Friday, 19 May 2017

TIME - In Times Square

I visited New York for the first time in October and November 2015.

I have never written about New York as such, finding the experience difficult to describe – so much that could be covered and even more that could be left out.

However, the events in Time Square yesterday have motivated to at least touch on a little about New York City. My comments will therefore be Times Square Centric.

The first time to Times Square was somewhat unpleasant. Cars, people, street stalls, spruikers, buskers, all vying for attention while I was looking for a street and a specific building. It wasn’t mind numbing or overpowering, just annoying.

The following day I walked through Times Square wearing a suit and tie and knowing where I was going and must have looked a little like a local because no one tried to separate me from my money.

I was relaxed and was able to take in what was around me and it was mesmerising, exciting, energetic and entertaining. All sorts of people doing all sorts of things with the extra flavour of fancy dress as it was the last business day before Halloween.

The sheer volume of people and cars, meant it shouldn’t, but it does work.

This was the first of 3 nights staying in Times Square, Coming back from dinner that night, I stopped and just took in the incredible light show that is Times Square. Looking from the end of the Square back to, and past the illuminated billboards and M&M Shop it appeared the light assault was layer upon layer upon layer. It was breathtaking.

Saturday night was Halloween and the Square was electric; sound, colour and costumes. The noise of celebration infiltrated the double glazed windows of the 17th floor of the hotel, and influenced what was not the ideal night of rest prior to the Marathon.

The cartoon characters in the Square impressed me and represented a New York work ethic. They are working to have tourists tip them for being photographed with them. And, they do this next to a sign, a large sign saying there is no obligation to tip the Cartoon Characters. They were putting in a 10 hour day and were back doing it all again the next day.

Tough gig indeed!

I loved the theatres and enjoyed seeing a show. My next visit will include several shows.

It was a short walk to Madison Square Gardens and what a night that was. I am a Rangers fan for life.

The events of yesterday show how vulnerable a large crowd can be and also how resilient the people of New York are, as if we didn’t already know that.

Living there would be exciting and exhilarating, costly and frustrating, and I would love to do just that for a year or so.



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