Times Square Is So Sweet!
New York - Sunday, December 3 - Coming back from the bakery on 9th Avenue it just happened that we were on, um, 46th Street? A huge mob was besieging the ticket outlet at the foot of the Marriot there. Everywhere east of 8th Avenue was a huge mob. Saturday night at the center of New York City, the center of the world, full of a happy army of folks from Jersey.
The Very Good Friend of Mine - the VGFoM - was trying to avoid Times Square. Total insanity there! No New Yorker will touch it. But it felt like Times Square blocks away so what harm in the real thing?
Times Square isn't a really big space. There's some diagonal Broadway, some vertical 7th Avenue, some crosstown 46th Street, some 45th, 44th, 43rd, 42nd... yeah, some 42nd Street too! Not a big place but the neon signs climb the buildings, filling up the dark, splashing the whole chaotic scene in lurid light, like Lost Vegas without the slots - coulda stayed in Jersey for that.
It's a really big show as Ed Sullivan used to say every week, from right around here somewhere. Parked here and there are mobs of huge tour buses like you used to see jamming up the Louvre, somehow smuggled into Manhattan and crouching in the dark. That's where all these people have come from, got here; day trippers from the boonies. The VGFoM tells me about the lady from Philadelphia who was lost on 8th Avenue, on the phone to her companions, lost on 6th Avenue, looking for a restaurant at 50th and Broadway. Go east, lady!
In Times Square it's best to be Zen. Pick a spot out of harm's way and detach yourself from your concerns for personal safety. After all most everybody is out for a good carnie of a time, craning their necks, ogling the neons. Center of the funky western world! Right here. New York City, 46th and Broadway. Why we fought the Cold War, Vietnam, Gulf Wars. If you can afford to advertise here you can afford to rule the world!
Getting carried away. Let's be critical. While Times Square is totally mobbed up with creeks, streams, rivers of folks flowing every which way, there are some blank spaces; places without neons. Are they holding out? Is there some local ordinance forbidding total domination? You see, it isn't like on television, with the camera's eye focused, in tight on the concentration. There are gaps in the neons. There are mysterious inky towers in the vacant slots, like some sketchy background decor in a comic book.
We started out to pass a critique of the Rockefeller tree. That was totally mobbed too while it was still light this afternoon. Like, four entries to it and all of them plugged with tree fans. Somewhere in the middle, the ice pit with some few skaters. This was a closer look than in 2001 when it was so cold, but I remember a taller, more majestic tree. Maybe this year's is Chinese.
I never thought the VGFoM would go anywhere near Times Square but we did that okay. Then we set off to the Christmas village or marché in Bryant Park, and it was looking like a mistake on its outskirts but up the stairs and into it, it wasn't too crowded at all. More folks were twirling around a free ice rink that we could actually see. Not the Rocky Center but not the crush either.
All this time I wasn't thinking about JustAboveSunset. I wasn't expecting much, going out to see the tree, but I was ready. Trouble was I came back with 30 photos and there was no time to do them last night, let alone write this. Now the photos still aren't all done so I don't know what else there is. The folks in the photo here are not posing for me. They are just some Americans in Times Square on Saturday, December 2nd. Ain't they sweet?