New York – Been There

Naked, on Times Square – just another night in New York

Louisa Holmlund happily strums her guitar, flashing a smile amid the electric sparkle of Times Square at night. Dubbed ”the Naked Cowgirl,” Holmlund, an Oregon native, has been playing for eager onlookers since she first came to New York City in 2005, all the while wearing nothing more than her trademark cowboy hat, a micro mini skirt, and some well-placed pasties.

Photo by Lorenzo Dominic

New York – Been There

Naked, on Times Square – just another night in New York

Native New Yorkers may turn up their noses at Times Square but, secretly, they love it. It was once a sweaty, seedy, Red Light district but now it’s a hellish funhouse of corporate logos, neon lights, and madcap characters who make a living posing for the tourists who swarm the place.

Tara Isabella Burton
Tara Isabella Burton Travel Writer

During the day Times Square feels like a subway car at rush hour. But at night, after Broadway theaters have let out their audiences, and the neon signs gleam like LED towers against the night sky, there is something grittily moving about the place.

One of the more memorable residents of Times Square is the guitar-playing Naked Cowboy (who doubled as a Tea Party candidate for President in 2012). But the warring Naked Cowgirls (one, the cowboy’s wife) also vie for my attention – and potential tip. Spiderman (fully clothed) jumps from around 43rd Street and tries to ensnare me in a yarn web. Sorry, won't happen. Local rappers hawk self-produced CDs, extemporizing in rhyme. The marquee bulbs glint like so many stars.

Families are looking up, taking photographs, pointing, grinning, overwhelmed by the things I’ve gotten so used to in my decades here. But sometimes it’s nice to feel like a proper New York tourist, after all.

Two police oficers posing next to an adult baby. It was about 7ºC, so the street performer must...

Two police oficers posing next to an adult baby. It was about 7ºC, so the street performer must have been cold. Photo by Ruben Drenth

Ruben Drenth

Ruben Drenth



Aperture
ƒ/1.4
Exposure
1/125
ISO
125
Focal
50/1 mm

Two police oficers posing next to an adult baby. It was about 7ºC, so the street performer must have been cold.