you know what...I'll take peeing Calvin too. How about you take one of those super-original tribal tattoos to the left and artistically insert Mickey, Minnie, and Calvin into them? Go ahead. I trust that your aesthetic judgment will create a DTS-worthy piece, sure to give me the confidence to walk the Boardwalk with a spring in my step and a burning hope for future blog posts. Which will take me all of 1/2 a foot to the next booth...

Stay tuned for the exciting continuation of "What DTS Did On Its Summer Vacation!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Until We Meet Again

Tell me, dear readers. Is it true what they say: does absence really make the heart grow fonder?

In the past few weeks, some major motion picture has shot something or other in Times Square, causing me to externalize my usual internal monologue of 4-letter words as I elbow my way through the foot-traffic of 4,273 people staring at a lighting rig and some really sexy lens filters. Britney Spears has apparently tweeted a hunt for herself that ended up with her in front of the M&M Store. And loads and loads of local T-Listers have continued to as, T.I. featuring Rihanna would say, "live their lives." Their ridiculous, ridiculous lives.

And, yet, I have not been there to bring you any of this crucial info. My excuse is lame: it involves something about long hours at a day job, blah, blah, blah. But my apology is heartfelt and so is my declaration that I have thought about your TS-deprivation each and every single day.

The sad truth it, I probably will not be updating much in the next couple of months. But to visualize this melancholy news, I'm going to ask for a special guest appearance from Sad Sack Mickey. Take it away, Mick:

It's hard to say what exactly it is about him that exudes such a sense of la tristesse. It might be the Urkelesque high-waters paired with platform boots, the droopy ears, or the generic tote bag that can't even be bothered to have a 1997 convention logo on it. But I think it mostly has something to do with his limpid eyes. With no Prozac lifesaver to keep you afloat, you could drown in those eyes that are murky with the woes of the world within.

And yet, as a Sandra Bullock/Harry Connick, Jr. vehicle tells me, Hope Floats, Sad Sack Mickey. So, chin up, my rodent friend. Things may seem bleak now, but I shall soon rise again to bring everyone the latest and greatest Times Square news as frequently as I ever did. Just like a phoenix; a phoenix with the stripes of tacky lawn chairs embedded on my wings.

*This post is dedicated to Amy & Sarah, who made my day by actually telling me that they missed my blog.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Silver Lining

I have to say, one of my favorite things about Times Square is that it really offers options. For example, are scantily-clad Cowboys not really your thing?

Well then, you've got to admire a place that targets the scantily-clad Silver Egyptian/Native American/Spartan Hybrid God fans and then really delivers:

I do like that this man is not only dedicated enough to work out but to spray paint between his toes. Take that, Naked Cowboy.

He's also either searching for buried treasure with his sleek and stylish metal detector or practicing his one-armed ski jump. Either way, this man is a multitasker and I like that.

And let's not forget his commitment to personally rid the world of the plight of the frat boy puka-shell necklace by collecting the world's supply of them and creating ankle shackles, surely a symbol of the imprisoned sense one gets when forced to interact with said frat boys.

The Naked Cowboy may be running for mayor, but it's this unsung new hero that's getting my vote. Thank god for write-in ballots.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Willy Nilly Killy Old Bear

I have to admit. Comparatively, this Pooh is pretty benign:

I mean, yes, he's felt the the need to inscribe his own name on his shirt, either because he thought he wouldn't be recognized or because they have a previously-unreported belly shirt theft problem in the 100 Acre Wood.

And, yes, he's carrying a most un-Pooh like hamper bag that probably reads "Tips," but which I'm going to go ahead and pretend reads "Pips," because thoughts of Winnie the Pooh eating oranges and discarding their unwanted bits and pieces makes me much happier than thoughts of Winnie the Pooh whoring himself out for cold hard cash.

But, then again, I think he needs that money so that he can make a break from the terrifying clutches of Dora the Mind-Controller.

For God's sakes, don't stare at that photo too long! Can't you see she's trying to hypnotize you with her dead zombie eyes? Look away, look away.

Instead let's focus on the, er, cleaved bangs. No, the butchered remnants of her nose. Um...how about that saggy ankle skin?


Oh, I know! ' I <3 NY.' Yes, that seems harmless enough. I mean, I can relate to that...

Actually, I have a great 'Tip.' Run. Run like the wind. It's too late for Pooh. Save yourself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Here Comes the Kitty

I really like when Times Square decided to meld its mindfuckery into one cohesive piece.

Readers, please say Hello to Bridesmaid Kitty:

Photo courtesy of @baddjuju

Gorgeous. I especially like the matching felt lavender dots that are crowning her forehead. That's very Mischa Barton of you, Bridesmaid Kitty. I'm also glad to see that you're carrying a proper purse instead of a Christmas stocking. After all, this get-up is clearly for a formal occasion.

But, really, forget a photo booth or a balloon arch. Getting a life-size animated character to be part of your bridal party is THE hot new wedding trend. I expect to see a piece on theknot.com about it in 5, 4, 3...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Virtual Insanity

On one of the 476 flashing Times Square signs, I saw a call to visit Times Square's official website: timessquarenyc.org.

So I took a virtual stroll over there today and:

I'm only showing a portion of this site for fear of sending my readers into epileptic shock. I really can't afford to lose any of you.

I don't know why I'm surprised that my virtual stroll through timessquarenyc would be ANY different than my actual painful trudge through Times Square NYC.

I counted 37 separate homepage promos*. This is not counting the navigation, weather widget, news ticker, interactive map promo, countdown to 2010 clock, or the pointlessly animated logo.

And then there were three different ways to sign up for Times Square updates. You know, in case you have a burning masochistic desire for the information overload to find you...wherever you are. (Which, I believe, is the perfect segue into reminding you that this blog too can be found on facebook, twitter, RSS feed, or e-mail subscription!)

Just for the fun of it (and by that, I mean in order to make fun of it), I clicked on a random pixel on the page and got to the Events calendar. Here's a smattering of what July has/had to offer in ye olde Times Square:

On July 1st, from 7-9 PM there was 'A Tribute to MEAT LOAF + FLEETWOOD MAC + TOM PETTY.' Why so few artists, Times Square? You sure you don't want to cram, oh, maybe some Bette Midler, Ted Nugent, and O-Town in those two hours? No?

In case you doubt the versatility of the venue that's housing the above, on July 12th there was something there that is simply called 'Atheist', which apparently is a band that feels like it's possible to have the phrase "quality Heavy/ Thrash/ Death Metal" used in a sentence. To which I say, paraphrasing the immortal words of Journey, way to never stop believin', Atheist.

And then, on, July 26th, there's Pat Martino**. Not being familiar with the name, I clicked on it and got this description, which is either a really really poor edit of his bio or the flapjacket of the latest Jodi Picoult novel:

'When the anesthesia wore off, Pat Martino looked up hazily at his parents and his doctors. and tried to piece together any memory of his life. One of the greatest guitarists in jazz. Martino had suffered a severe brain aneurysm and underwent surgery after being told that his condition could be terminal. After his operations he could remember almost nothing. He barely recognized his parents. and had no memory of his guitar or his career. He remembers feeling as if he had been 'dropped cold, empty, neutral, cleansed...naked.'

I particularly like the fragmented sentence 'One of the greatest guitarists in jazz' placed smack in the middle of what I think is the harrowing story of some sort of medical issue. It really adds a free-form poetry element to the bit. I also like the use of periods instead of commas. I can only assume it's meant to be taken as a subtle homage to poet e.e. cummings, who famously eschewed capital letters and punctuation. Thanks for the high-brow literary lessons, copy editor and/or Jodi Picoult!

* I think that's accurate but my vertigo would only allow me three attempts to count properly. If anyone wants to take the plunge and see if they can conclusively count the number of promos, feel free to leave said number in the comments section.

** Fine, I admit that I only clicked on this because for a second I got excited and thought it said Pat Morita.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What? No Nautical Themed Pashmina?

Yesterday, I saw:

A child perched upon a mailbox, ringing a bell on behalf of the Salvation Army, and screaming at the top of her lungs, "I'm on a boat!"

I actually didn't know that the Salvation Army did their whole 'bell' thing outside of the Christmas season.

I also didn't know that they had recently taken to breaking child labor laws with a child that is either so dubiously supervised as to be allowed to watch Andy Samberg Digital Shorts or one who can't tell a boat from a mailbox. But then again, this is probably some head honcho's idea of viral marketing 2.0.

When I walked back up the same street 20 minutes later, the kid had disappeared. The woman who was standing next to her was still there - but no kid.

Maybe the same cops who arrested our superfriends last week had caught on and had come to take the kid away to Social Services. If that's the case, I admire this woman's resilience for being able to carry on ringing her bell even in the face of such a traumatic experience. After all, it's for a good cause.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The #1 Argument for Pocket Mace

One of the occupational hazards of keeping this blog is that sometimes I get ahead of myself.

For example, last month I wrote this post all about how "scary" one pair of DTS Mickey and Minnie looked. Little did I know what awaited me:

He. Has. A. Tongue. Tattoo.

It took me many, many photoshop zooms to figure out what it said. At first, I thought it said 'I love nuts.' Then I read, 'I love NYC.' But the true text is much, much more pants-wettingly frightening. Because this Serial Killer Mickey loves...YOU.

And you'll never be able to escape him. Not with those The Flash sneakers and glittery track pants designed for unimpeded movement. With that razor-sharp sequined bow tie at your throat and that tailcoat wrapped around your mouth...they'll never be able to hear you scream.

And you know why his velvet purse says "Thank You" on it? Because that's where your bones get deposited once he's plumped you up and skinned you alive in order to make a glamorous new body suit for himself. And he'd like to show his gratitude for that. Think polite and gracious, just like Ted Bundy.

I'm also sorry to report that he has an accomplice. An SK Minnie. But that's too much horror for just one post and I've learned my money-making lessons from Eli Roth: Always leave room for a sequel.

Monday, July 13, 2009

'Post' of Shame

This blog post hurts me for a number of reasons.

One, this was breaking Times Square news last week and I failed to be the one to break it to you. Two, I was chastised by two separate parties for this failure. Three, I actually have to link to the NY Post and cite them with a photo credit.

As to the first and second count, I can only plead that I was in my office, working at my obviously less-important, non-blog related job, and did not actually see the incident take place. As to the third count, what can I say? After years of surreptitiously reading the NY Post over the shoulders of many-a fellow subway commuter, maybe it was time I paid back the "newspaper" in kind.

So thanks NY Post, for capturing these photographs for me. And for all those lessons in hilarious headline-writing that saved me $279 in mediabistro tuition. (Lesson #1: Abbreviate Any Word Longer Than Three Letters. Lesson #2: Make Pun.)

Anyhoo, now that that unnecessarily long intro is over, apparently this happened on Thursday:

And then, more incredibly, this:

That's right. Batman and Superman were arrested for Performing in Costume Without a License. Batman went quietly. Probably because Bruce Wayne could make bail in about 2.3 seconds and knows enough higher-ups to get that shit off of his permanent record. In fact, he probably got Commissioner Gordon to reverse-charge the cops.

Superman, on the other hand, apparently put up a fight (see above). Now, I really can't account for this since I can't think of a prison that could actually hold the Man of Steel. My only theory is that maybe he was laid off from the struggling Daily Planet, got into it real bad with Lois Lane, had a few too many Jagermeisters, and then temporarily forgot that he possessed superpowers. Either that, or those cops have now taken to carrying kryptonite in their pockets.

In all seriousness, though, I am actually outraged. I mean don't NYC cops have anything better to do than arrest people for their questionable wardrobe choices? Don't they care that there are likely much more sinister things going on and, more importantly, that I need these people around to continue writing on here?! Write to your local congressmen, folks. Demand that the cops focus their energy on some sort of necessary stop sign or unsolved murder. Do it for this blog.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cherry Pie? Is That You?

Yesterday, I stepped outside and forgot the Golden Rule of Blogging: Never forget your camera.

So, sadly, today I do not have documentation of what I will swear under oath to you that I saw. A woman, leisurely strolling along by herself, wearing an all-lace see-through wedding dress, like so:

And, underneath, nothing save:

Oh, right, and a veil.

As per usual, I only have some hypotheses as to why this would happen:

1) We are close to VH-1's office so perhaps we have gotten the inside scoop that Rock of Love's Bret Michaels has finally decided to tie the knot and end the franchise that single-handedly revived the leopard-print, bandanna, and male weave industries.
2) It was laundry day and this poor girl decided that if all she had left to wear was the wedding dress left to her by her Warrant groupie mom, she was at least going to accessorize it with pride, damn it.
3) Wedding stress caused this poor bride to forget that she was supposed to wear a slip with this dress. Also, that she was supposed to be at some sort of wedding-appropriate venue, have a groom, etc.
4) Hmmmm...maybe this is the lost bride from the Great Bridesmaid/Cheetah Incident of May '09. Which would actually explain a lot.
5) Project Amazing Bridezilla Race has been greenlit for another season and been picked up by VH-1! Probably in so small part thanks to the ongoing support and buzz that this very blog was able to generate with its millions* of readers.

(*multiplied by .000000000000000004)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

America, the Joke's on You

Lady Liberty: OMG, Becky. Look at your butt.

Jester: You know, I've had just about enough of your lip. It's hard not to have panty lines with this outfit, LL. Okay?

LL: Whatever. Do you think that restaurant will notice that I stole their votive candle for my torch?

J: Nah, they're all fools. Get it, fools?

LL: Hmph. Your jokes are kinda lame.

J: Why do you always have to be so jealous?

LL: Jealous? Helloooo! It's 4th of July. It's my day, biotch. Who's gonna wanna take pictures with a freakin' clown?

J: Jester. I'm a goddamned jester. How many times do I have to tell you?

LL: Whatever.

J: The two of us together make a political statement on the foolish nature of American capitalism and whether or not our so-called 'freedom' is anything more than a joke played on us by an elite society of wealthy white men.

LL: Holy crap. Okay, turn around real slow and casual, okay. I think Spider-Man is checking me out. How's my hair?

J: (mumbling) Please. If anything, Spidey would be looking at me. Only I would fully understand his plight of unitard chafing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It Takes Two

Remember this guy?

That lovely ode to the culinary arts lives on 45th between Broadway and 6th Ave. But, much like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, I'm sure he's often plagued by crowds of people just clamoring to have a look at his elusive facial tics.

So the artist who created him bowed down to the public's wishes. And on 44th between Broadway and 6th Ave., gave us this:

You can tell by the cleaner apron and crisp white shirt, that this work dates to a later portion of the artist's Lazy Eye Chef period.

Any restaurant that is lucky enough to have this guy standing sentinel outside of it gets five stars in my book, DTS's Guide to Fine Dining and Visual Mindfuckery: Times Square Edition. I'm thinking of marketing it as an alternative to Zagat's, those commie bastards.

Friday, June 26, 2009


This is a humor blog and the purpose of it, for the most part, is to try and put a smile on your faces with all the wacky stuff that goes on in the Tourist Mecca that is Times Square.

But last night, I went home in a fog. I didn't even notice the people standing around me in the middle of the square, staring at the news ticker that pronounced Michael Jackson had died. Normally, I try to tell jokes (occasionally successfully). And although in theory it seems like it would be easy to make jokes at MJ's expense, I cannot bring myself to do it.

I wasn't born in America. In fact, I was born in Iran. Post-revolution. During the Iran-Iraq War. I didn't move to America until 1986. Then, as now, there was a lot of turmoil surrounding me in my country. But as a little girl, my memories are of my grandparents and their garden. Of going to our beach villa by the Caspian Sea. And of watching a bootleg copy of "Thriller" over and over again and constantly wearing red in honor of my hero, Michael Jackson (or Dackson as my mom tells me I pronounced it). When I finally did move to America, I think one of the most heartening things for me in this strange land was that, here too, Michael Jackson was an idol.

Even though his life turned into a sad, strange spectacle towards the end that often overshadowed his tremendous contributions to music, I truly hope that his legacy of extraordinary talents will live on stronger than that. To this day, his music is able to do only what the most profoundly perfect pop music is able to: excite feelings of pure joy and an unfettered desire to move in time to the beat. At least, that is what it does for me.

Rest in Peace, MJ. Thanks for all the amazing music and for helping to teach me as a young, young girl that there are some things which know no nationalities, no language barriers, and no boundaries.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

They're Going Global!

This blog post brings with it a heartwarming message of sorts: that no matter where in the world you are, you cannot escape from the terror of fraudulent furry people.

Photo by Left Hand Rotation via Boing Boing*

This picture was taken in Madrid, Spain apparently, about 3,500 miles away from Times Square. I like that the man behind the fake Pooh is wearing a belly shirt. It's a nice touch and probably helps him get into character, since Pooh Bear is well known for sporting length-challenged tops.

But I'm really confused about the Mickey head. If that's this dude's costume for later, does that mean he's planning on pairing it with the Pooh bottom? If not, then is there another man running around sporting only Mickey legs? Or is there something much more sinister going on here? Something involving the decapitation and possible ingestion of Patriotic Mickeys everywhere? (Gulp) I think I should step outside and warn our own TS Mickey. He may want to go undercover for a few weeks. I'm sure he has another costume he can use. In all likelihood, Elmo-related.

*A special thanks and shout-out to @twoheadedbah for bringing this photo to my attention.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eeek! A Mouse!

It's come to my attention that I've written about TS Mickey and Minnie before (here and here for example), but I've never given you a full head-on image of what they actually look like.

Are you sitting down? Are you eating? If so, I'd chew and swallow and make sure your stomach is feeling strong before you look at this. Also, that your cubicle is soundproof and/or the boss is out to lunch, in case you get the urge to scream. I'll wait.

Okay, here goes:

I'm going to be honest. I can't actually put my finger on what makes these costumes so. goddamned. creepy. Maybe it's that Mickey's face looks like it was recently flattened by Steamboat Willie. Maybe it's that Minnie has eyelashes growing out of her eyebrows (girl, I know a good threader who can help with that). Or maybe it's just those perma-smiles, combined with Mickey's body language, that makes me think that isn't a "hahahaha" kind of laugh but a "bwahahaha" kind of laugh. You know, the kind that serial killers make when they're showing you around their perfectly lovely kitchen...that has seven tied and bound victims right underneath it.

Nice hat, though Mickey. I do like how every time I see you, you're just that much more coordinated. I'm looking forward to the embroidered blue and white star on that Christmas stocking that I'm sure is being worked on as we speak. By your enslaved, helpless victims undoubtedly.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Classy and Grassy

First we had skorts. Then tankinis.

You know what hybrid fashion phenomenon I think we're missing? You totally guessed it, Planet Hollywood. The grass bellbottom trend:

Perfect for that large cross-section of Hawaiian hula enthusiasts feeling nostalgic for the 70s. And look how well it goes with that bright pink peace sign belly shirt from Aeropostale's 1994 vintage collection and that Ricky's discount bin 'Rachel's Haircut' wig. Stunning.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The First Cut is the Deepest

I do understand what Bravo was going for with this ad. I really do:

See, traditionally, Top Chef has a knife as part of its logos. And as famous chefs, these contestants are always striving for those elusive 5 stars that signify the highest honor a restaurant could get.

Except that the way that knife-star is shaped, it really looks like it could double as an advertisement for Top Chef Mohel (that's pronounced moyle for us goys).

Each week, 12 contestants will compete at one very special bris to determine who's got the sharpest knife, the cleanest cuts, and the quietest babies. Twists will include having to perform the circumcision blindfolded, with one hand tied behind their backs, and while simultaneously whipping up a delicious pot of matzoh ball soup. Oy vey!

Monday, June 15, 2009

They're Cross-Promoting!

On Friday, I once again was lucky enough to get a glimpse at the most famous rodent couple of all-time.

Not only was Mickey sporting a brand-new jacket (I'm assuming the MJ one was in the wash), but it matched his starry clogs and was probably so uber-patriotic that the cops wouldn't dare mess with him this time.

And, Minnie, god bless her, was finally taking a stand against the age-old cat/mouse war by sporting a kitty backpack. Though I'm pretty sure that's not just any kitty. It looks an awful lot like merchandising for Generico Cantbesuedforcopyrightinfringement Cat to me! That's so sweet of you, Min! You're using your celebrity for a good cause and helping out a lesser-known tourist trap at the same time.

Long live the Brotherhood of the Fake Giant Plush People! It's so heartwarming to know that they're all looking out for one another, isn't it?

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm a Celebrity...Drive Me Around

If you're a celebrity in New York City, it's likely that you get chauffeured around in style. For example, what if you are a beloved, well-groomed, super busy TV/radio host and you want to make sure everyone knows just how busy you are, shuttling back and forth to your various engagements and obligations?

On a more subtle note, imagine that you are the mayor of New York, and in these hard economic times, you don't want everyone to know that you don't really take the subway at all, but are of course provided private transportation:

There's a reason that van has tinted windows because you know the interior looks like something out of the billionaire politician episode of Pimp My Ride.

And then we have this:

Um...right. If that's not code for some sort of drug pick-up, I don't know what is. Either that, or someone's really trying to get the most out of their mailbox lettering kit. In which case, kudos for finally finding a place for that equal sign.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No One's Gonna Save You From the Beast About to Strike

It's always a good day in Times Square when I have a new costumed phony to mock.

Why hello, TS Hello Kitty!

Now, I have to admit. At first glance, TS Hello Kitty's costume doesn't seem to be as much of a disaster as, say, Spongebob, Mickey & Minnie, or, Batman. Though that could have less to do with the aptitude of the costume-maker and more to do with the fact that this character already looks like it was drawn by a 2-year-old (if I disappear within the next few weeks, please investigate Mariah Carey and her camp.).

I do dig the Birkenstocks with socks though. They say, I 'm a hippie feline with a circulation problem. Or a geriatric Florida dad.

But my favorite part about this picture is, obviously, the man with the puffy vest and rattail who decided to, I kid you not, harass TS Hello Kitty. However, he did so in the politest, most Hello-Kitty-appropriate way possible. By air-pawing at her. The moment you see caught above is Hello Kitty sassily air-pawing back.

Although I prefer to see it as Kitty and Man about to break into what could possibly be the greatest version of Thriller [that does not involve zombies or Thai prisoners] ever.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dancing with the Stools

I really love when TS gives me the gift of letting this blog go back to its roots.

Case in point:

That is a couple. Ballroom Dancing. In the Times Square subway station.

And that is a stool wearing sexy red lingerie.

Furthermore, the woman seems to be dressed in appropriate tango gear. But the dude looks like he just stepped out of a Jimmy Jazz.

I don't even actually know if the two events (stool and ballroom couple) are related, and I don't particularly see how they could be, unless...
a) that stool is a prop for the Flashdance portion of the program.
b) that stool is reserved for a very special bachelorette who is about to get one classy lapdance. In a subway station.
c) that stool is patiently waiting her turn with Jimmy Jazz. She does a mean samba.
d) somebody put that stool in a corner.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Commitment: The Hot-Button Issue

Here is a subway ad designed to bring awareness to New York's citizens that public service employees cost them less than private contractors.

A noble cause. Except that I'm wondering if this ad was proofread by a public service employee:

'Cause now I'm a little concerned about the quality I'm dealing with when these employees aren't just mere copy editors but, you know, nurses, police officers, firemen.

On the other hand, I suppose long-term commitment to one's taxpapers is pretty important. You wouldn't want to just go around using any old taxpapers willy-nilly, spreading your diseased ink everywhere, now would you? What kind of message is this sending to the children, the future CPAs of America?! What about the sanctity of 1040s?!

BTW, that little gem appeared on the same poster twice. Your taxpayer dollars hard at work...since I'm pretty sure that's what paid for this ad in the first place.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Evolution of Fashion

On the subway on my way home last night, I saw a kid wearing jeans.

Which in and of itself is not newsworthy. But after a few stops of having his backside in my direct eyeline, I noticed that there was embroidery on one of the back pockets.

It said NYT. And was written in what looked an awful lot like official New York Times font.

Is this what kids these days are wearing? Clothes emblazoned with the logos and abbreviations of respectable periodicals? Should I expect to see New Yorker popped-collar polos and Boston Herald converse soon?

Just to illustrate how far we've come in the world of intellectual fashion, here was the sort of thing that graced clothing when I was around this kid's age:


As Annie Potts so wisely said to Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink: I envy you, kid. I really envy you.

*I desperately, desperately, tried to find a picture of that Looney Tunes t-shirt that everyone, and I do mean everyone, owned back then. You know the one I'm talking about: where the entire gang is in a car, sporting bandanas, hoop earrings, and oversized pants. I have no idea how this is possible, but apparently no picture of this image exists anywhere on the internet. It was a goddamn cultural revolution for a good 45 days 15 year ago. And it was double-sided. How is there no photographic evidence?

Anyway, if anyone finds a picture of this t-shirt, they will get a virtual gold star and my lifetime admiration of their search engine prowess.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Joker

Last week, I caught a show and was in Times Square much later than usual. Do you know who comes out in Times Square at night?

No, there's no need to call child services. It's the Dark Knight himself, people.

Yes, I apologize for the quality of these photos. I had left both my camera and camera phone at home and had to resort to other, lesser means to get these. Therefore, the full effect of Batman's battiness can't be felt.

But I will supplement this picture by saying that he:

a) wore North Face gloves
b) had an armor-plate made entirely out of plastic. Nipples included.
c) made a point of fully extending his cape, bat-style, whenever anyone took a picture with him. (He did only a half-bat in the picture above because some parent decided it was okay to have their child precariously balancing on the shoulder of a caped stranger.)
d) spoke in a loud, clear voice instead of a sultry bedroom whisper with a slight hint of Welsh accent.

Based on the above, I have my suspicions that this is in fact one of those bat-impostors out to ruin the original Batman's reputation! Gotham City, beware.