Topless Times Square women have tourists and city officials concerned
MIDTOWN – It's legal to go topless in New York City, but some women have been stretching the law to make some cash right in the middle of Times Square—and that has some folks worried it could push tourist dollars out of town.
"I've been here many times during the last week, and before, trying to deal with this situation," says Gale Brewer Manhattan Borough President.
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The topless performers of Times Square, wearing only body paint, are getting a lot of attention—and now elected leaders are considering putting the women and costume characters in a special zoned area along 7th Avenue.
"How many ladies are out? Right now it's 22 girls in Times Square," says Ivan Fernandez a body artist. Fernandez says they are there five days a week.
The women work only on tips, and, according to other characters, they're making a killing — cutting in on everyone's take.
Some of the tourists aren't shelling out their cash to mingle with the semi-nude women. "I just rather not have my son you know," says a tourist regarding seeing the women.
This tourist was not alone in her thought. Some worry a now family-friendly Times Square could revert to it's sleazy rep of old.
"Now that I know that it's there, and I didn't know till you stopped me, now I'll walk the other way," said one visitor.
So now there's a rush to keep First Amendment rights in place while keeping Times Square clothed.
"Unfortunately it's a complicated issue,"Brewer said. "I know that because they don't have a designated area to go to."
But it could be some time before Brewer's zoning idea could happen, so for now expect see a lot of skin.
Rick Boone contributed to this report.