If you haven’t heard about the Times Square flap, you can catch up here. And you can read a report by a journalist who went undercover as a desnuda (the term for the painted performers) here.
Personally, I’m scratching my head over why a progressive mayor like de Blasio would even consider destroying a bustling pedestrian space over a few lightly-disguised nipples. As the undercover journalist noted, a half-nude Miley Cyrus already looms over the plaza from a video screen. Traffic-related injuries (the reduction of which has been a cause championed by the mayor) are down since NYC’s plaza program started. European plazas are filled with buskers and street performers, yet those cities manage to cope somehow. By all means, regulate panhandling. But don’t destroy a rare public space designed for human beings instead of cars.
Seriously, there are far more constructive things the NYPD could be doing these days rather than harass women wearing body paint.