Friday, August 21, 2009

Times Square re-do: From bad to worse?

From the NY Post:

It took 25 years to save Times Square from its dark age, and it took City Hall just three months to turn it into a squatters' camp.

Despite all of yesterday's ribbon-cutting hoopla, complete with a confetti-firing cannon, the Crossroads of the World looks almost exactly like what it's been all summer -- a five-block-long sea of dazed, low-rent tourists glued like chewing-gum wads to the cheapest seats in town.

Yesterday's ceremony introduced some pathetic "improvements" installed over the past few days. Horrible orange barrels have been replaced by iron barricades nearly as awful. Planters resembling truck-bomb stoppers now share pedestrian "plazas" with flimsy-looking red tables, chairs and umbrellas.

The disconnected, awkward plazas that chopped up Times Square and gutted its energy are unworthy of a prison yard.

Their cheaply graveled and paved surfaces, painted with dopey colored circles that seem the work of preschoolers, are an affront to Times Square's historic central role in the life of the city, and to the power and glory of its landmarks.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan closed Broadway to vehicular traffic in the name of easing congestion. But in the process, she managed to turn the myth that Times Square is strictly for tourists into a fact.

From Crain's:

A coalition of outdoor sign companies that recently formed to have a greater say in the city’s development plans for Times Square may have scored its first victory.

The city’s plan to furnish Times Square with tables and chairs had called for many more sun umbrellas than were installed Monday when the city replaced temporary plastic furniture with a stronger metal variety.

There are just 19 umbrellas to the 650 chairs and 250 tables that were moved on Monday into pedestrian plazas on Broadway.

A new organization representing the outdoor sign industry in the neighborhood, the Times Square Advertising Coalition, is concerned that the umbrellas could impede peoples’ views of the 150 flashing signs in the area.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the Police shelters at the entrances to City Hall? The bricks have been painted brite red with brite white around them. I feel so sorry for the officers, I bet they feel like they should be dressed like elves. I know when I went in I felt like I was entering Kiddie Land, Walt Disney. Obviously Bloomberg has no taste to have ordered or allowed this.

Anonymous said...

The city has no money and the mayor thinks buying furniture for tourists to sit on is a priority.

Jeff said...

It's all pretty tacky, for sure, and not well thought out, but I don't really care, because it's Times Square. It's been just-for-tourists for years.

Anonymous said...

Not they way it is now - low rent tourists hits the nail on the head.

Rednecks have taken it over and seeing those tubsos tottering on that tacky furniture ain't pretty.

That man Bloomberg is ruining this city.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Those chairs cannot support very many tourists, I don't think. Not many NYers these days either!

Anyway, why put out furniture for tourists to sit on? When the are sitting in the middle of the street they are not spending money!

Anonymous said...

I think it's nice that Bloomberg is furnishing Times Square for the homeless. Now they have new furniture to sit and sleep on.

Anonymous said...

The only way I will ever support this is if it empties the Queens subway stations of all the homeless.

cmdrkynes said...

c'mon guys who really cares about Times Square? I've lived in this city my whole life, 30 years in a few months, and I can count the amount of times I've been in Times Square on one hand.

Back in the day I wasn't interested in prostitutes and now I'm not interested in going to over priced Red Lobster. Let the tourists have it at least they seem to still have jobs for now and are spending money. Maybe if we can corral all the tubby Midwestern land whales in one place I won't have them bothering me on my way to work.

Anonymous said...

These are the same tables and chairs they have in Jardins de Luxembourg in Paris except they are green in France. So there.