Thursday, June 4, 2009

The city... Well the city is just the city

Have you been to Times Square lately? If you're smart/normal your answer should be no. But if you unfortunately work near Times Square like I do, then you have seen the mayhem that is going on over there. The city of New York has apparently decided to CLOSE the section of Broadway that runs through Times Square, and placed hundreds of beach chairs in the closed street. Not nice shaze lounges or nice beach chairs, straight up Duane-Reade-purchased, shitty beach chairs.

Lets discuss why this is the stupidest decision ever:

Times Square is arguably the most hideous place in the city, if not the world. The tourists walk like morons and if you're trying to speed through from your day job to your night job, which are located on opposite ends of Times Square from each other, you're screwed. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in New York who has that specific problem, but whatevs. Most actual New Yorkers will avoid Times Square at all costs. In fact, during the winter I used to walk one avenue out of my way just to avoid the cluster fuck that is Times Square.

Times Square is one of the most congested areas of the city, so yeah, you should totally close one of the two streets that go through it. That makes so much sense.

Tip to out of towners: If your cab driver is takes you through Times Square, you're getting scammed.

Since I don't follow major/minor/any news, I didn't know about this until it happened last week. But apparently it's been in the works for a while. As I read through a NY Times article from February I see what the whole plan is. And there is another plan to close Broadway all the way up to Columbus Circle. That's kind of crazy/ambitious if I do say so myself. I mean if they made it into a cool promenade, that would be one thing, and if there were copious amount of retail stores lining these streets, that would be another, but neither of those options are what is going on.

Because of my work locations, I have done the Columbus Circle through Times Square walk via Broadway many a time, and it is slim pickins. The fact that there isn't an H&M or a Forever 21 in the greater Columbus Circle area is a travesty to humanity. But furthermore, there isn't one good/normal place to stop and shop on that walk. And the Time Warner Center is a horrible place to shop. Armani Exchange? Barf. God, this is making me want to rant on how much I hate the West Side, but I'll refrain.

The idea is, if Broadway is closed the traffic will get better in Times Square because it will be streamlined. I don't know, it's risky move. Although when I took the bus down Broadway the past couple of days the traffic actually wasn't too bad around 5:30. And I always have had this hatred for Broadway because the city is a grid and Broadway being on a diagonal TOTALLY throws things off. Is it east? Is it west? I have no fucking clue. It's all over the place. Maybe that Bloomberg has some tricks up his sleeve after all.

Having a full street as a pedestrian walkway is supposed to alleviate congestion on the sidewalks. Well, this makes sense in theory, but since the entire pedestrian walk-way is strewn with shitty beach chairs filled with over-weight tourists watching jumbo trons like they're in a living room watching TV, I'd say it's pretty much a backwards step. This area is the last place in the world that needs MORE reasons to loiter.

All in all, I love a good pedestrian promenade. But Times Square is the stupidest place to put one, if only because, who the hell wants to be in Times Square? It's right in the middle of the city so it's not like there are breezes coming off the water in the summer, you're landlocked by sky scrapers, and it's going to be hot as shit. AND it is going to make the entire area even more touristy than it already is. I guess that will be good for business? But I think it alienates the real New Yorkers from that area even more than before. OR maybe it's a plan to round up all the tourists to one area so we don't have to deal with them. Hmmm... I am now toying with the idea of finding a beach chair to watch the Tony Award simulcast on the jumbo trons this Sunday. What? Neil Patrick Harris is hosting, come on, how can I resist?

But I still have to visit Stone Street for an in depth study of NYC pedestrian promenades. And so my mission to visit Stone Street and hit on hot men in suits continues. And by hit on I mean stare at awkwardly from a distance, obviiiiii.


Jessica said...

When are we going to Stone Street? It's really cute, although I am convinced that the same person owns all the bars/restaurants...

Brady said...

i want to go to there.

beryl said...

Braids - the city actually purchased those lawn chairs from a local hardware store for $124. a piece. They are sooo popular that they are falling apart already.

The Mayor wants to wait and see what the traffic situation is like before spending the big bucks on durable chairs and planters. He will also repave if it remains a permanent pedestrian walkway.

See what one can learn from reading a newspaper?

Did you watch the Tonys from there? That actually sounded very cool.

Brady said...

there is NO WAY those were $124 a piece. that is ludicrous. but i was in times square yesterday before my night job and they have totally reformatted the traffic and it actually is a lot smoother. there was little to no traffic at 5pm.

abby said...

Today in the NY Times: "Tourists and New Yorkers take a Rubber Seat in Times Square."

“I’ve had people say to me both that it’s a stroke of genius and that I’m the king of trailer trash,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. HAHA

I am down for Stone St whenever this rain ends, it's right by my office and lots of fun.

beryl said...

there was another article in Times. And you are right Brady - the chairs cost $10.74 a piece. Once I sat in them I knew I had to be wrong about them costing over $100. The head of transportation said the tacky beach chairs are a perfect kick off to summer and I agree.

Abby - i am so impressed that you read the newspaper!