Thousands Wave to Buried Magician
Apr. 12, 1999
NEW YORK (AP) _ While most New Yorkers don't know magician David Blaine from a hole in the ground, it hasn't stopped them from coming in droves to see him there _ in a hole in the ground.
For nearly a week, thousands of people have waved, gawked, gasped and stared at Blaine, who is buried alive 6 feet underground in a Plexiglas coffin with a 3-ton water-filled tank placed on top.
Blaine's seven days beneath the sidewalks of New York was expected to end this morning. He's spent the week in close quarters, with only about 6 inches of head room and 2 inches on each side.
It's all part of a stunt by the magician, whose hero Harry Houdini planned a similar feat, but died in 1926 before he got a chance to perform it.
Spokesman Pat Smith said Blaine will return ``hopefully ... in good condition.'' But he might be ``wobbling on his legs or lightheaded.''
The ``reaction has been phenomenal,'' said Smith, who estimated that some 75,000 people have visited the site on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
``I couldn't stop thinking about it. Being confined to such a small space,'' said Tavia Trusch, 42, a dance teacher from Queens who was back Sunday for a second visit with her 3-year-old son.
``We waved and gave thumbs up,'' to offer encouragement, she said.
Mayra Berlanga, a 25-year-old paralegal from Queens has been coming every morning to show ``support.'' She is there by 7 a.m. to give the 25-year-old magician a familiar face to wake up to.
``I feel there is a connection,'' she said.
But how does her husband feel about her getting up early to look at another man? ``I give him support also,'' said her husband, Carlos, who was at the site Sunday with his wife.
The couple was part of a long line of visitors snaking their way past Blaine's buried coffin Sunday afternoon despite a light rain and cool temperatures. Some were carrying signs saying, ``We love you David.'' Others brought their children, pets and a camera.
A shirtless Blaine, covered by a white blanket, appeared in good spirits, smiling, waving and giving thumbs up.
Rosa Corporan, a 20-year-old cashier went back in line to get a second look and a picture. ``He's a handsome guy,'' she explained.