I finally saw this guy in Times Square and let me tell you, this picture doesn't do him justice!
Picture this...I was minding my own business, listening to my ipod walking home from work. I decided to take the Times Square route home and then somewhere around 45th Street and Broadway I see a thin mini-mohawked, sunglass and rolled up baggy jeans wearing guy. Standing on the corner with his head hung low for dramatic posturing, he bore a hustling cup containing loose change and dollar bills in one hand and a large sign that read, "Help! I need money for WEED!"
Now while this isn't a novel assertion, many people can claim they need money for weed and such, it sure is funny to actually see someone proclaming it on poster board in the middle of a bustling crowd in New York when once upon a time you could score some easily in any of the city parks like Central Park, Thomkins Square Park, Washington Square Park and Bryant Park for no more than a couple of dollars. It's also ironically funny because you could get arrested for smoking weed in public in NYC, but you're allowed to bear a sign stating that you need money to get some. One expects to see a homeless person sitting against a building accompanied by a shaggy looking dog and a sign that says, "Please help me feed my dog." So this new "need weed" imagery cracked me up. I've read that there's another guy out in Cali (and I'm sure a dozen other places in the States) that has this same sign.
The reality is more likely to be that he likes the attention the sign gets him. He's like the tragically hip turned street hustler. After all he makes for great tourist photos and snapshots. My only regret upon seeing him was that I didn't get my camera-phone out fast enough on my brisk walk home to capture it for myself and I didn't think to give him some of my loose change for having gumption and making me laugh. The above photo is actually from Flickr.