published at 10:11am on 11/26/12
Let’s talk about Times Square for a moment.
Let’s talk about the lights and the tourists. Let’s talk about the standing and the gawking and the looking up and the pointing and the noise and the traffic. Let’s talk about the billboards and the terrible food and the chain stores. Let’s talk about the fact that most sane New Yorkers would say that this is the worst of the city. It’s the part of the city that they would go hours out of their way to avoid.
And let’s talk about the fact that I love Times Square.
No, really, I do.
Forgetting everything else there is to know about Times Square, what I love about it is that it is in my backyard. To many, this strip of Broadway is why they come to New York City to visit. It is the epitome of the big city, the anti-town-they-came-from, the anti-every-place-else-in-the-world. It really does never, ever sleep. And once you step foot in there, you know that you’ve made it to the Big Apple.
What I love about Times Square is that I never actually have to be there. Unlike those just passing through, for whom that one visit to Times Square may be the only change they have to stand smack dab in the middle of the greatest city in the world (the East Coast equivalent of, say, standing with one foot on either side of the prime meridian), for me, it is just another neighborhood in this city that I love so dearly.
Sometimes I stop. Sometimes, as I ride my bike through that mess, I stop just north of 42nd Street and I look uptown at all of the people, at all of the lights. The tourists come through Times Square because they need to be there, because they want to know that they’ve been to New York and they’ve seen Times Square. They come because to them, this is New York City. I love that they’re happy, and I love that at any time I can turn right around, leave it all behind, and head back into the real New York.
My New York.
Filed under: Personal