We’re not going to lie: those costumed characters in Times Square give us the creeps. We would rather work from home than have another eerie run-in with Hello Kitty or Buzz Lightyear. (And that guy dressed as the Joker? We are literally terrified of that guy.)
To make matters worse, there has been a string of high-profile “incidents” this year relating to the furries and comic book characters roaming the streets. And now Elmo, or the man who impersonates him on the streets, has had enough.
This week a beating red heart stands 10 feet tall over Times Square, carefully nestled inside midtown’s own throbbing center of activity. This new edition to the bustling strip of theaters, restaurants and street performers is a sculpture called “BIG♥NYC.” At first glance, it might look unusual. But that may very well be because it is unusual.
New York may not be the kindest city for love, but at least it is kind to those caught up in Cupid’s embrace. Unlike other towns, it is almost impossible to forget Valentine’s Day, what with the roses in every bodega and the special pre fixe menus popping up at every restaurant around. And, for the past few years, there has been a giant designer heart in the heart of the city, Times Square.
For the past four years, the Times Square Alliance has tapped celebrated architects to create giant Valentines for Father Duffy Square (site of the giant TKTS amphitheater). Entries have included glowing hearts and icy ones. This year, the alliance tapped one of the BIGgest firms in town, Bjarke Ingels Group, to create its installation.
Soon Times Square may be known for its iconic signage, its assortment of apparel shops like Forever 21 and American Eagle Outfitters, and, erm, Google?!
The vaunted tourist trap may be the perfect location for the web giant to test out a “brick and mortar” entity, said David LaPierre, executive vice president of CB Richard Ellis,.
“Theoretically at some point I envision brands like Google or like Amazon… finding a way to manage and spread, I think, their customer base beyond just the internet,” said Mr. LaPierre during CBRE’s third-quarter Manhattan retail media breakfast Monday.
“Time Square is a classic, great place to make that be your flagship.”