Monday, October 22, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months: Day 164~ Another New York Minute Comes To Me

"If life is fair why does roses have thorns?"

~ Elmo

On the day before Thanksgiving last year, Alan and I decided to check out the Times Square cam to see if we could see any of the preparations being made for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was fairly late here, so it was really late in New York, but it's the city that never sleeps, right? Well, we didn't see a lot going on as far as the parade prep went, but we did see a lot of folks still milling about Times Square, and there was the occasional parade-like person doing a bit of public relations. It was fun to sit and watch in real time, the city at the top of our bucket list of must see places before we die. It's such a great city, and since 9/11 the point has been driven home that life is unsure, so do what you can to live and experience as much as possible.

Well, we made some hot chocolate and shook off the stress of preparing for Thanksgiving by watching the live camera view of Times Square. Then suddenly the almost black and white scene became red as Elmo walked in front of the camera! Okay, yes, I know it wasn't the real Sesame Street Elmo, merely an Elmo performer, but it was kinda fun all the same. It's that kind of thing I most want to see in cities I haven't visited before. Not the common. Not the everyday. I want to see the strange. The odd. The misplaced. The weird. Little did I know all those Wednesdays ago, I had just seen exactly what I was hoping to see. As it turns out, Times Square Elmo is indeed... not your everyday Elmo!

Last week I caught a brief story on my local news about a mystery surrounding a new character that had been seen around San Francisco. His name was Elmo. I didn't think much of it at the time because, after all, we are coming up on the holiday season which will officially kick off with Halloween. Halloween in a big city like San Francisco can be quite the adventure! In years past I have seen more than one Marilyn Monroe with an Adams Apple as big as Ann Coulter's! LOL. Sorry, couldn't resist! Anyway, I simply assumed that it was a new street performer, they are all over the place, and usually quite friendly and entertaining.

The next day Alan and I were in Fisherman's Wharf, on Thursday to be exact, to Ride The Duck, and as luck would have it we spotted the new Elmo first at Pier 39, then later near where we were at the wharf. I was kinda happy to be able to do some photos of Elmo to add them to my collection of street performers. He seemed friendly enough, and the kids really seemed to like him. But when I got home, I heard on the news that this new San Francisco character wasn't just any Elmo... he was Times Square Elmo. And he isn't the warm fuzzy type, in fact, he had gotten into trouble in Manhattan for yelling obscenities at children and at times anti-Semitic statements at their parents! Or in general, as the mood turned.

At first San Francisco Elmo denied being the same man from Times Square, but the dead giveaway was the moneybag he carried which matched perfectly with New York Elmo. Apparently Time Square Elmo relocated to San Francisco after a couple of arrests for yelling his obscenities, but was released as his speech is protected under Freedom of Speech. And it is. It's his right. Not that I am saying what he did was appropriate. It wasn't. But he hadn't done anything wrong, legally speaking. But to add to his over all charm he also ran a website a while back that NO ONE would probably approve of, so I am not sure what bi-coastal Elmo's story is, but from what I have read he has changed his name to Adam Sandler, and he is living out of his car. So really, it's not a new story.

I think he might be one of those lost souls that you cross paths with sometimes. I didn't think about it until today, but Sesame Street does deal with the plight of folks less fortunate then ourselves. I am going to err on the side of compassion here. San Francisco Elmo may be Manhattan Elmo, but when the red suit comes off he is also Adam Sandler. Perhaps he changed his name because of some family event that hurt him. Boy can I relate to that. I considered the same action a number of years back. Or maybe he suffers from some other difficulty. All I know is that the Elmo I observed the other day made no obscene gesture, nor did he yell any kind of mean or racist words. He was just Elmo, going about his business, making a living, posing for pictures with folks of all ages.

According to the news, Fisherman's Wharf Elmo was planning on moving south to Los Angeles this weekend. He is probably now Santa Monica Pier Elmo... and at the end of the day... Adam Sandler.

Good Luck Elmo Sandler!

You can't judge a book by it's cover. Good or bad.

"Bush gave an interview and he said people will vote him because, 'They've seen me weep, they've seen me laugh, and they've seen me hug." These are the same qualifications for a Tickle Me Elmo."

~Bill Maher

~Me :)

Ranting Elmo Finds Prosperity Out West. New York Times (City Room Blog)

Evil Elmo Spotted On San Francisco Streets (KPIX 5 CBS)

Now that you have read my blog post, go see what my pal JR is up to! His latest set of photos are quite moving!


1 comment:

jr cline said...

Good ol' Elmo. He always warms my heart. I think if I was Elmo I might yell obscenities at children on occasion. I've encountered some really rude, unruly, obnoxious children when I've been out taking photos. Usually their parents aren't much help when I have to deal with the little buggers interference. Those children are exceptions, but not uncommon.
The other day one was running up into the yard trying to hit and kick Spaz (a very small dog). The child fled when he saw me. Christy said the boy had been doing that off and on all day.


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