August 2015, New York City: Controversy swirls at the “Crossroads of the World” as bare chested women adorned only in patriotic red, white and-blue paint above the waist pose for monetary tips from tourists and locals seeking photographs.
Though the flesh baring street performers have the legal right to occupy Times Square and it is not a crime for women to appear topless in public in New York City – Mayor Bill de Blasio contends that visitors also have a right not be be accosted by what he considers to be panhandlers.
The First Amendment grants the right to wear a costume as a matter of free speech and state laws permit panhandling on the streets that is not considered to be overly aggressive.
The Times Square Alliance notes that the activities of these street performers could be considered a business, which would necessitate regulation by the NY State Department of Labor and subject to minimum wage among other requirements.
Recently New York City police officers were admonished for posing with the body-painted Times Square street performers. Despite the controversies, several attendees in the area enjoyed the presence of these brazen performers, noting that it harkens back to the halcyon days of “old Time Square.”
On this day when APB News cameras came to check it out for ourselves, there was only only one woman front and center with the hint of others in the shadows surveying the climate.
Manhattan Borough president Gale Brewer says is determined to put a stop to it but she could be held in check by our forefathers – that is what they wrote in constitution – as being free and fair expression in public.
Life in NYC!