Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lounging On the Crossroads of the World

Times Square, located in Manhattan, New York, has also been nicknamed "The Crossroads of the World" because of all the people who visit this area of the city. It is usually a hustling and bustling parade of people on the sidewalks and traffic in the streets. So why were so many people sitting in folding chairs and lounging in chaise chairs in Times Square this weekend?

It is due to a NYC pilot program, called Green Light for Midtown, which is meant to simplify traffic and improve travel times through one of Manhattan's most congested areas. In Times Square the stretch of Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets has been closed to cars since May 24, 2009. The city believes the move will reduce pollution, cut down on pedestrian accidents and actually increase the flow of traffic. The city provides an assortment of lounge chairs to sit in, all you have to do is find an empty one!
An interesting article about the pros and cons of this plan can be read in this New York Times newspaper article.

A row of orange barriers frames the new pedestrian plaza’s northern edge, where police officers patiently redirect traffic heading down Broadway.

On 7th Ave North /South vehicular traffic through Times Square was not impacted, and there is still the constant flow of cars, buses, cabs and pedi cabs on that street. Also, all cross-town streets remain open.

As night descends in Time Square and the bright lights of Broadway illuminate the area there are still large crowds enjoying the ambiance of sitting in the middle of one of the busiest places on earth. 356,000 people walk through Times Square each day on overflowing sidewalks, and the new malls allow more room for people to gather and enjoy the city.


New York is truly the city that never sleeps!


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said the plazas are a work in progress — he will decide in December whether to transform them into something more permanent.

You can watch a short YouTube video here about the new pedestrian malls and see it in action.

Now wouldn't you love a chance to lounge in Times Square this summer? I know I will!

For the first time I am linking this post to Susan of "A Southern Daydreamer" blog's Outdoor Wednesday group! Thank you Susan for hosting this wonderful event. Please visit Susan's blog today to view more links to other blogs participating in Outdoor Wednesday.

42 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, this is just fascinating! I will be intersted to see how all of this plays out, but look at what fun people appear to be having lounging in Time Square! It's such an exciting place. I remember seeing it for the first time, and thinking THIS is Time Square! I love this concept, and I can't wait for you to lounge and report about it! :-)

Glad you joined us for OW! Hope yours is happy...

XO,

Sheila :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Make that TIMES Square! LOL! Egg on my face...

xinex said...

Wow! So many people! I hope the event was a big success!...Christine

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

wow. I have heard David Letterman cracking jokes about this, but had really no mental picture of the change till now. It looks like fun!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Pat, this is very fascinating. I have never been to New York, and you have captured so many wonderful sites for a person to see. I feel like I walked the streets also. I have signed up to follow your blog. Please stop by and say hi. I would love to have you follow my blog as well. Thanks so much for sharing.
Country Hugs, Sherry

Kathy said...

WOW Pat, these shots are amazing, what fun, Times square is such an exiting place and to be able to sit and enjoy everything would be just perfect. I must tell Stephen he will be right back there I'm sure.
A perfect Outdoor Wednesday post!. hugs, Kathy.

Willow said...

Very interesting and informative post on Times Square. Is it also true that 'all roads lead to Times Square'?

M.Kate said...

Wow...Pat, this is the famous street I always read about and that's a LOT of people there, just fascinating :P

Tracy said...

I had read about this Green Light act a little while ago... I think it's a great idea, and hope it does relieve some problems as they think it will. It sure looks fun to be just sitting there like that at Times Square...Did you take your lawn chair too, Pat? ;o) You'll have to give us another report on this later. Happy Day, my friend ((HUGS))

Melanie said...

Morning Pat, I didn't know about that pedestrianisation. What a great idea! There should be places built into every road I think, that can become the focus of community events. People don't just live in the suburbs so making areas like this people friendly- maybe even holding a regular cultural events there, should be encouraged.

Lovely one thanks for sharing.

Marilyn said...

I always thought that NYC was one of the most fascinating places to be.
You're a lucky lady to be there & have access to the evolution of the world!!
Have a great day!!
Love,
Marilyn
xxoo

Lorrie said...

Pat I definitely want the chance to lounge in Times Square! Last time I was there in August 2008, it was still open to traffic. Have fun when you do it!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - It still seems weird whenever I see those folks sitting on lounge chairs there in Times Square - I'd high tail it to Bryant Park instead where there's some greenery around.

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

What a neat oddity to see all those people sitting in the middle of Time Square.
I love pedestrian malls in other cities I've lived in, however I can see how it would pose new problems for many people in such a high traffic area. Still...I think it will be very cool if they decide to keep it.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Only in New York. I lived and worked in Manhattan for ten years. One of the places that celebrate creative expression. This is a wonderful idea, and your photographs are wonderful. Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

Karen

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Pat, I've been there and was totally amazed. Your pictures are wonderful!

Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

Barb

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, This reminds me of when I lived in Rego Park. Although people did not congregate in the street, on a warm summer day or evening they would take their folding chairs to the front of the apartment building and chat. I was much younger then, but appreciated how social everyone was. That is the thing about New York...people seem to be able to make it a social event no matter where they are. Personally, I think that this was an excellent idea. Great post....thank you.
♥, Susan

Beverly said...

What a great idea. I hope it is a huge success. It seems like a plan that would have to work.

Thanks for the links. I enjoyed learning about this.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

A wonderful idea indeed! I'd love to be able to lounge around in Time Square sometime...but for now I'll just visit via Pat. Thanks for an excellent 'outsoor wednesday' post.

Mary said...

This was a fascinating post. Thanks for sharing you photos with us.

dana said...

What fun! What a great idea. I recall walking in that area a few years ago---so busy, but so awesome. I would love to "lounge" there for a bit.

Thanks for your kind comment just now regarding my gr.son. I JUST posted an update. He came home yesterday evening. The test results are OK--he still has a little area they will watch, but the other issues that caused the initial hospitalization are OK for now. Whew, what a first week of life that little guy has experienced.

Also, I enjoyed your post on seeing Billy Elliot. I would love to see that some day and you are so right about the theaters in NYC...I was shocked at how small they were--all of the seats were pretty good (at least the ones we were in)just as you said.

Dana

Janie's World said...

I hope they keep it pedestrian. I can't wait to see how they would build the plazas to make them friendly for people to sit and meet other people. I envision fountains, art, benches, tables in a modern sense.

Regina said...

Wow. Made me remember the city.
Thanks for sharing.

Happy summer.
Regina

Vee said...

It does look interesting...the ultimate people watching spot. What do you think about this new move?

Cori G. said...

Oh that looks like so much fun!!
xoxo Cori

steviewren said...

Do people bring their lounge chairs downtown so they can sit out there or does the city provide them? It looks like there is always a party going on.

Elisa Day said...

Your posts are so intresting. Thank you for sharing. I would love to be on Manhattan some day

Marina Capano said...

Pat Hi! this is just beautiful!!!

xoxo

Marina

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I wouldn't mind hanging out in Times Square this Summer! Looks like fun.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and welcome to "Outdoor Wednesday"!

The city supplies an assortment of chairs...all you have to do is find an empty one!

I like the idea of the pedestrian malls. It allows tourists and New Yorkers to gather and enjoy the sights and sounds of Times Square without causing congestion on the sidewalks.

Carrie said...

It is very interesting to see this busy thoroughfare converted into a town common where people can relax and visit with each other!

Queenmothermamaw said...

Our largest city In Ky. Louisville has a spot like that. It is 4th Street Live. All the restaurants and shops open onto the mall and there is entertainment there every night.
That was a great OW. Sure enjoy your blog. Blessings
QMM

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!

Oh I LOVE the photos! It's so exciting to have seen the area in person that you're talking about! I relive our trip everyday. NYC was the icing on the cake!! I really enjoyed this post!

Hugs to you & Vinny! Sherry

Gracie said...

It looks strange to see all those people sitting in the middle of the street, but it's also the beauty of it!
I'll leave on saturday for a two weeks vacation, I will miss your blog on the Big Apple so much!

Donna at Mourning Dove Cottage said...

Wow, how interesting! That would be fun ~ I'd love to lounge in Times Square.

Hugs,
Donna

RobinfromCA said...

Wow, I hadn't even heard about this and I think it is fantastic! As one who has taken my life into my own hands trying to navigate across streets in Times Square on many visits to NYC I wish I was going this summer to experience this! Thanks for sharing!!

Happy Outdoor Wednesday!
Robin@Miscellaneous Thoughts

Melissa Miller said...

Look at all the people!

What beautiful photos you take Pat! You are quite a talented photographer.

Have a blessed evening my friend.
~Melissa :)

Claudia said...

Now I have yet another reason to visit NYC - I need to see this new Times Square without cars! Oh my! How grand - and only in NYC will people immeidtaely fill it up. Yay for pedestrians!

Joanne Kennedy said...

How fun! I had heard the streets were closed there but had no idea they were letting people sit around and hang out.

Seeing as how my Hotel is on Time Square I will FOR SURE be sitting out there. I think it will a good way to chat to some New Yorkers and get to know people.

I can start a conversation with anyone who I'm sitting next to.

I had wondered what I would do in the evenings after the plays I'm going to. Now I know where I'll be!

Not sure if I'll be out there in the days. To hot and to much to do but I'm not one to venture out in the evenings alone. So this is perfect!

Thanks for this post.

Hugs,
Joanne

Joanne Kennedy said...

How fun! I had heard the streets were closed there but had no idea they were letting people sit around and hang out.

Seeing as how my Hotel is on Time Square I will FOR SURE be sitting out there. I think it will a good way to chat to some New Yorkers and get to know people.

I can start a conversation with anyone who I'm sitting next to.

I had wondered what I would do in the evenings after the plays I'm going to. Now I know where I'll be!

Not sure if I'll be out there in the days. To hot and to much to do but I'm not one to venture out in the evenings alone. So this is perfect!

Thanks for this post.

Hugs,
Joanne

Amisha said...

I really like NYC! And this seems like a fun idea. Lounging at Times Square...hmmm...
Nice pictures!
I'll have to visit more often.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Pat, These are such great shots! I would love to plop my chair down in Time Square!