The Times Finds Genuine Hobo in Riverside Park

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This is not an actual photo of the hobo. It's just the only iStock photo of one that wasn't either (a) scary or (b) sexy. iStock has some weird ideas about hobos. Photo: iStockphoto.com

City Room blogger Cory Kilgannon has a somewhat hilarious, old-timey post today about how he came across an honest-to-goodness rail-riding hobo up in Riverside Park. "Larry" is "a real, honest-to-goodness ramblin’ man striding uptown with his big pack hitched to his back, a bedroll and tarp lashed to it and a metal pan hanging from it." He has some front teeth missing, "a chin full of hobo's whiskers," and "a wide-brimmed leather hat down over his handsome cowboy face."

I didn’t catch where he was from, but he said he’d been rambling the country for nearly his whole adult life. Been through every state except Alaska and Hawaii. Never really had his own home, and rarely paid for transport. Supported himself with odd jobs and such.

"Goin' up north to hop a train outta here," he told Cory, figuring the cops wouldn't let him walk out through a tunnel. He left the Times reporter with a mournful, answerless query: "How do I get off this island?"

Man. Hobos. They really are just like us.

A Ramblin’ Man Makes His Way Off the Island [City Room/NYT]