Times Square Characters are Turning Coney Island Boardwalk into Bad Acid Trip

Image via Chris Gampat/Flickr

You know when you emerge from the subway at Times Square and feel like you’re having a psychotic break because Hello Kitty, SpongeBob, and Spiderman are suddenly swarming you, asking if you want a photo? Well, the Coney Island Boardwalk may soon become a seaside version of this midtown bad acid trip: 42nd Street police have cracked down on these furry panhandlers, and they’re now descending upon the People’s Playground, the Brooklyn Paper reports.

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Locals are not pleased. “People are intimidated having them here, begging for tips,” Michael Sarrel, a manager at Coney Island eatery Ruby’s, told the Paper. “Sometimes they get aggressive.” They’re using the same panhandling tactics that got them chased out of Manhattan–demanding money for taking a picture of someone in a public place. Signs informing tourists that this practice is illegal were recently posted around Time Square, prompting the area’s Mickey Mouses and friends to hop on the F train. The Coney Island Alliance is speaking to various agencies to ensure that the Boardwalk remains an escape from Manhattan’s madness, not a knockoff of it.

[via The Brooklyn Paper]

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