January 11 marked the eighth annual No Pants Subway Ride in Boston, coordinated by the Boston Society of Shenanigans.
Headed by James Cobalt, BostonSOS is the same group that brings you the Midnight Marathon and the First-Class Subway & Black Tie Beach events.
As for the No Pants Subway Ride, it was started in 2002 by the NYC-based collective, ImprovEverywhere. In 2008 the event went viral and, as a result, the NPSR now takes place in over 50 cities around the world.
This year’s group of pants-less Bostonians faced not only the usual biting Boston wind, but a 28 degree overcast day.
Still, many showed up to the umbrella at Pemberton Square where BostonSOS had called to meet. Cobalt estimated that roughly 250 people participated in 2015 Boston NPSR.
So, who are these people that are so willing to take off their pants and ride the T?
They’re students, professionals, workers, parents, they’re your neighbor or friend – they are the humans of the 2015 Boston No Pants Subway Ride.
“I got called into work.”
“I’ve been by myself a lot up here. I’m really family-oriented, so it kind of sucks being without my family, and not having anyone here – it’s not as easy as you think it is to meet people when you don’t go to school up here. I’m older than I look, so it’s just so hard to meet people because everyone’s so guarded.”
“I don’t expect anything from him. Every day is a new adventure so I figure, I’m just ready for anything at this point.”
“[Running] is relaxing for me. I can release everything, all my stress, I’m in my own little place and it’s nice.”
“I had a motorcycle accident back in 2006. So after a year of trying to save the leg, I eventually told them just to cut it off.” </br>“So that was totally your choice? </br>“Yeah, that was after 30-something surgeries.”
“Life is good.”
“We played on a soccer team when I moved up here, but we didn’t really know each other until high school.”
“It’s a commitment to myself, it’s basically a wedding ring that says I’ll never hurt myself. It’s a way of saying that I’ll always love myself, be good to myself and be true to myself.” </br>“Has it reminded you in tough times?” </br>“Oh yeah, it’s my favorite tattoo. I have eight, but this is my favorite one by far."
“I’m reading The Pursuit of God, it’s by Tozer, it’s a book about theology. I go to seminary at Boston University and it’s good but it’s sort-of killing God for me, so this is just something to get me feeling better like a Christian again, I guess.” </br>“Do find yourself struggling to feel like a good Christian?” </br>“I do, I think everybody does. I’m going to be a pastor and God is just becoming so theoretical. It’s becoming less personal of a relationship, I guess. We’re learning a lot about history and philosophy and how the Bible was written and God, you know, God is sort-of getting lost in the jumble for me. That’s why I’m reading this.”
“I was riding into Central Square, stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts, but as soon as I tried to get off my bike, my pants were frozen to it – they literally froze to the seat.”
“I didn’t realize Doctor Who made bowties popular. I had a friend that really wanted to start wearing bowties and I was like, ‘sure, that sounds fun.’ I was actually at Garment District and I was like, ‘do you have any bowties?’ and they said, ‘no, with so many Doctor Who fans, they’re hard to come by.”
(from left to right)“I love Batman. I’m a batman for every Halloween.” </br>“I really like Flash – Flash Gordon – he’s my favorite ‘cause he’s really fast.” </br>“I dressed up as Wonder Woman for Halloween, but the theme I’m going with today is just, tiger in bed, maybe, something like that.”
“Anyone who still plays as a grown-up, almost entirely learned when they were little because that’s when you form the muscle memory. I haven’t practiced since I was 17, but I’m still able to play in a community orchestra.”