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Ultimate Cool-guy Champion

Photo by Normal Bob
So The Ultimate Cool-guy Championships just wrapped up here in NYC and the 1st place winner has been struttin' around showing off his trophies and flickin' cigarettes at strangers all over town. It's the first time the prize has ever gone to a Grhunky (grunge/ punk/ raver/ hippy). That's definitely one for the record books.
Last year's winner signed a contract with Circuit City and got a lifetime supply of cool shades, oversized music-lovin' headsets, and generic plywood skateboards. So yeah, it's a pretty big deal.
Cute Tattooed Chick

Photo by Normal Bob

20 years ago there really was no such thing as cute girls decked out in ink and piercing. It was pretty much an art reserved for sleezy, used-up biker sluts.

But now with the trendiness of tats the new world (all of us included) gets to reap the benefits of darling "A" student types in fun, dayglo-swatched tanks, Chuck Taylors with facial tattoos, sleeves, skull & crossbones... and it's all just so frickin' NEAT!

Freddy, 2008

Photo by Normal Bob

Freddy's still with us! And he's back on the junk again, but never fear, he's gonna stop!

Freddy is a Union Square junky who I featured years ago in Amazing Strangers, then again when he surfaced a couple years later (looking about 20 years older).

Jan. 2004

Apr. 2006

Now it's August 2008 and Freddy has transformed again, more puffy but full of dreams. Straight from the Junky Handbook.

Love ya, Freddy.

Union Square Beach Bums

Photos by Normal Bob

I call it Union Square Beach for a reason. Bring your crew, lay out a towel, pile everything you've got in a baby carraige and set up a Union Square style picnic right here in Lower Manhattan!

And the guy there on the left lives in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, and he's fantastic! He's one of the most flaming queens ever and has no issue with stomping up and down like a snotty 9 year old at the bodega when they're out of his brand of cigarettes, pirouetting in a tutu outside the Mexican Deli accross the street from me, or strolling about with white fuzzy angel wings, halo and flip flops.

So here's what we got on board. Working our way down we've got a Red Ribboned "AIDS Awareness Teddy, Sunshine Barbi, Curious George with a Gay Pride flag all nestled in an "I HEART JESUS" cloth, pillows and beach towels-one of which is a Virgin Mary under Virgin Records towel, and that sign on the right says: "MORNING GLORY LOVE IN A PUFF MOON FLOWER $10 EACH, 2 FOR $15"

I love him.

Betty Blond

Photo by Normal Bob

Yeah, I know you see me taking your picture, and I know you know exactly why I'm taking it, and you may act like you've no idea where an asshole like me comes off taking pictures without permission, but you know you love it, and you might come up to me weeks from today to yell at me for shooting you and posting you and talking about you, but you know you love it, and as much as you might complain about it you won't even once ask for it to be taken down, and if I offer to take it down, you'll say "Whatever. I don't care. Leave it up because I really don't give a shit anyhow," because deep down we all love it, even if it's insulting or rude because it's attention, and that's the only reason I have to give for why it's okay for an asshole like me to take your picture without asking.

Gentrefied Gangs of NY

Photo by Normal Bob

There's no better evidence of the gentrification of Union Square than the roving gangs we now all have to bow to.

These are the Lower Westside Turkeytrotterzz. The like to shop at the the Virgin Megastore, rumble at the Wholefoods dining section, laugh loudly at unfunny parts in R rated movies, and God help you if you're from a rival gang on their turf. I've seen some serious name-calling and tattling to park security since they've taken over.

Scary, and sometimes inconvenient.


Photo by Normal Bob

What is a Japatween? A Japatween is the Japanese girl who remains forever a tween, even at 22, or 26, or 34? I have no fucking clue, but it's disturbingly cute, and I'm not complaining.


Photo by Bobby J

Good, ol' fashioned punk rock goodness. It's a timeless cornerstone for any enviable city. These ones were from Pacganastania, but they only look like locals. That's the magic of punk.

Photo by Normal Bob
See, I can totally tell when my shorts are up my ass. I just stand up from doin' the splits or somethin' and my next most important item on the "things to do" list is to retrieve my boxers from their quest to burrow inside me. It's important not only for extending the longevity of the garment, but also as a courtesy to your neighbors all around you as well.

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© 2012 All photos and videos are property of
Insults written strangely are describing strangers I have to see every single day and I don't want them to be sure what it means either.

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