Coverage of the Fourth Manhattan Flash Mob

July 16th, 2003
 Photo from

UPDATE: Our Senior Manhattan Correspondent David Danzig made a video of the mob. It’s a 5.5 Megabyte download; get it here. David badly needs help serving up the video. If you have a little extra bandwidth and server space and you wouldn’t mind mirroring the file, please contact David (david [at]

The fourth New York City flash mob headed to a hoity-toity fancy-pants SoHo shoe store, where participants pretended they were on a bus tour from Maryland, and acted excited yet bewildered about the whole thing.

For more great photos, visit Satan’s Laundromat and and Happy Robot. For more details about this flash mob, see David Danzig’s description. Bravo, New York.

Were you there? Post links to your coverage in the comments below.

16 Responses to “Coverage of the Fourth Manhattan Flash Mob”

  1. comment number 1 by: Fred

    Sorry these pictures are so late, but tonight was so much fun, we didn’t want it to stop! It really was. Zip over to my site for some more photos. Please feel free to grab them and re-post if you like.


  2. comment number 2 by: Dave

    Got a load of pics, including one of the New York Times reporter as she was turned away.

  3. comment number 3 by: Jane Minty

    More here!

  4. comment number 4 by: :r

    we have one nice wide shot from the store:
    mob 4 crowd

  5. comment number 5 by: boston mobbers

    Okay, Boston, let’s step up:

  6. comment number 6 by: binnorie

    The photographers really kinda ruined the purpose of it which, for me anyway, is to wake people up a bit from their normal routine and get them to question what’s around them- John Cagean fashion (works for the mobsters as well as the spectators).

    I really shouldn’t talk, though, because at the same time the photographers and reporters made it exciting in a different way: I feel guiltfully excited about the fact that I may find my picture in the NY Times this week- the blond photographer’s assistant got my name and my friend’s name. Kinda scary.

  7. comment number 7 by: sean

    I hear you binnorie, but I don’t think you can control the fact that photographers will want to show up at these things. These things aren’t about control, right? So you just can take the photographers as a given and build around them, or better yet use them to your advantage… So if -you- plan an event, build them into your schtick.

    As far as being scared of showing up in the press, put it this way: if I were in the Witness Protection Program I’d stay far away from flash mobs.

  8. comment number 8 by: morland

    further pics:

  9. comment number 9 by: Ginger

    I think the problem is more with people hanging out and not dispersing afterward than those with cameras. I like that the MOBs are being documented, and I agree that to an extent these things cannot be controlled, and perhaps shouldn’t be. Still, I do think the frequency of the MOBs might make them more vulnerable to faddishness and mutation by those who don’t fully grok the original concept.

  10. comment number 10 by: Anonymous

    Just did the SF Mob and reading about yours.

    The way I see it, let the press take pics. But don’t grant them interviews. That defeats the purpose of the Mob, which is appear, do…. something, then disburse WITHOUT A TRACE.

    Just my opinion.

  11. comment number 11 by: anon

    I had a great time at the manhattan mob, but people definately had a problem dispersing. I think some we bystanders who were still trying to figure out what was going on. They need to institute a code for when to leave eg. ” THE TOUR BUS IS LEAVING”

    my 2 cents

  12. comment number 12 by: sean

    This is very strange; you’re at least the third person to have complained to me that this particular New York flash mob didn’t disperse properly.

    My first thought when I hear that is: well -why- did people not disperse? If anyone can tell my why, you should be able to tell me why, because you obviously stuck around to observe other people failing to disperse. (So why did -you- not disperse? And what would make you disperse next time?)

  13. comment number 13 by: Samantha

    My coverage can be found here.

    I think as these things get bigger, people are going to need more precise instructions. The idea to specify exactly when pictures are permissible and when they are not is a good idea; even if not everyone follows the instructions precisely, at least they’ll be surreptitious about their picture taking.

    I agree that having the press turn up is beyond the organizers’ (or the participants’) control, but definitely, refusing interviews would at very least keep the mob idea fresh and intriguing.

    Perhaps pre-arranged signals would be a good idea, and would give organizers increased control over each event.

    Stuff like “don’t go into the shoe store until you see a young man wearing an orange t-shirt and a mohawk walk in” would ensure that no one enters before time (which is one complaint I read regarding mob #4).

    Or tell people “At 6:18, leave the shoe store and walk quickly towards Broadway and disperse.” I think people need direction and signals. Having someone announce that the tour bus was leaving would probably be a good idea too.

  14. comment number 14 by: dimples

    My friend, who lives in Westchester County forwarded me this recent article about Mob#4.

  15. comment number 15 by: rich

    I finally got mine developed (yes, developed) and scanned from MOB#4.
    Here they are:

  16. comment number 16 by: Ginger

    I wasn’t at #4, but I *did* disperse immediately after #3! 🙂