Wednesday, June 3, 2015

'30th street Station Freeze' is a mob scene, not a mob, invite says

A file photo from inside 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.  Could a mob of youth be planning to descent there tonight?
A file photo from inside 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Could a mob of youth be planning to descent there tonight?

Is it an April Fool's joke or could a positive flash mob be descending on Philadelphia today?

According to a Facebook group titled "30th Street Station Freeze," more than 1,300 people are planning to come together at 30th Street Station at 6:30 p.m. to freeze in place for three minutes.

Not to fight. Not to run. Not to loot. Just to freeze in place - together - as a living tableau.

Many say that's really what a flash mob is - a peaceful gathering of people committing a quirky act together that's been planned over social media. Calling the recent violent and disorganized gatherings of teens along South Street and Center City flash mobs is a misnomer, some have argued.

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  • Globally, flash-mob acts have consisted of everything from pillow fights to dancing, and from air guitar-playing to ninja fights. They've taken place in libraries, on the street and in cathedrals.

    Today's event is sponsored by the Drexel Flash Mob and local improv group Stealthy Elephant, according to the Facebook page.

    When questions arose on the message board about how the flash mob might be perceived by the public and police, one of the organizers provided this response: "As long as everyone stays nonviolent, we can show the world that Philly can still have fun," he wrote. "Other flash mobs have recently given us a bad name - let's change that."

    Other comments on the site range from "ps this will be epic" to "i couldnt think of a better way to spend my april fools:]"

    One person even suggests that "Waldo" may be making an appearance, a reference to the famed character in red-and-white stripes that hides in the crowded pages of the "Where's Waldo" illustrated children's books.

    The event was inspired by a similar one organized by ImprovEverywhere that took place in Grand Central Terminal in New York in 2008, according to the Facebook page.

    During that "freeze" more than 200 people stopped mid-motion for five minutes as they were doing everything from tying their shoes to eating a banana.

     

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