When meeting the costumed characters at Disney World, tourists often get hugged. When meeting the costumed characters in Times Square, tourists often get harassed.
If you’ve traipsed the flashy, crowded sidewalks of Times Square in the past year, you’ve seen them: Cookie Monsters; Elmos; SpongeBobs; Dora the Explorers—(kind of creepy looking) costumed characters who pose Read More
Food and Drink
In January of 1968, the beginning of a year when the world caught on fire, Guy Ferry was born in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. And in that moment, though America would not realize it for years to come, she had welcomed into her heartland perhaps her greatest homegrown besmircher, the seed of her undoing. Read More
“Normal guy” Brett Cohen punked a bunch of Times Square tourists recently when he hired a crew of cameramen, bodyguards and assistants to follow him around 42nd Street and pretend like he was somebody special. It totally worked! People thought he was famous and tried to get his autograph or have him pose for a picture while pretending to know who he was or why they should care about him. Because, you know … sheeple.
Except, here’s the thing. Well, here’s the video, and then here’s the thing.
Leonine developer Douglas Durst might not be quite the public presence than his father Seymour once was—a regular in the letters to the editor column and on local talk shows, among other outlets for his restless mind—yet he still very much knows his way around a podium. Last week, he found himself in China, talking about New York, and he even seems to admit that the one investment his firm recently made just across the Formosa Strait might not have been its best.
“My experience is almost completely New York centric,” Mr. Durst said at the China Alliance’s US-China Investment Summit: Focus On New York Real Estate in Shenzen. “Our one experience outside of New York convinced us to stay in New York. Real Estate is always local.”
He also, naturally, talked about his kids—it’s now a fourth generation business!—and how building sustainably not only provides better buildings, and thus better income, for them, but also a better world. There was talk of 4 Times Square and 1 Bryant Park, but nothing about the widely anticipated, mildly concerning West 57th Street pyramid. The full speech is below.
On a recent night, we were leaving the office in The Observer Building (too late, as usual) when, turning onto Eighth Avenue, we noticed something unusual: the new protected bike lanes had begun to be installed.
We first noticed it a week or two earlier, as the old lanes, on the outside of the parked cars, were ground off the asphalt, but it took a bit of time for the new parking lane to be painted, then that bright green strip. The lane used to stop south of 40th Street, but now would run all the way to Columbus Circle, with a sister lane headed south on Ninth Avenue.
Already, cars had moved into position, even though many of the markings still remained to be installed. Bikers would be zipping along the route any day now. Or not. When we saw the lane in day light, an unusual thing happened.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
It’s only a matter of time before the flashing signs and statue impersonators arrive. Soho is now so overrun with tourists, food carts, Mr. Softee trucks and promoters pushing everything from hair gel to dating websites that it is virtually uninhabitable, reports the New York Post, warning, “SoHo has become NoGo.”
Residents are so angered by the impossible crowds that violence is flaring up. Last Thursday, a middle-aged New Jersey man in flip-flops bumped into two women walking the opposite way. The enraged women punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and started kicking him.
According to notable English language scholar Homer Simpson, “mega” means “good.”However, the speakers and panelists at the Center for Urban Real Estate’s conference on New York City megaprojects took a slightly more detailed approach when attempting to define the term.
“I think it’s scale,” said Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association. “I think it’s a project that’s large enough to essentially transform an entire district of the city.
“To me, what makes a project a megaproject is not to much the size of the project but the size of the impact,” said Seth Pinksy, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation partially agreeing with Yaro.
Stephen Ross, Related Companies chief, weighed in as well, saying that he thought “The most important thing is it’s transformative.”
center of the universe
The most heavily trafficked neighborhood in New York also happens to be one of the biggest economic hubs in the United States, according to a recent study. The Times Square Alliance and HR&A Analyst Inc. teamed up on a report on the economic impact of Times Square. The report, which can be downloaded from their website, showcases the dreaded tourist district as one of the largest economic powerhouses in New York and all of the United States.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
It was a big deal when JetBlue decided to move to Long Island City two years ago. The air carrier founded here would not be splitting town, and it would even be boosting a nascent business district that has never done much beyond the Citi back offices despite the one-stop subway ride to Midtown. But it turns out there might also be implications for the skyline.
No, JetBlue is not building a big new tower, it is still moving into an eight-story loft building beside the Queensborough Bridge. But there are plans for a big blue sign on the roof, a 40-footer. That is bigger than the GE sign atop Rockefeller Center, and that is kind of the point. “When complete, it will be easily seen from the east side of Manhattan across the river,” the airline writes on its corporate blog, BlueTales.
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.