T-SQ-2

My hometown, NYC, still turns my head and makes me nod and smile. All of you know of the famed Times Square, you have some image of it in your mind whether you have seen its lights or walked the tar or not. Always teetering on the edge of tacky, vile, glitzy and inspiring

This summer, Times Square began to shut down on the weekends to make it the domain of pedestrians. The skyscrapers submitted to the follies of the weekend and its multi-borough citizens… the Square became a asphalt beach of sorts. Making it a place where people can go to hang out and not just to pass through, it has a chance to pass on from just a tourist phenomena and transform into a more robust civic space.

Believe it or not when the $1.5 million pedestrian plaza project opened there was quite a bit of head scratching about how to become visitor friendly pronto. So a frenzied administrator scoured the resources at hand and embellished the Square with a fleet of folding web lawn chairs from the Ace Hardware catalog. “I’ve had people say to me both that it’s a stroke of genius and that I’m the king of trailer trash,” says Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. In crisscross seat patterns of pink, blue and green, average price of $15 per chair the asphalt jungle becomes festooned with color and urban zeal every weekend. If you squint at the vinyl lounge weave may itself look like Manhattan’s aerial city grid or the Boogie Woogie of Mondrian’s paintings. It’s all there.

I have a commemorative t-shirt which replaces the heart in “I _ New York” with a lounge chair. I’m keeping this one. It’s going to make the rounds to picnic parties in Seattle.
shirtyt

Alas lawn chairs are a temporary solution and will be replaced next year with chairs of a more permanent nature. But this was a fabulous quik-fix for hordes of tired tourist and city folk. The quaint solution was around the corner at the local hardware store. Admit it New Yorkers they’re like the contraptions that our grandmothers used to bring to the beach on the Jersey shore.

All of this hoopla makes me almost manic to have one. I think I’m going to Ace Hardware tomorrow. Should I get a cup holder too?

Shame on you New York. All of this after I moved away. Imagine a picnic on Broadway… how fabulous. Next summer I’ve got to get there. I’m going to start planning the menu now. Suggestions? Has anyone ever considered a picnic menu to be eaten in the epicenter of Times Square?

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