Unable to walk because I was wearing shoes that are a bit too tight but too damn cool to discard, I boarded the R train at 42nd Street heading for 57th. I sat next to two girls who looked like living Barbie dolls. Early- to mid-20s. Blonde hair that I strongly suspect might not be natural. All of their clothing was candy-colored right down to their socks. Two cute little buttons. I wanted to buy them a sundae. Their thoughts must have been of chiffon and white clouds and holding hands with harmless, pretty, all-American university boys.
One was leaning close to the other and reading something off her her iPad. She read in a conspiratorial whisper, so as not to disturb anyone sitting around them. How thoughtful! The new issue of Vogue? An advice column on how to apply make-up? I looked over.
I cannot report what she was reading because it was in CHINESE. That young, cute cheerleader is FLUENT in CHINESE. She was interpreting what it said to her friend.
Am I EVER going to STOP judging people by the way they LOOK? How many times do I need to be taught the same lessons over and over?
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This is where I have my morning jolt, weather permitting.
Michael Bloomberg, genius mayor of New York (may he run for president someday), is leaving office. His greatest legacy, as far as I’m concerned, is closing stretches of Broadway and other Avenues and converting them into public spaces. They’re great for hanging out and watching the big parade of humanity march by. Here’s the view from my morning coffee. This used to be a section of Broadway that roared with traffic. Now look at it. The reason there are so few people around is that it’s 6:30 a.m. Come back at 8:00 p.m. and there isn’t room to walk.
A: The New Year’s Eve ball. A few years ago they decided to leave it out year-round. Every time I have guests and point it out, they all say the same thing: “It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be.” Boy…if I had a nickel for every time I heard that…
B: Disney. Ubiquitous. Has come to define what Times Square is vs. what it was. I’m not crazy about it, but I remember the pimps, whores and junkies. I know that image has a certain dark, poetic panache, but that’s all just selective memory. This is the lesser of two evils. Listen to Travis Bickel’s monologue as he drives his taxi through the area. It’s accurate.
C: A gaggle o’ NYPD.
D: A gaggle o’ tourists.
E: NYC wildlife.
F: A damn good cuppa. Only $1.25! Or, you can go to the Starbucks that my coffee cart guy parks in front of and pay double or triple or quadruple. And they say there aren’t any bargains in NYC. Feh.
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Billboard in the northeast corner of Times Square courtesy of French artist JR. It was more amusing before government surveillance revelations were made.