The Hulk @ Times Square, December 7, 2013
I don’t know of many New Yorkers that will voluntarily go to Times Square these day, unless they work there and are getting paid for it. It shed it’s seedy underbelly years ago that has been replaced by an upstanding family fun environment. I personally liked the old Times Square, the seediness and the grit was what I moved to New York City for. Sure, there were parts that were, by any stretch of the imagination, just plain bad. The crime, drugs, prostitution, but that was New York back in the day. Something in between the two extremes would be great. But, once the money starts flowing and deals made, there is no holding back the Capitalist Beast.
So, now it’s like a Disney World, very clean and caters to the tourist crowd. When I go to Times Square, I can’t imagine why anyone, on vacation, would subject themselves to the abject torture, the crowds, the lack of bathrooms and the high cost of anything sold there. For me, when I am there it is way too stressful even to walk a few blocks. I can’t imagine the hassle of taking a pee.
Doing a little research and exploring the diverse neighborhoods of NYC for to me to be what a vacation is all about. Not spending your time in a tourist-themed manufactured space like Times Square. But I guess it is living off it’s reputation as “The Crossroads of the World”.
Many years ago I went to see the ball drop at Times Square. It was not like it is today with the areas cordoned off. The 42nd Street Subway was closed, but you could get off at the stop before or after and walk around. These days, with the stories of people wearing diapers so they can sit in the cold for hours to watch the ball drop…..NO THANKS! That’s what TV is for!
All of us New Yorkers wax for the old days, when apartments were affordable and you could move around. Clubs like CBGB’s, The Mud Club, and Danceteria are all gone. That was the scene I moved to, now it’s been replaced by a sanitized version of diversion. We now face the new reality (or realty) of NYC. Thats progress!
Still, I will sometimes brave the crowds, hassles and lack of bathrooms and venture into Times Square. Images like the one I’ve posted today are fun to take. I can get lost in photographing; the rest of the world becomes irrelevant.