Times Square

Back to reality and street life of Broadway. We are getting closer and closer to Times Square and you can feel the crowds are getting denser. Mile point here is the address of 1400 Broadway and what do you find? A really nice Art Deco entrance to an office building, but with an empty shop facade with a "For Rent" sign.  The recession is still visible - even near the world's most famous square in the largest city of USA.

Continue to 1600 Broadway instead and you do not think that any recession has hit at all. This building houses a 3-floor shop of the chocolate giant m&m. I have to admit that I actually like this shop, as you can experience commerce and creativity in one. Small round chocolate sweets can generate so many crazy amazing marketing gadgets - and people pay for it! Even I fall for their bright-colored yellow m&m mug and the red m&m T-shirt. Crazy!

What's more, the high rise towering above all the m&ms is in fact a modern chic apartment complex. A friend of mine stayed here temporarily for some weeks - nice and quiet apartments high above the buzzing, noisy, busy streets of the theater district! Remember to look up also in this huge city, as up there a different kind of life is being lived - in total contrast to the street life.

Jumping from Broadway no. 1400 to 1600, I leaped over Times Square.  Not much to say about it as I think everyone has at least once seen pictures from Times Square (not exactly my favorite square in the world). What fascinates me the most is the American Army's recruitment office right bang in the middle of the pedestrian area. Strange place (tourism anyone?) to recruit the troops. Reminds me a lot of the movie, "Hair", where the recruitment to the Vietnam war does not exactly go according to the plan....

Despite my ambivalent relation to Times Square, it cannot be said that it's a dull place. There is always something going on: light-clad cowboy girls posing for photos while playing guitar and singing; group of young people promoting a craft shop by taking your photo and having it shown on a huge billboard on Times Square; young rappers promoting their new CD (by giving it to you for free and thereafter chasing you down the road for a "donation") and a performance by hundreds of kids doing karate. In fact, one day I encountered all above activities during a 10-minutes walk through the square. Another day, a performance was being played to promote a new jazzy Broadway play and often you will also see some TV show being recorded live, so if you need free entertainment, you know where to go now - the Times Square!

Previous blog posts on my Broadway Walk: