That man was Rob Hennessey, who was sporting a gold crown, goggles and holding a walking stick.
Hennessey calls himself “the King of Forest Hills.” He works for the free daily newspaper amNewYork, handing out the paper every morning to more than 600 commuters at the 71st Street-Continental Avenue station.
“I don’t just know them, I know them,” Hennessey said. “I personalize with them. I talk to them. I make them laugh. I make them smile. That’s why I was brought on this earth.”
This July will mark his second full year distributing the newspaper. He got his start after encountering difficulties while job hunting after high school.
“I had no experience, nobody wanted to give me a chance,” he said. “That was until my mom opened up the newspaper and she found amNewYork. The rest is history.”
Since he turned 25, Hennessey said he has felt extremely confident in himself, enough to don the apparel worthy of a king.
“I said 'you know what, I’m going to call myself the King of Forest Hills and see how it goes,'” Hennessey said. “It stuck, and now everybody calls me King.”
He only wears the crown on Fridays because it’s “Fun Time Friday.” It’s his way of livening up not just his life, but the lives of the people he serves everyday.
“I want to put a smile on people’s faces,” Hennessey said. “That’s what it’s all about. You gotta have fun in life. Life’s too short.”