Meet the People Who Want to Be Mayor of Your Apartment


A 21-year-old woman takes control of a Philadelphia bridge, while office workers in New York scramble to claim closets, desks, and each other's offices. A couple must leave everything they've built behind in a mad rush to get to Brooklyn before space runs out, while a young woman fights in vain for leadership of her own apartment. Under another bridge, two men grapple bitterly for what has now become prime turf: a secret, trash-filled hole-up known as "Stabber Alley."

Is this the Apocalypse? No, it's just Foursquare — and, specifically, the eccentric folks who have taken the social-media application's "mayorship" feature as seriously and as far as it could possibly go. (One becomes "mayor" of a physical place by "checking in" on the GPS-based application the most times in a 60-day period.) The absolutely Foursquare-obsessed Times "Style" section today profiles these outliers, and the whole thing really could appear in The Onion with only a headline change. Like, this:

"Although Mr. Ilagan is currently mayor of 16 places, he is unhappy about their declining cachet. Instead of cool bars and leafy parks, he is now the mayor of places like a Taco Bell.

“My mayorships have been whittled away to meaningless 7-Elevens and gas stations,” Mr. Ilagan said."

Mr. Illagan's political future is in jeopardy, as is his future employment when this is the first Google result for him for a long time. Maybe some of these folks need to check in somewhere ... quiet, for a little while, just until they can figure some things out and get some ... rest. Does Bellevue have a mayor yet?

Who Elected Me Mayor? I Did [NYT]