Times Square- Revisited
June 2, 2009 § 26 Comments
NYC readies itself for the summer, and just in time. The mantra: Go Green!
The most populated square of the city and the most popular – the Times Square – has opened its arms wider for tourists, local straddlers and the occasional drifters. In one fell swoop, the square now comes replete with a pedestrian friendly attitude and iconic architectural installations.
What did I find?
Lots of images to bring back home, and tired feet :)
Once again, I was challenged by a mostly cloudy afternoon and low light. Happy that I am learning to tackle low light more often, and sad that I could not get some leisurely sunlit shots I really wanted! I guess I need an alliance with the weather man.
I made good use of the vantage point at the top of the red glass stairs (a new installation), to get long range shots (as far as my D90 kit would allow). And then, I picked the goings on of the usual kind – the Broadway chairs, the burgeoning crowds, and some odd views of the ever glowing, ever present billboards.
I can hear you saying, “It’s Times Square, how different can it get?!”
Well, we will see, won’t we? :)
If you are planning to visit Times Square soon, you are in for a surprise (OK, no longer a surprise). The neon billboards will still beckon you, and the crowds will still enthrall…but what you might enjoy even more is your own little seat to lounge around in with ample leisure, as the world around you spins in a despotic yet fascinating frenzy.
Vehicles are no longer allowed on Broadway, between 42nd and 47th streets (effective May 25th. Traffic on 7th Avenue continues). And in their place have arrived, several beach chairs spotting this entire stretch of Broadway. Take your pick – lounge bang in the middle of Broadway (you can forget the speeding cabs!) or grab a perch at the brand new red glass stairs that rise up high and bright, right in the centre of the Father Duffy square.
Go on then, pull up a chair, get your snack of choice, point your camera and shoot. Or take a nap. Whatever.
Broadway traffic takes a beating at Times Square but the place still bustles with an ever growing number of people: tourists and locals alike. Take a closer look:
And now some eccentric inclinations from this heady place.
Let’s add a little quirk to the mix:
The Cab drivers! The changes in traffic flow are apparently difficult to maneuver around by these honking, wiggling, speeding incarnations of annoyance. Do we care? The city walks.
Yeah, I know, I know. Locals have been avoiding the brazen crowds at Times Square like…
Heck, who really hangs out at Times Square anymore?
Well, hold your horses. When I trekked up to the Square to investigate the recent happenings this weekend, I assure you (believe it or not), I ran into quite a handful of self-respecting New Yorkers reveling in the change. The clincher? The idea of a greener, pedestrian-friendly city has stuck sweetly and approvingly in our minds. Yes, we approve!
So brace yourself if you have to, but do take a walk into the blitzing storm this week. Support a greener Broadway.
My verdict: Even if you decidedly dislike the new look, it is worth the experience. Broadway looks very close to a concrete beach strewn with chairs, people, bikes and dogs. And hey, the air still smells of honey roasted nuts, grilled meat skewers and Mc Donald’s burgers. Need more impetus? Crowds in general, get a lot more amicable when they are allowed to put their feet up :)
Did I forget to capture the billboards?
Certainly not. And here they come…
How to get there?
Take the Subway or a Pedicab, walk, bike or drive down 7th Avenue. You choose.
If you need a Subway map, get your own.
Oh, and a much warranted note about the ‘red glass stairs‘:
I keep calling them so because these blazing red steps have not been named yet! The Times Square Alliance is still open to suggestions and you might want to give it a shot if you care.
Designed by Perkins Eastman, and being touted as the iconic piece of modern architecture, they fit in quite snugly with the life at Duffy Square. Adding a height of stairs right in the centre of the square lends an illusion of a bigger open space, a certain three dimensionality, if you will. Parking yourself here will give you an amphitheater-esque feel and a great view of the life teeming & scheming below. You will not miss the bright red burst of color.
If you are interested in reading more about these transformations and the history, you should most definitely go here.
Time to make up your mind about Times Square. And yes, I would love to hear your take on it!
– The Juicer at work