Being in New York and not go to The Time Square is a big mistake. The name comes from 1904, when the publisher of The New York Times built his headquarters and he renamed center square of New York to Time Square. Today it is the most emblematic and most popular visiting place in Big Apple, how people named The New York City. Everyone who visited The Time Square had their own opinion about this place, even me. Especially after last “few modification and changes” last summer.
On the beginning we need to know that one of the few curves streets of Manhattan is named Broadway Street. This street follows you to the crosses of the Times Square known as the theater district. Multinational corporations are currently involved in urban projects, and one example of this type of activity is suggested by the Disney Corporation restoration project New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd Street. This initiative led to modifications of the spatial neighboring area, which became part of Times Square. For Disney’s Production was very important the presence of another corporate headquarters named Sony, because it attracted more institutions such as Madame Tussau, the American Multi-Cinemas, and MTV. In this way, around 42nd Street was a set of institutions, which – as she writes Maria Gravari-Barbas – became the „Mecca of mass entertainment and major tourist attraction in New York”.
With this history background New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg start to realize his new plan to close Broadway between 42nd Street and 47th Street movement. This section is closed because he would like to promote promenade with cafes, sitting areas, planters, and sections for cyclist and foot traffic. The plan was developed to reduce congestion on the city center, Times Square, redirecting traffic and open the theatre district to the people. Changes came smoothly and permanently on May 2009. Opinions about changes apparently are positive so far, but a sometimes person says about less access to taxi and other vehicles. Many of friends are unhappy to go to their job by car in different way.
On Monday, during our class I spend over 2 hours looking at the new changes at The Times Square. I tried to compare this place with my lovely town Krakow, where I studied philosophy.
Krakow as the polish people says is a “Mecca of cultural possession of my country, where you can find many restaurants, pubs and theatres and the biggest European square named Main Market Square. Krakow is unofficial cultural capitol of Poland”. Last year over 7 million visitors visited Krakow. From the beginning of Krakow (XII century) the Main Market Square was a place for the people. Not any cars could drive this place, because this interrupts people. On the street is no any bicycle because too many people. On the building no any advertising because it’s covered the XVI century building and destroy real picture of the town. Main Market Square should be the place for the people where they have business meetings, family good time or even relax time. This is an idea and “spirit” of this place.
Seating on The Time Square I tried to understand the Bloomberg idea to introduce changes on The Time Square. All the time my brain was engaged one think that this idea doesn’t feet to the old idea of first urban project directed by Multinational Corporation. Big Apple, The Time Square, NYC will always matches me as tourist attraction connected with big money, advertising, and mass media entertainment. This is a symbol of this place and to change this to the place where you can find place to take some rest, reduce congestion, traffic and enter the “oasis of silence” is impossible.
Sitting on The Time Square I was looking at people who took a pictures, looked at advertising, eating hamburgers or any fast foods. I realized that Bloomberg’s idea to create some “silent place in the center of New York City” is a bad copied idea which will never fit to this place. New York Time Square place is and always should be a place as a symbol of new “media and technology revolution” where is not time to seat, meaning of fast life, changes, car traffic, pedestrians and international tourist, lights, advertising, color billboards, theatres. This “busy place and fast life” should stay with this area as symbol of modern World and changes in America. New York City is a symbol of modernity and self realization in America. If we will try to add something to this symbol, as a silence, rest, and relax, we can change permanently decry of all meaning of this place. It can change all special symbolic “spirit charm” in The Time Square. This is why I believe that we shouldn’t mix old ideas with the new one. Bloomberg idea is good to create more space for the people, but in the same time he has been removed the symbol of The Time Square which is visited by many international tourist. They come to see this special place named “Crossroads of the World”. I can’t imagine the crossroads without the cars!