Sunday, August 28, 2011

About Times Square

I've been working at the office on Times Square (xSq) for a little less than 2 months now.

Times Square is one of the street level places that is recognizable as obviously being in New York, and not some other city.  As such, people who come to visit New York, at least for the first few times, feel that they must visit this space.

To someone who needs to go through Times Square multiple times per day, tourists are painful, literally.  I've mostly figured out how to avoid it now, but every few days in my first few weeks, I would end up running into a tourist who stops, and suddenly takes a step backward to take a photo.

I get it, I do.  See something really neat, but you stepped past the angle you first saw.  However, it's a crowded place, look behind you before you back up.  Anyway, they are digital signs, they have probably changed in the half-second since you saw what you wanted to see.

Yet, when I stand in Times Square, I see advertisements, tourist shops, restaurants to attract tourist dollars, more advertisements, a set of red bleachers to allow tourists to sit while watching the advertisements.  Some commenting that the old statue is "in the way".

Which reminds me that Times Square has a century of history that, I think, the tourists getting pictures with costumes, Naked Cowgirl, or Karaoke Bride don't all appreciate.

The northern half of what people think of as Times Square, is Duffy Square.    The most interesting feature to me is the statue of Father Francis P. Duffy who is "in the way" of those bleachers.  Duffy was a priest, teacher and active chaplain during World War 1.  Chaplains don't often get statues, but this one did.  An American Hero, not just some priest.

Anyway, if you find yourself in Times Square with a camera, look before you reverse, have some respect for Father Duffy, and remember that the flashing lights and video screens are really just advertisements.

2 comments:

  1. You have discussed great points. i m really glad to a part of this very knowledgeable discussion, thanks
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    1. I'm always pleasantly surprised when someone I don't know reads something I wrote on this huge, wide Internet.

      Readers should be happy to know that after two years of working on Times Square, I have become an expert at avoiding the reversing tourist, and I've figured out the right head-shake to convey, 'I know what that pamphlet is already, and no thank you.'

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