In Defense Of Times Square
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

In Defense Of Times Square

There's more to love about this crazy part of town than meets the eye.

15
In Defense Of Times Square
Terrabass

As I adjust to life as a recently-declared New Yorker, it's been my experience that one of the main requirements is a deeply-rooted hatred of Times Square (this, along with an aversion to slow walking, a working knowledge of the laughable subway system, and the assumption that you will be ripped off every time you open your wallet). Whether you have lived here your entire life or just a few years, you avoid that five-block stretch of Broadway and 7th avenue like the plague. You don't take your friends there, eat there, or shop there. It's a dead zone on the Manhattan map.

Unfortunately, it will be, without fail, the first place visiting friends and family will want to see. According to the Times Square Alliance, the official representative of Times Square, over 300,000 pedestrians pass through this tiny part of the city every day, and closer to 500,000 on busy days. So when my family decided to stroll (I cringe just using the word) through the Great White Way after seeing a production of Jersey Boys, on a Saturday night during Thanksgiving weekend, my opposition to the idea was not subtle. I believe my reasoning was that there would be too many people. My parents argued that firstly, we had nowhere to be, and secondly, I chose to live in the country's most populous city. Large crowds of people are something I should get used to. Defeated, I followed them into the fray.

The atmosphere, at first glance, was just as I had expected; hoards of slow-moving tourists crowding the sidewalks, giant video screens destroying the darkness, and competing with them, the flash of thousands of cameras (less expected was a man dressed in only a diaper and cheap rubber angry baby mask making crying noises at passersby, but it's all part of the "charm," right?). When my dad and younger brother paused to take a few selfies, I stopped and looked around, which I usually never do. If I ever had the misfortune of getting caught in this corner of the city, it was head down and earbuds in until I made it to the other side.

I'm not going to claim that time slowed down, a romantic jazz track started playing in the background, and I had some sort of epiphany. However, I will say, that like any New Yorker, I may have been too quick to judge.

What else is Times Square than a concentrated version of New York itself? It's all there; the blindly broadcasted capitalism, a swirling sea of humanity speaking a tangle of languages, the grit and the grime, the weird and the wonderful. Where else can you buy a five-pound bag of M&Ms, see an 11,000 pound crystal ball drop from the top of a building, and watch the morbid curiosity of children as beloved TV and movie characters lift off their heads to assure a tip after a photo. "Only in New York" is simply the expansion of "only in Times Square."

Yet, what I saw the most of was the people around me looking up. Up towards the blinding lights, the tops of the buildings, and the starless sky. Most of them were smiling.

I think it would be fair to assume that a significant proportion of New Yorkers would complain that those people weren't experiencing the real New York; that the absurdity of that little slice of Midtown isn't worth anyone's time to see.

Times Square has been called the "Center of the Universe." I don't know about that, but the center, or perhaps better put, the "Heart" of New York? Absolutely.

If you can't find some love for the heart of this city, as congested and riddled with absurdity as it may be, then why love it at all?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

268570

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
SAMARA

Before launching cult-favorite lifestyle brand SAMARA, Founder and CEO Salima Visram founded The Soular Backpack — an initiative that provides solar-charged backpacks to children from her home of East Africa. The backpack charges a light so that children can do their homework without the damaging and detrimental effects of kerosene.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

435586

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Odyssey's 2020 Presidential Election Guide For The Undecided Voter

Donald Trump or Joe Biden? The country will decide on November 3 — but if you haven't decided yet, keep reading.

9730

With just days left until Election Day 2020, millions of Americans have already voted in a historic early voting turnout. But if you're waiting until Election Day to cast your vote and haven't decided who will get your vote, this is the guide for you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

How To Write About The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

153659

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dark Castle Entertainment

Zodiac signs make it VERY easy to predict a personality trait that each person would have in certain situations. Now that it's Halloween time, let's take a look at what each zodiac sign would be in a horror movie, shall we?

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

253851

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

My Nana Was Just Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer, And I Have No Idea How To Cope With It

One of my biggest influences — one of the few people I could talk to about anything — is sick now.

2993

How do you go from having a nice family Halloween party to the next week being destroyed by news from a doctor? How do you look your loved one in the eyes that previously were not filled with sickness, just to look at them now and only see their disease?

Keep Reading... Show less
HBO

Three-time Emmy winning show, "Euphoria," is a high school drama that revolves around the melodramatic life of drug addict Rue Bennet, portrayed by Zendaya Coleman.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

5 Ways To Cope With Election Day Anxiety

The 2020 presidential election is less than a week away, and if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.

1025

We all know that this year's election will be different in more ways than we can count. Insert quote about unprecedented times here 🙂.

For those of us with anxious tendencies, this election will be more stressful than most, and I think a lot of people will agree when I say that I'm dreading election day. The constant poll-checking, projections from analysts, and 24/7 news coverage will be enough to have any sane person ripping their hair out.

Keep Reading... Show less

Even though Domestic Violence Awareness Month is coming to an end, it is so important to remain alert and aware of exactly what domestic violence is, who can be affected by domestic violence (hint: everyone), how to get help if you need it, and even how to be the best support system possible if you know any survivors.

So, before you close out October, here's a brief run-through of what you need to know about domestic violence, whether you're going through it, survived it, or know someone who has.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Vulnerable Stories That Were Shared This World Mental Health Day

Everyone has a mental health experience. These creators bravely shared their stories with us.

8759

Everyone has a mental health story. Whether it's a story that's shared publicly or privately, it's something that has the ability to make a big impact in someone's life. For many, these mental health stories are ongoing, ever-changing in how they play a part in an individual's life.

Odyssey believes in the community that can be formed when these stories are shared. As October 10 was World Mental Health Day, many of our creators took the opportunity to speak out about their personal struggles with mental illnesses.

Keep Reading... Show less
Fox Atomic

Halloween is days away and that means that November is basically here, aka the holiday season. I love Halloween movies, preferably the ones that are more cute or funny than innately scary.

If October has been a crazy busy month for you, you may have forgotten to watch some of your favorite Halloween movies, but you still have time! This week I know I have been bingeing my favorites, and you need to add some of these to your list if you need to get in the last minute Halloween spooky spirit.

Keep Reading... Show less
ABC

Don't get me wrong, we definitely saw some red flags from Clare in episodes one and two of this season of "The Bachelorette," but after (spoiler alert) Yosef got sent home last night, she's quickly become the villain of her own season, waving some pretty bright red flags we can no longer ignore.

To get more specific, last night Chris Harrison told the guys they'd all be getting dates after Clare canceled the cocktail party following the fight with Yosef (please let this be the last time I have to think about this a**hole). Unfortunately for the men, Clare also ended up completely ditching the first group date she promised them. Yes, that's right, she stood up the men who were supposed to have a fun day with her and showed up hours later without an apology (or a reason).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments