The Prince of Manhattan

New York City has its fair share of the wild, the wacky and the wickedly wonderful (see ‘Peacocks’). As a typically reserved Englishman, I am constantly surprised by the bizarre characters who prowl the streets here without fear of ridicule or confrontation. Manhattan glows like a neon magnet for the strange and the disconnected. I have always secretly admired the people who just go about their lives without a care for what others may think of them or their lifestyle choice. I guess there are not many of us who do not, at some point, harbor a desire to be free of the restraints of acceptability that a polite and narrow minded society imposes on us, but there is a glorious strength in being able to step away from the sepia of normality to dance in the light of a different sun. Obviously, there is a very narrow line between fearless self expression and marginal insanity, many spend their lives standing precariously along it. What makes this nonconformist approach so compelling? The complete lack of need to ‘fit in’ is alien to most of us, and let’s be honest, we all tend to fear what we don’t understand.

So here we are, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce the magnificent ‘Prince of Manhattan’ and his faithful and beautifully pedicured companion. Along with a few other edge dwellers who merit a mention.

Prince of Manhattan

The magnificent ‘Prince of Manhattan’ Upper East Side, Manhattan

Prince of Manhattan

‘Waiting for the end of the world’ Cooper Square, NoHo

Prince of Manhattan

With a whole new wardrobe, ‘The last King of Scotland’ Lincoln Centre, West Side

'Where did you get that @' West Side

‘Where did you get that @ ?’

30 thoughts on “The Prince of Manhattan

  1. Brilliant…. I’m always fascinated by those who live on the fringe; look at some of the greatest artists, writers, thinkers of the past. *Love* to see such wonderful expression; thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for this great post with glorious photos of fine types. And especially for your fine introduction about the balance between crazy and normal. I wish that many more dare let desire and imagination gain power over their inhibitions!

  3. You have some excellent shots of people who are ‘characters’ of the city. The first man and his dog frequent all the parades. I call him the warm up act. He walks the barricaded parade route before the parade starts and is usually chased away by the police. Sometimes he’s got his parrot along as well.

  4. I too loved the wonderful characters of Manhattan, which for me was also part of its appeal. You are so right, when I see these people a part of me really wants to rebel against the mainstream too. Nice portraits but even greater writing, thank you.

    • You are very kind, thanks. Shame that most of us have a need to ‘belong’. The world would be a much brighter place if we were all a little more ‘crackers’

  5. You writing and topic is so true.
    and observations are so sharp.
    they are the closest to being themselves.
    we are afraid to be ourselves I think and we don’t even know ourselves.

  6. Wow! There are some amazing sights in NY.

    (and my own Melbourne ‘Down Under’ is just a drop in the ocean of what NY shows us).

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