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For Times Square Characters, a New Reality

Jul 25, 2016



It has been about a month since the city started corralling Times Square’s self-assertive Elmos, Spider-Men and desnudas into “designated activity zones.”


So how’s it working out? “All my friends is no good in this area,” said a costumed Mickey Mouse. He was referring to several other Mickey and Minnie Mouses nearby, as well as a large bird with an orange beak and black buttons I had trouble recognizing from Saturday mornings. “They harass us. No like.”


That was the extent of our conversation. I might have chalked it up to a language barrier, but it was more likely the imperatives of making a fast buck. Apparently, opportunities have dwindled now that their ability to roam has been restricted. “They’re complaining; there’s less of them,” said a police officer.

A tourist poses with cartoon characters in one of Times Square's new ‘designated activity zones.’


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