NYC Street Characters

Whether it be the Pigeon Man in Washington Square Park, the Book sellers on Washington Square Avenue, the lingerings who you recognize in a certain area they add to the cultural dynamic of NY. In my Sociology class our book of reading is “Sidewalk” that is an ethnography of Sixth Avenue between Waverly Place and the next few blocks of the people who sell books and add context to the environment. This book and the videos that were included got me to thinking about this topic and how people no matter if there are homeless or not, selling stolen items, or just lingering around create an areas character. For the last six months I have been volunteering at the Bowery Recreational Community and I see the men in the facility from all over the Village they are the ones who are keen to the happenings and life of the eclectic streets. Recently I came upon new characters, the Free Advice Men! They were situated on the corner of Broadway and Astor Place and the brothers simply had two chairs and coffee and say they diss out advice to passerbyers who request advice. A few of my friends asked them for advice and I felt that they were helpful. First I asked if this was their job and they said they owned their own business and did their “Advice Guys” gig in the afternoons in surrounding areas. They said that they just decided to start giving advice and came to learn the best way to approach it is to really listen. I love that you can be walking trying to contemplate an issue and come across their friendly and encouraging faces to get quick advice. If you follow them on Twitter they let you know where they’ll be in the city and their hours. I love characters and random in the City!

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