Times Square, New York City


Times Square is a place I’d never visited until this most recent trip to New York City.

Of course I’d seen it on TV and in pictures, many, many times, but actually being there amid the sensory overload of bright billboards is different.

In some ways, it’s like nothing at home. Packed with people at every hour of Saturday night and full of distinct buskers and performers, almost like a free version of Disney World. Indeed two of them dressed up like Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Although admittedly there was also a Donald Trump costume guy too and the aforementioned bikini gymnast, both of which Disney World would probably not have.

The New York Times and ABC News buildings, are giants compared to any of our newspaper or TV station buildings in Tennessee.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, no one sells Kit Kat bars the size of cafeteria trays — still labeled “Snack Size’ — like they do at Hershey’s Chocolate World. And our benches are, as a rule, not set into weird wrecked-ship-like sculptures.

It’s side streets have theaters showing the most high-profile plays and some of its billboards advertise other theater productions, including Spongebob Squarepants, which is almost unheard of in Knoxville. Theater productions high-profile enough to have billboard ads that is, not Spongebob Squarepants.

And yet at the same time, if you’re a Tennesseean who wants to really feel like you’re in another world, Times Square is probably the wrong place. The famous New Year’s Day ball drops on top of a building with a Walgreens on the bottom floor for instance. Similarly other stores here like Forever 21 and the Disney Store exist in Knoxville’s West Town Mall.

Although, running around the Disney Store, a bit of an expansion from the Tennessee version, with two other 30-somethings who were making stuffed animals dance to The Lion King music was actually a highlight of the trip.

At times I wondered if I had wandered into just a version of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that didn’t close at night and where Spongebob had replaced the Bible as the main source of theater inspiration, if not also possibly religion as well. The area has both a Ripley’s Believe it or Not like Gatlinburg, and a wax museum, which would not have been out of place there.

At any rate enjoy this photo gallery of Times Square as it is in July 2018.

Disco singers
Disco singers stayin’ alive at Times Square

 

Advertisements

Jackie Gleeson’s overlooked statue


I collect the random, the obscure, the less well known sometimes. And just because I didn’t have much time in the last post, here is a statue to television history, we just happened to run into at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Overlooked by most passersby, but beloved by my girlfriend Yvonne Rogers.

Ralph Kramden
I’ve only watched The Honeymooners recently in reruns on our local Knoxville channel MeTV that shows boomer shows, so it’s not like I had much exposure, except from its knockoff “The Flintstones.” As stated in the link above, it’s actually though one of many statues the channel TV Land put up to promote the shows it ran at the time.

The statue stands in a spot where most people are too busy to look at it. The light is too dim to really show the statue off much. Both are pointed out by the roadsideamerica.com post. But that just makes randomly finding it that much more amusing.

Staten Island Ferry


It’s one of the few things in NYC that’s entirely free. Except its refreshments.

Manhattan
Manhattan as seen from the Staten Island Ferry. Photo by me.

I rode the Staten Island Ferry with my other half Yvonne and her good friend Cameron on the Staten Island Ferry, watching as Manhattan came into view, then faded behind us. Gulls flapped by and

From inside the city, it may seem crammed together, and unclear as to where what you’re seeing fits into anything larger.

New York City
Looking up from street level. Photo by me.

From the harbor you can really see it as a whole.

Manhattan
Manhattan as seen from the Staten Island Ferry. Photo by me.

I’m not seasoned enough to know how many of the faces of different ages, costumes and races and even language speakers aboard were locals as compared to tourists, although plenty of them on the deck seemed interested in a lot of what was there.

Cameron pointed out certain details of Manhattan, Jersey City, Staten Island and various ships as we went by.

Staten Island Ferry
Cameron points out various sights. Photo by me.

Probably for tourists, though, the ferry may be notable as a free way to see the most famous landmark in the area, a certain French statue. Cameron mentioned his great grandfather passing by it. And now we see it perhaps as it was meant to be seen, passing by it. I will warn you though, cell phones aren’t the best way to photograph it in the evening.

The mother of exiles
My ancestors would have seen this, if they hadn’t instead immigrated to Boston. Photo by me.