There are many reasons to love New York City. Times Square is not one of them. Or at least for those of us that live here, it is not one of them. Leave it to the tourists – they can have it. The City is too crowded anyway – it’s good to have an area for out-of-towners to congregate and mill about. Aimlessly. Looking up. Bumping into people. Standing at the top of the subway stairs. Stopped. Taking pictures of police cars. Going to Red Lobster. Or Olive Garden.
I don’t care if I sound like a snob. Times Square is a nightmare for those of us that live here. Ask any resident when was the last time they were in Times Square. They will likely say "thank god, a long time ago."
I know whereof I speak. I WORK in Times Square. It’s the end of my morning commute. It’s like walking to work after the Justin Britney re-united tour has just let out into the streets. Brutal.
Well, yesterday I had to eat my words, just a little bit. Yesterday I liked Times Square. I got out of the subway and saw a crowd of people looking up. Nothing unusual about that – but they were all staring at a man running. There was a man running on a treadmill on the balcony of the Reuters building. He was promoting a new product and doing a 24 hour run to prove it’s effectiveness. That was cool. He stopped running at one point. The crowd grew concerned. He started again. The crowd was pleased.
And then I heard a loud "Ohhmmmm" from somewhere. Had the Dali Lama landed in Times Square? Or perhaps Madonna had descended on 42nd street and was giving a yoga concert. Not quite, but close. Yesterday in the middle of Times Square there were yoga classes all day open to the public! The chants were coming over a loud speaker, and there were nearly 200 people from the looks of it downward facing dogging at 42nd and Broadway.
Cool. In one of the loudest, noisiest, most crowded areas of town, people were finding peace in every step.