I have a perhaps unnatural and strange soft spot for Times Square. I can (and do) groan about it with the best of New Yorkers, but I’ve had one or two magical moments there and so while I avoid it at all costs at peak tourist times, I can’t say that I totally hate it.
Most of my positive associations come from late night strolls after catching a show nearby, but one has to do with a particular night after a choir rehearsal a few years ago. Our concert was going to be held at a church right near Times Square, and so I passed through on my way to the subway after dress rehearsal. It was about ten o’clock at night, and pouring rain, and cold. The few people stupid enough to be in Times Square at ten on a Wednesday night (yes, some of the stores are still open then—who knew?) were huddled in doorways or under awnings.
I was freezing, but I had an umbrella, and it was eerily beautiful to look up at the brightly lit billboards through the rain, above the empty streets. I’ve been to Times Square in a snowstorm more recently and had a similar experience. When it’s quieter and not filled with people dressed in costumes trying to get you to pay to take a picture with them, the screens and colors and chaos of Times Square’s advertisements can be lovely, in a yes-I’m-in-New-York kind of way.
And I have to say, the view from the Times Square Olive Garden is totally worth the price of soup and breadsticks—especially since you get breadsticks. So there’s another good thing about Times Square.
Am I totally crazy, or do other people not completely hate Times Square?