Wednesday, June 2, 2010

times square

i have no intention of growing up any day soon.  in fact, i stopped counting my age in numbers at 23.  then i started turning 23a, 23b, etc.  let's be honest, age is like height - approximate is good enough.  no one wants to hear that you are such and such and 3/4.inches tall.  you round to the nearest inch.  and so, i approximate my age.  maybe i'll turn 24 after 23l or so.  we'll see.

no matter how euphemistically i construct my age, even 23 could be considered a bit too old for playing in a toy store (without the excuse of an accompanying child).  but J and i had friends visiting over the weekend, one of whom had never been to times square and wanted to go.  and so, saturday was spent touristing.  shamelessly.  this included four twenty-somethings riding the ferris wheel in toys 'r us.  yes, it was absolutely a rip-off ($4 each to spin around in a circle 3-4 times? seriously?).  but we did it anyway.  and now, somewhere, there exist pictures of us in a pink barbie convertible ferris wheel gondola.  we made up for the rip off, ever so slightly, by attempting to snap a couple pictures of their precious giant moving dinosaur from our view in the convertible (yes folks, they want you to pay for a picture of the dinosaur ... and also for a picture with (who i imagine to be) an angsty teenager dressed in an extraordinarily plastic iron man suit).  but toys are fun.

times square is utter chaos.  emerging from the subway station is like trying to squirm out of a giant pit of plastic balls before the next person barrels down the slide and knocks you over.  times square actually feels like a different nyc.  i live in one nyc - the bleecker st. nyc with its hip little bars and restaurants.  the sun-bather, street-musician, chess-player, fountain-splasher washington square park nyc.  the nyc that lacks bedrock and, thus, lacks buildings possessing any hope of ever scraping the sky.  times square is in fantasyland nyc - the nyc that is a fiction created for movies, television shows, and new year's eve.  the nyc that also serves as a dumping ground for the excess green waste that fills tourist wallets. but taking periodic day trips away from reality is never a bad idea.  note to self: schedule some field trips to see some shows.

although i do generally enjoy the ability to stay on the sidewalk when traveling to a destination (rather than, say, walking in the road to get around a horde of dora the explorer enthusiasts waving their cardboard signs and ogling the costumed dora), i did appreciate the tourists in times square.  you see, at one time in my life, i am pretty sure i believed that a women's size 2 was a dainty little size.  however, i stand corrected by the city.  it seems a size 2 is merely average here.  dainty does not begin until there are at least two zeros on the tag.  i think there must be some process whereby you don't get your nyc citizenship until they measure your bone size and determine if you are (or have the potential of becoming) an acceptable match for your neighborhood.  but the times square tourists are, of course, exempt from any citizenship requirements.  and so, ironically, though they pack the sidewalks, stores, and restaurants of fictional nyc, they can be a welcome reality check.

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