The 'Amazing Strangers' Of Union Square (VIDEO)
Bob Hain is a graphic artist whose website, Normalbobsmith.com, documents the strange and often 'woozy' characters of Union Square -- those who slouch over in the center of the park mumbling to themselves, the ranters, fighters, dancers and eccentric dressers. Hain creates cartoons out of these real-life characters who he calls Junky the Barbarian, Pretty Boy Jake and Dizzy Dancing Dad, in a section of his website called 'Amazing Strangers'.
Last week the New York Times profiled Hain and his intricate website, which catalogues downtown characters like they're birds flitting in a menagerie.
With photographic examples and flow charts, Mr. Hain lays out the various categories of the various sets of downtown young people who hang out in the park
There is a primer on distinctions between a Goth and a raver. Then there is the graver, whose name borrows from both of those, but who would not be caught dead being grouped with either.
By contrast, the hipster is a bird of another feather, "the natural enemy of the graver," Mr. Hain says. And the scenesters are the result of melding hipsters and gravers, identifiable by their studded belts, tight clothing and maybe a black handkerchief in the back pocket.
Then there are the robo-trippers, who try to get high by "huffing," or inhaling, products like Dust-Off, or by drinking Robitussin.
Watch this video compilation of some of Hain's subjects: