January 06, 2017
No pants? No problem.
The 16th annual "No Pants Subway Ride" returned once again to cities across the world, including Philadelphia, on Sunday.
The global event is spearheaded by New York's Improv Everywhere and has since expanded to more than 60 cities around the world including Los Angeles, Seattle, Paris, Zurich and London (where it's called No Trousers on the Tube).
Philadelphia's event, however, was organized this year by Got Laundry?, a laundry delivery service based in the city.
Participants met Sunday afternoon at the Clothespin statue (how appropriate) at 15th and Market streets before unbuckling and unbuttoning.
Got Laundry? made clear that the NPSR is not a nude event and that riders are encouraged to "participate at [their] own risk."
"Wear two pairs of underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable," the website instructed. "Wearing a thong is totally [a] personal choice but please note that might offend people. Our aim is to make people laugh, not piss them off."
It wasn't the only aim. Got Laundry? encouraged participants to bring an extra pair of pants – or any article of clothing, really – for the group to donate to local charities.
"SEPTA is not involved with this event, however, participants have used SEPTA in connection with the event for several years now," a SEPTA spokesperson told Philly.com Friday. "We have not had any problems reported previously, and we don’t expect there to be any this year."
In New York City, moments before entering a Manhattan station, Peter Saez said it was his third time going pant-less.
"People who don't understand what we're doing will look at us like we're doing something bad or wrong," Saez said. "It's just for fun. It's a fun trip, that's all."
Wei Wei, a student from China who just moved to New York, was curious about the event but was on the fence about whether she was going to go through with taking off her pants. But there was no hesitation for Angela Bancilhon, a tourist from Australia who had her husband and two young sons along for the ride.
"It's fun. Why the hell not?" Bancilhon said. "We're in NYC. Why wouldn't you?"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.