Saturday, June 13, 2009

Times Square: Take a Seat!

Times Square is now a pedestrian zone.

At the end of May, several blocks around Times Square and Herald Square became car-free. In their places are tables, chairs, and plenty of tourists.

Folding chairs in place of cars

I rarely drive in New York and never in Manhattan, so not being able to motor through the middle of the borough certainly doesn't bother me.

Even so, the lack of vehicles definitely takes away from the frantic feel that was part of the charm of Times Square when I was a tourist and not a resident. But as a resident, I think the pedestrian zone is a great idea-- the sidewalks (and streets) are crowded, but not packed. That means no more dawdling behind visitors who haven't yet learned that yes, you can cross the street even when the sign says not to.

That being said, I couldn't help but feel a bit of a thrill last weekend, walking right down the middle of Broadway. If the number of camera flashes were any indication, others obviously felt the same way.

And I have to admit that it was nice -- even relaxing -- to find a couple of empty chairs in the middle of the hubbub and take in the city right at its heart.

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