One-Man 'Metropolitan Etiquette Authority' Takes On Rude, Crude & Obnoxious

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The blocks of New York City are loaded with signs from ‘No Parking’ to ‘Clean Up After Your Dog.’

Out of all the signs on the city streets, those posted by the one-man manners squad known as the Metropolitan Etiquette Authority seem to be getting the most attention.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman In Chelsea

“Pay attention while walking. Your Facebook status update can wait,” reads one on West 15th Street and 9th Avenue.

Another states, “Pull up your pants. No one wants to see your underwear.”

The signs are courtesy of Jason Shelowitz — a man with a mission.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Keep Your Pants Up

“You’ve got kids walking around with their pants around their knees that are really tight and they can’t even walk,” Shelowitz tells CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

He’s sick of the not-so-brief boxer-baring trend and decided to hit the streets on politeness patrol to bring attention to an issue that’s already become controversial.

In 2009, officials in Paterson, N.J. cracked down on baggy britches with signs comparing people who wear them to criminals.

Earlier this year, court officers in New York City joined in booting people in saggy pants from courtrooms.

Not only is Shelowitz encouraging a dress code, he’s also alerting people to other rude behavior such as dropping cigarette butts.

One of the etiquette signs popping up around NYC on Sept. 13, 2012. (credit: Jesse Zanger/CBS)

It’s a small step that he hopes will impact the city in a big way.

“I’m kind of realizing I’ve tapped into something and I’m saying something most people are thinking and if they just get people talking then I think I’ve done my job,” he says.

Shelowitz tells WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman he has street sign vendors create the notices. So far, he has put up about 80 signs across Manhattan and has spent a total of $2,000.

Though it’s illegal to put up these types of signs on city property, Shelowitz said the police don’t seem to mind them.

“I’m sure that there is some law against this. I haven’t really researched it, but the message is positive,” he says. “[I’m] not defacing property and they are not blocking any important signs. They’re just sort of there as an extra thing for pedestrians to see.”

He’s planning on expanding his crusade to the outer boroughs in the next few days.

What do you think about this project? Is it a good idea? Should he be allowed to keep putting up his own signs? Sound off in the comments section below!

Comments (16)
  1. Jean says:

    There’s nothing like walking down the street and having someone who’s paying more attention to their smart phone then where they are going, bumping into you and cursing YOU out for not watching where you’re going. I say go for it…. put these signs up any and every where!!

  2. SELAH says:

    GO FOR FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!! FOR WHO EVER WILL LISTEN !!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

  3. peg rose says:

    hThis is great . I live in a small village with many young,unemployed people and our streets are filled with litter,cig. butts,dog poop,etc. My friend and I are retired and spend several hours a week cleaning the sidewalks and curb areas. We have been doing this for three years and thought others would see us and pitch in. Boy! Were we so naive!!! No one helps,not even our merchants,banks,etc. But many folks do stop to say thanks;one lady gave us $5 and said it was her thanks and she wanted to buy us coffee.!!So it is appreciated by some.

  4. cuzzin Jerry says:

    Jason ,it isn’t a sign to tell some dummy to pull his pants up,you are the sign starting from the very gutter, “YOU CARE” a rare quality in todays America,”BRAVO”

  5. Greg says:

    Awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I live on a small island off the coast of Maine, were the population is 70 in the summer and 20 in the winter. I would love to buy a few of these signs, is that possible?

    1. jason says:

      onlly a few for sale, just to help pay for the (very high) cost of production.

  6. BigAppleGuy says:

    Kudos to Jason Shelowitz. It’s about time someone brought these anti-social activities to the forefront of media attention. Littering cigarette butts is illegal. You would think Police and others would have to clean up after their horses just as dog owners are supposed too. Letting your pants sag is just ridiculous. Anyone who does that at best is just a copycat with no style of their own. And now that almost everyone has a cell phone the streets are just not fit to walk on anymore. People stand there blocking the sidewalk, engrossed in their conversation or text. Not even enough sense to move over and let people go by. The only good things is now it;s easier to spot the self-centered narcissists.

  7. Anna says:

    I love the “pull up your pants, we don’t want to see your underwear” Maybe the VMA awards should have the same sign. Little Wayne practically dropped his pants in the finale. His blue polo underwear were a little too much. Just because they have money they believe that they can do anything. These stars are setting the style that others want to follow. Maybe the VMA’s and others should think about sending the right message and enforce “PULL UP YOUR PANTS”

  8. Steve says:

    if your too busy fbooking- you won’t read the sign anyway..if you walk around with your pants half down, you are way too cool for reading….clean up after your horse is good-but won’t happen. the real issue is, people have no respect for each other anymore….me,me,me, all me!

  9. ejones says:

    If the sign is intended to keep people from distractedly walking out into a busy crosswalk, then he is interfering with natural selection, and should stop.

    1. jason says:

      HA! i think i might agree with you ejones.
      that’s a very funny reaction. survival of the fittest/smartest.

  10. Rugbyball says:

    Love the messages, I wish people would heed them!

  11. Nick says:

    There’s a new game in town. It’s called WAKE UP! You just walk up behind some twit concentrating on their phone and punch them in the back of the head, hard, and yell WAKE UP!

    It’s hilarious to see their faceBOOK hit the cement 🙂

  12. p8nt says:

    Metropolitan Etiquette Authority??? REALLY?? Is that even a city funded group, which I hope its not.

    1. badman says:

      p8nt’s comment is idiotic in at least 6 ways. Can you find them all?

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