Here’s something to take your mind off falling onto the subway tracks. A man who goes by John Zippy has been photographing women on the subway with a camera hidden inside a Starbucks cup, then posting the footage on YouTube under titles like, “Glamor Girl Short Skirt Bare Legs,” and “Sexy Asian Girls.” Police say they can’t really do anything about it, but don’t worry — Zippy says it’s all in the name of art.
The New York Post reports that since February 24, Zippy has uploaded 35 videos to the YouTube channel “New York Subway Girls,” and has posted photos of 102 women to his blog of the same name. He admits that he’s “not dealing with a cooperative audience,” but what he’s doing isn’t exactly illegal. Authorities say taping people in public isn’t a crime, and at most he could be locked away for four years for filming intimate images without the subject’s consent. It’s unclear if the photographs he takes are considered “intimate,” though we’d guess any woman who found a video of herself sleeping on the subway or crossing her legs in a short skirt would say yes.
The footage is less likely to turn up online now, since the publicity led YouTube to pull the videos. Yet, in an e-mail to the Post Zippy insists his motives were pure:
“I totally understand that many people consider it sorta creepy. It is,” Zippy wrote. “I have over the years had conversations with people … about how they saw the ‘most beautiful,’ ‘the hottest,’ ‘most amazing,’ ‘the finest’ woman on the Subway followed by a vivid description worthy of a sonnet.
“I decided to try and capture this common occurrence in one place where people could share and comment in an open and nonjudgmental manner.”
Remember, ladies: Having a stranger film you and post the footage online under “hot nerd girl” or “sexy high-heeled boots” is pretty much the modern-day equivalent of Shakespeare writing you a sonnet.