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? :)

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Visitors,

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:

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NikonD90 VR18-105mm 18mm ISO200 1/15s F/14

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And now some eccentric inclinations from this heady place.

Let’s add a little quirk to the mix:

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Who’s complaining?

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.

New Yorkers,

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…

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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.

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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.

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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


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§ 26 Responses to Times Square- Revisited

  • Bhavna Buttan Desai says:

    Love it! looking forward to a leisurely chat on a broadway chair this year!
    keep on juicing!!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Bhavna- glad I have your interest piqued:) You should visit the Big Apple soon! And until you do, I will be posting faithful renderings of the city for you!

  • Abhishek Gupta says:

    Yet another timeless experience of Times Sqaure after your first, and if I may say so uber fresh blog of Union Square. I never thought I would ever fall in love with “Times Square”, but I did through the lens of your camera. I am not just saying these things because I have to, but because the perfectionist in me is a bit jealous! :)

    Love, love and more love your way my dahling!

    Yours Truly,
    -Abhishek

    • The Juicer says:

      Abhishek- You are a delightful reader! And I am so happy you felt the connection with these posts… thats what I aim to achieve and I hope to bring you many more!
      Critique is equally welcome :) and I will appreciate any pointers for improvement (I have my own long list!)
      Many thanks for visiting!

  • Amit says:

    I’ve never been to NY but I think I’ve made my connection to Times square through your lens and text..you’re on the roll..so keep the momentum on..

  • Sujoy says:

    I loved it !!…& miss ! don’t you bother about the sunlit shots, the shots taken r really good …especially without the sun around it’s giving a different texture & a nostalgic smell surrounding the ‘Times Square’…niche work..keep it up!

    • The Juicer says:

      Thanks Sujoy!
      Very interesting note about the textures and smells being evoked by the images…the absence of the sun and muted colors do give a very different feel to this place. So glad that I was able to create a sense of nostalgia for you (and Kate) :)
      Appreciate your feedback- it is notes like these that help me see through the reader’s eyes! Keep em’ coming!!

  • Kate says:

    It’s really good to keep up with what’s going on over in NYC – i MISS it! So your blog is a great way for me to stay up to date with everything. Your comments are brilliant too, i think you’ve got a real talent for this – very interesting, witty and fun to read. Well done!

    • The Juicer says:

      Kate-
      Thanks a ton for the wonderful comment- am really kicked about it! :)
      If there is anything that you would like me to cover about this quirky city in future, just shoot me an email! I will be happy to share.

  • Jerome M. says:

    Shipra,

    I really love your enthusiasm, this outbursting energy. I’ve said it already, and I’ll say it again : Since my last trip to NY, 3 years ago, Times Square has become…more human. Or at least, your pictures make it look more human. Good shots (Idea : Why don’t you put the apertures and speed and the lens you’re using ? :-) )
    I’m from France, and I’ve travelled quiet a few, but NY, is like no other City in the world.
    For instance, if you just stood there, at Times Square, inhaling, then exhaling, again and again (Sure, you might look weird, but what the heck) you could actually feel how this city vibrates…. like a nest of bees. That’s it. New Yorkes are busy bees.

    • The Juicer says:

      Jerome-
      I have many thanks going your way right now. Express mode!! :)
      I have been meaning to put the tech details of each shot, but didn’t get around to it until now. I will, pronto! You have reinforced that.
      Love the way to put it. Yes it will look a little weird – leisurely breathing in the city in the middle of so much movement :D – but like you said what the heck!! You seem to have experienced this city more deeply than many I know! Hey- a nest of bees sounds so much better than a hive! lol.
      The busy bees on this blog promise to keep you enthralled and keep you coming back for more- the intriguing tension between the human element and the hustle & bustle in the midst of a concrete jungle!

  • Satyam says:

    The beautiful and ‘alive’ pictures interspersed with the witty and informal commentory make your blog a wonderful visit. A ‘direct shortcut’ to your page on my desktop is proof enough that I want more and fast. Want you to keep it coming so I can take off in my mind to experience the scenes through your pictures more often. I am sure that for you, though tiring, this must be a very satisfying experience; makes me think what should I do to add a dimension to my life which would give me matching returns on an intangible plane.
    Love the work!

    • The Juicer says:

      Satyam-
      Thank you for the heartfelt comment! For now, I cannot commit to more than a post a week, but I hope they will make up with quality where they lack in quantity :)
      And the best part from me is that you find the images ‘alive’, letting you enter the world of this city. That’s probably what every photographer strives to do, well most do I guess! Indeed it’s an immensely satisfying experience, putting up my work out there, and connecting with so many wonderful people through it!
      Look out for my next post tomorrow- I can’t wait to hear what you would have to say! :)

  • Shikha says:

    Hola! Loved going through all these posts. You may want to do this full time. You are so good :-)
    BW, I actually miss the ‘walking’ aspect of NYC life. With the car and country miles..there is no fun of walking down here in the South. Looking forward to be back.
    How are things otherwise?

    • The Juicer says:

      Shikha,
      First- I am so so glad you visited! Thank you!
      Second- yes, if timing and the various workings of life in general permit- I would love to do this full time :)
      Finally, I certainly hope you are back in NYC soon. We can take a photo walk together!! I would love that.
      Sorry to hear about the change in pace there, keep plugging in here for your weekly doze of the big apple buzz!

  • Som says:

    Am really in love with the first photo of the old man reading on the streets near Times square…….i want you to do one thing….except the oldman….like shot in movement or motion…..then the photo would look really wonderfull…..

    Tks,
    Som.

    • The Juicer says:

      You know what Som- I have just added a motion-freeze kinda shot to this post just for you! Notice that colorful bus? :)
      (I hope that’s what you were looking for?)

  • wildpixie says:

    hi! stopped here from your twitter. Your pictures of the chairs at Times Square are very candid. i like them. :)
    i have a questoin though, Why do you place EXIF information under your pics instead of quirky captions?

    • The Juicer says:

      Thank you for stopping by, I am glad you liked this post! Do keep visiting.
      I did try to keep most of the people shots candid on this post. As it is, there are too many people posing for pics in Times Square! Thought this would be a change :)

      Well, I wanted to add both- EXIF and quirky captions on the photos earlier!
      But, I changed my mind. By doing away with the caption, I am allowing the readers to form their own caption in their heads, instead of supplanting it.

      On a more vague note, I do not see these blog posts as a series of pictures with captions. I do provide a commentary on each post, and I’d rather focus on the commentary and let the pictures act as a thread sewing up all the scraps of thoughts together. Are you visualizing this with me? :) If I start providing captions to all the pictures, then I tend to lead each picture in, individually. Somehow, that idea did not appeal to me.

  • I love the tone of the images up there in that first set. Very vintage-y perhaps?

    PS. Shipra, I’m starting at the beginning. Don’t mind the deluge of comments :)

    • The Juicer says:

      Oh no, I am loving it Joy!
      Yeah…I faded the colors slightly. I found the really stark, contrast-y, bright colors at TS very distracting from the mood I was trying to capture. At first I wondered if I should do b&w, but then I settled on this. It was a monotonous cloudy day, and there wasn’t enough light & dark play to create interest for b&w pictures.

  • M F says:

    Truly great pictures and in a very nice tone. Exactly the mood that Times Square now feels to me. Thanks!

  • karen anne says:

    wow! looking at the pictures make me want to go to NYC right now and grab those beach chairs along broadway =)

    lovely post. hoping to visit nyc soon and take pictures!

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