Saturday morning, 10:30 am. I’m at Franklin Park, a bar in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I’m wearing a vintage tan jumpsuit from Banana Republic, a brown full length faux fur coat, gold antlers on my head, and a bulbous blinking red light on my nose. My left hand brings a shot of Jameson to my lips and I knock it back like a champ. My right hand holds a clear plastic cup filled with a wintry variety of a craft beer. I take one gulp, shiver, and knew I was about to start a wild and fun-filled day.
Last year, I participated in SantaCon for the first time with some friends of mine. I had so much fun, and was so ridiculously satisfied by bringing holiday cheer to people on the street that I knew I’d be participating for years to come. SantaCon, if you haven’t heard, is a Santa themed and costumed holiday celebration that has spread to at least 60 cities worldwide. Depending on the city it may be called SantaCon, Santarchy, or something else, but it’s all generally the same idea. People get dressed up in Santa and other holiday costumes, ranging from basic to extravagantly themed, and gather. Here in New York City, they parade through the streets, take over bars and public places, and ride the subways, numbering in the thousands. It’s a sight to be seen. The New York organizers insist that it is a convention – not a bar crawl; although there are stops at bars, the majority of the day is spent parading and caroling through the streets and in public places. Confused new yorkers and tourists ask you what the heck is going on, stop you on the street and want to pose for photos.
This year, they began the Con at 5 different locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and New Jersey, and over the course of the day the Santas were led all over the city and eventually convened in Washington Square Park. With a grand call “Santas On The Move!” the journey took me from Franklin Park, to the steps of the Brooklyn Museum, through the edge of Prospect Park to Grand Army Plaza, on to the subway to Penn Station, up to Grand Central Station, to the financial district, and finally back up to Washington Square Park. I lost and found crews of friends throughout the day, but I mostly stuck with James, my former housemate and best friend from college, and two of his friends that I’ve become friends with over the years.
Through all the fun and cheer, there are inevitably people who are rude, obnoxious and insensitive to the fact that they may be inconveniencing others. If you follow our twitter you might have seen that I said I wanted to cold clock this chick. Here’s the whole story: We were on the train and it was packed to the brim, and this prissy girl was standing by the door, bending backwards and leaning into the space of an elderly lady that was seated. I politely asked her to be a nice new yorker and be more considerate of other peoples space. She rudely replied that there is no such thing as a nice new yorker. I said she was obviously not from new york, and she yelled back, “I’m not bitch, but neither are you!” I replied that I was born and raised here and she says “yeah, where? The Bronx?!” Now, I don’t start fights (only finish them), but at that point I felt my hand curl into a fist, cuz this bitch was being straight up racist. But I controlled myself and didn’t show her how much “Bronx” this Manhattan girl has in a jab. Then her friends got involved. It continued to escalate, but I just continued to make my point, that it was not too hard to be more considerate, until they shut up. The elderly lady thanked me.
I expect to be participating in SantaCon for as long as I can manage, and I encourage my friends and everybody else to suit up, brave the cold and join in on the fun! The reaction we get from public is fantastic, and it’s great to see so many people having fun. I saw some people get tagged for having open containers of alcohol, but you do stupid shit, and you get got. Otherwise, law enforcement didn’t bother the Con. I even saw some posing for pictures.
So…..see some of you at SantaCon NYC in 2010? I’m down to start a gang of M.I.S.S. Clauses!
- NY 12/19: NY’s First Mobile Holiday Scavenger Crawl
- M.I.S.S. Jet Set: Considering a “Stay-cation”?
- GET UP STAND UP! Rally For The 1st Amendment – Union Square – NYC – Tonight 6:30 PM
- W Hotels “Bubble + Cube: A View of London Style”
- NYC: Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival