Sitting on a lawn chair in the middle of Broadway in the middle of Times Square, I felt like I was pulling some kind of a prank, like those guys that carried a couch around town and hung out on the sidewalk in various locations. But no, this was the real deal, five blocks of Broadway are blocked to traffic and filled with lawn chairs, perfect for catching some sun, reading a book, or just people-watching. I closed my eyes for a moment and tried to distinguish the different sounds I heard: snippets of conversation, the bell from a nut vendor, a hawker trying to get people to see a comedy show. I opened them to see a young couple kissing. So sweet!
It's unlikely that Times Square will become my new favorite neighborhood, but I like it a lot more now that I don't have to navigate the packed sidewalks to a nonstop chorus of car horns. Who knows, maybe the trend will catch on and pedestrian-only zones will start cropping up around the country. As in New York, drivers will hate it at first, but they'll adjust and pretty soon we'll all appreciate a renaissance in public squares.
[Photo: Victor Ozols]
· Pedestrians are a Big Part of Broadway's New Outdoor Show [USA Today]
· Pedestrians Only on Broadway, Please! [Jaunted]