NEW YORK CITY — As trains pulled into Union Square on Sunday afternoon, things appeared mostly normal: straphangers with headphones stared ahead blankly, others clutched bags in their laps, and some read books.
But many of them weren't wearing pants.
The bare-legged riders participated in the 12th annual "No Pants Subway Ride," an event organized by Improv Everywhere, a self-described "prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places."
The group asked participants to act normally during their commute.
"If questioned, tell folks that you 'forgot to wear pants' and yes you are 'a little cold,'" the group's website reads.
"Insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their pants. Be nice and friendly and normal."
There were affinity pantsless events around the country, but people still flew from far and wide to participate in New York's commute.
"I just flew in from Paris so I could be here for this," said Kristin Quinn, a 28-year-old model.
"It's something I always wanted to do because it's such a New York moment for me," said Saalim Chowdhury, 29, an English media consultant. "As with everything in New York, it's bigger and better than anywhere else in the world."
Organizers asked participants to wear their normal underwear, but some riders couldn't help but dress up for the occasion.
"It's the one day of the year that you can take your pants off in the New York City subway and no one bothers you about it," said Lauren Reeves, a 29-year-old Alaskan comedian. "I treat myself once a year to some fancy underwear and sexy stockings just for this."