Great pictures, but it is pretty hard to take bad pictures of street scenes in New York City. Frankly, I enjoy visiting Times Square, just as I have absolutely nothing against the Champs Elysées in Paris or Picadilly Circus in London. Even though these are places where not only do locals not hang out, but most of them frankly avoid them if possible, they are neverthess the condensed essence of these cities with both luxury and tackiness and big displays of the dominating commercial names of the year. (Okay, there is a total ban on big signs, on neon -- and of any sign that is not lit exclusively in white -- on the Champs Elysées, but the huge ostentatious flagships of Louis Vuitton, Renault, Nike, Adidas, Tiffany, etc. still assault or delight the eyes of visitors.) The whole point of these places is sensory overload and it is up to each person to either be mesmerized or to get the hell out of there.
As you noted, Htmb, it is amazing how old brick residential buildings are often half a block away from places like Times Square. That increases the fascination for me. Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) are the only two streets in midtown Manhattan where my mental image only displays modern glass and steel everywhere.
One thing that does annoy me about Times Square are all of those weird people dressed up to be photographed with tourists against payment. This kind of strikes me as a pornographic selfie, and I'm not even talking about those painted women you showed. Unfortunately, there are also a few such people near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris now. Clowns!
The paucity of vegetation is always a disappointment, and Central Park and some of the squares just do not make up for the lack of tree lined streets. Of course your photo of 5th Avenue near St. Patrick's shows that trees are a losing battle in a city with such big buildings. There are trees along the avenue there, but they just can't compete.
As large cities go, I think New York City is very interesting, but I honestly feel more at home in Paris. Who knows why, but I know part of the attraction is its many green public spaces. There are certainly more in Paris than in NYC. I was actually surprised to find a tiny little concrete park with benches and shrubbery yesterday when I had about fifteen minutes to kill before dinner. It was a luxury to be able to sit for a bit in the middle of Hell's Kitchen. In NYC there are a lot of scrubby trees on many of the residential streets in the area where my daughter lives, but I agree it would be nice to have more foliage and public spaces throughout the city.
Well, I wasn't disappointed by the lack of greenery because I didn't expect to see any. I stayed in New York in February of 1989, right on Times Square and remember being amazed at how small it all seemed compared to my mental image. Your pictures make it all big again! Killer photos -- post worthy indeed. It's amazing that no one is looking at the camera in any of your crowd scenes. Usually, at least one person seems to catch the camera's eye. Wonderfully lively crowd scenes and I love how so many of the pedestrians are completely blasé or even oblivious to all the action, unusual activities, and colorful nakedness.
What was going on in the barricaded off section, third picture in reply #1?
Ah, you've seen the controversial "desnudes" women. A lot of people want to get rid of them, including the police commissioner, but public female toplessness is legal in NYC. I, like Kerouac, don't find them more bothersome that all the other characters that haunt the area. In fact, the "child-friendly" costumed characters can be pretty obnoxious.
Terrific pictures, and as always, a fresh perspective. I don't ever picture the ivy-colored brick buildings when I think of the neighborhood.
Glad you and your daughter got to enjoy the Book of Mormon. I hear rave reviews. The theater looks beautiful.
I'm glad I had a little bit of time to wander Times Square. Almost all other trips there have been with S, and she wastes no time in the area, quickly zooming through at breakneck speed. She's become a true New Yorker.