Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer in the City: Times Square

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.

7 comments:

Grey Cottage Studio said...

When I first moved to NYC, I stopped in Times Square early one Sunday morning. Anyway, I popped out of the subway and I just stood there looking, much like you said. I felt like Mary Tyler Moore. If I had had a hat, I would have tossed it.

Years later, I worked on 39th near 6th and I found Times Square rather gross.

Thanks for reminding me of its charms.

montague said...

I adore Times Sq. In fact, it is one of my favorite spots. I guess I never got over my first impression of it when i was 10 years old, and just the awe it inspired. i am glad it was able to share a bit of its charm with you...

Amy said...

Growing up in NYC I systematically avoided that part of town (still do mostly) but there was something magical about seeing it with someone from 'away'. Your photos capture the essence (minus the heat and the smell).

Sabrina said...

So great to take a step away from the something like this, to see it again with fresh eyes and appreciate it.

We just returned from a day trip to my old city neighborhood and that had me reminiscing and remembering all the good stuff.

Do keep enjoying your city while you have it!

limonana said...

awww don't leave Elizabeth!! nyc will miss you too much i'm sure! there certainly is something magical about times square!

molly said...

you know, they say, you can tell a new yorker, cuz they never look up. yet, it's one of the best ways to see anything there. soak it up, soak it up!!!

molly said...

i just remembered, i have photos from the night the city had a black out back in '01--we rode our bikes up to times square and took pics, really fantastical