Times Square might just be my least favorite spot in New York City. Noisy, crowded and full of tourists taking those leisurely strolls that are so foreign to speedy city walkers, I usually just keep my head down and try to dodge the human traffic as I walk through the neighborhood as fast as I possibly can.
Nonetheless, Times Square is the picture many bring to mind when they imagine this fair city. It's where the ball drops to ring in the new year. It's the classic movie scene-setter--that image that tells us "Aha, now we're in New York City!" When someone hums "Start spreading the news...." don't you visualize those Broadway lights that make Times Square so famous?
For that reason, a couple of weekends ago when I was passing through the sweaty crush of Times Square, I decided to stop. Stop dodging and weaving through the tourists. Stop ducking to avoid people selling me I (heart) NY T-shirts. Stop saying "No, I'm not interested..." to anyone and everyone who approached me about anything and everything. I just stopped. I took it in. I tried to remember that, pretty soon, I won't be in this city anymore and I had better start appreciating, even the things I typically avoid.
The lights, the color, the sheer overwhelming visual stimulation assaulting you from every side. That is Times Square.
Perhaps it was because I was with a first-time visitor to New York who was in awe of everything we passed. Perhaps I was on a high inspired by the Broadway musical we had just seen. Perhaps I need to stop and appreciate more often. But for a few moments that one evening, Times Square seemed pretty incredible.