Friday, May 29, 2009

V.I.P. Blogger

Today, I feel great. I feel validated. I feel really, really, ridiculously important.

Why, you might ask? Well, despite what Google Analytics tells me, apparently some highly influential people are reading my blog. I admit, I got a little suspicious when the number of costumed characters proliferated exponentially. And then, when the ridiculousness/comic gold mine of the lounge chairs happened this week. But it took this for me to realize that I'm not just hallucinating; some TS powers-that-be are really paying attention:

If you're confused, read this first.

See? Someone took careful consideration of my questions and decided to mount giant post-it notes to clear things up.

So the solar panels are COMPLETED and the wind tunnels are COMING SOON!

I'm feeling so generous that I don't think I even want to point out how that still doesn't explain what these fancy panels and tunnels will actually do for a sign that remains unlit and completely static. And you know what, I think I'm just not going to.

Happy Friday and God Bless Us Everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poetry in Motion

Amidst the false Minnies and Elmos of Times Square, there is also sometimes a true symbol of this great city and this great land.

Look closely:

Yes, it's true. Lady Liberty.

So what if a plastic stepstool and/or a really serious pantyline can be seen beneath her robes? This woman has been the symbol of opportunity and freedom for countless generations. She can get away with not wearing a thong.

In honor of such a prestigious cameo appearance, I've decided to tweak part of Lady Liberty's famous inscription as a welcome message to all those in Times Square:

Give me your Naked Cowboy, your Elmo,
Your huddled masses yearning to walk slow,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the tired, backpack-laden to me,
I have plastic lounge chairs evermore!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now the World's Most Famous Strip Mall!

BREAKING NEWS (-2 days): Because of some transportation commissioner's brilliant new idea, Times Square (and in fact most of midtown Broadway) is now permanently closed to traffic. The idea is to make it into an outdoor pedestrian mall because it was a great success in Copenhagen. You can read more about it here.

I'm not even sure where to begin discussing this absurdity, but my deep investigative journalism has got to start somewhere.

A) Copenhagen = a city of 1.8 million Hans Christian Andersens
New York City = a city of 8.2 million lunatics, like our friend, Ace.

B) At first, when they kept mentioning the word 'mall' and 'Europe,' I thought maybe they meant mall in the British sense of the word, which basically means a (usually scenic) section designated for pedestrians. But, nope, they definitely meant it in the Long Island/Jersey, Abercrombie & Fitch, sketchy kiosk sense. I'm really excited to get asked if I would like to try hand lotion in addition to if I like comedy every day. That's evolution, baby!

c) This is their idea of welcoming tourists to the notion of Times Square as a pedestrian's paradise:

80s neon lounge chairs.

Or, if you're feeling a bit more nostalgic:

The ones in front of Toys R Us were graciously donated by the propmaster from the original Brady Bunch set.

I'm sure I'll have plenty more to say on this subject. But for now, I'm going to look on the bright side. This should bode well for my velocity-challenged photography skills as I have high hopes that people like Ace, Dingy Elmo, et. al will need to take a load off from their highly taxing lives and will be drawn like flies to poop to these lovely seating arrangements.

And here's one more photo, just because:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Can't Handle the Truth

In honor of Memorial Day yesterday, I said to myself, "Self, what would be the one thing that would make you ready to enlist in the army? The one thing that would make you feel brave enough to risk your life for the sake of your country? The one thing that would make you think, 'I AM an army of one, god damn it. Sign me up.'"

And then I thought about my life, my goals, my accomplishments. In other words, my time in Times Square and this blog. And I realized that, by golly, there is one thing that could signify my calling to the armed forces. I am, of course, talking about the dead persuasive combination of Inflatable Guy and Random Costumed Beings.

Tell my mother that I'll write.

Friday, May 22, 2009


You may or may not remember that time I waxed lyrical about the Bow Tie Building.

How he was going to ask me to prom. How we were going to be the spiffiest couple there. How he seemed like such a gentlebuilding.

Well, we were all fooled, friends. Because I was walking by and finally saw what was inside:

That's right. Visions of topless women.

I guess it's true what they say. There are no good buildings left in Times Square. I feel so misled, BTB. If I had wanted such vulgarity, I would have cozied up to Lace. Or Club Tropicana.

Who am I going to take to the family Memorial Day Barbecue now?! I certainly can't introduce you to my mother this way.

It's over, BTB. It's just over.

[sob]. Oh, now you're just being cruel.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This Look is Aces

Sometimes, I very much lament not being a quicker draw with my camera. This also has a lot to do with the fact that I really don't like stopping in the middle of the World's Busiest Sidewalk to take a picture while there are two dozen people walking 1/8 of an inch behind me. I know I'm the only person in Times Square who feels this way.

However, I wish I had eschewed ALL sense of public propriety and was able to bring you a better picture of this:

I will do my best to explain but I forewarn you that whatever I do will be inadequate. Because this man was walking down the street in 60 degree weather with:

Exhibit A) His right arm through the neckhole of his tank top which was perched at a jaunty angle on his shoulder only.

Exhibit B) Aside from whatever small portion of his torso was covered by Exhibit A, bare skin.
Exhibit B, Subsection 1) The word ACE tattooed Thug Style on his stomach. It's unclear if this was in reference to the bandage brand, Snoopy's high-flying alter-ego The Flying Ace, or obscure Season 5 American Idol contestant, Ace Young a work-in-progress masterpiece dedicated to 90s Swedish supergroup, Ace of Base. Though my guess, in corroboration with the rest of the evidence, is that he is in fact a rabid fan of the latter.

Exhibit C) All that navy blue you see? That is his underwear. All of it.

Exhibit D) Pants that were defying the laws of gravity and the decade but that were also managing to look like capris from the back. In other words, pants that were magic.

In conclusion, it's obvious that I have a responsibility to all of you for more accurate on-the-scene reporting, which really means better journalistic photography skills. Foot traffic be damned. I will not let you down again.

And please feel free to share your own interpretation of what Ace's ink could mean in the comments section below.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All That Glitters

Sure, I get it. Vampires are sexy. They're creatures of the night. Dark. Brooding. Mysterious. Dangerous. Sparkly, in certain cases.

I'm thinking sexy was what HBO was going for with this:

Except that the way this photograph was shot, composited, photoshopped whatever - it looks like Mr. Vampire is drooling all over the chick from Fly Away Home's clavicle. Bite marks can be sexy. Lolling tongues on the other hand, not so much.

Also, I'm not sure song titles from John [Cougar] Mellencamp's catalogue make for the hottest taglines, either.

And why does that True Blood logo look like it was created with nine different fonts? Could the art director really not experiment with The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog and just pick one? I feel like vampires are nothing if not focused, art director, and the schizo lettering is definitely not giving me that.

On the other hand, something like this...

...actually, never mind. Those facial expressions and that unsubtle muscle-squeezing negate any sort of atmosphere or ambiance the art director was able to create with a fog machine and his bold embrace of the sepia tool. Way to go, Kristen Stewart.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sea No Evil

Move over, Elmo, Minnie, Spidey.

It's time for TimesSquare SpongeBob.

Are you ready kids?!

Oh...who works a street corner just like a pro?
TimesSquare SpongeBob!
Looks suspiciously the same build as Elmo 2.0?
TimesSquare SpongeBob!

In all seriousness though, who is making these unsanctioned costumes? A disgruntled Ricky's employee? An early Project Runway castoff? Lisa Turtle?

In SpongeBob's case we have:

a) eye lashes made from what is clearly store-brand Gorilla tape.
b) an upside down red chin-mustache.
c) a deadly case of green acne.
d) whatever the lime version of jaundice is.
e) a life on the streets so horrendous that neither Canal Street bead purse nor Christmas stocking can be afforded and a black plastic liquor store bag must be used in lieu of a wallet.

Something most be done. TS SB, please...either look into a Proactiv endorsement or check yourself into a free clinic. Next thing you know, we'll all be in a pandemonium over Sponge Flu.

And oh dear God, I just saw those concrete blocks instead of feet:

Good citizens of TS, we must rally and man the Hudson and East Rivers. Either this fake SpongeBob is deluded and taking the whole pineapple-under-the-sea thing way too seriously or about to pull a Virginia Woolf. Either way, the outcome does not look favorable. I repeat, we must rally.

Monday, May 18, 2009

We're Number 2!

Hey, HBO! I have a great, environmentally-friendly proposal for you. Once this poster no longer applies to what you're advertising:

Why not strike a deal with Ex-Lax, change around some copy, and voila!

Al Gore would approve.

Friday, May 15, 2009

No Intel Inside

In a brilliant marketing move, Intel has asked people to text their answer to the question: 'What do you want in the future?' and then posted those apparently unfiltered answers on four ginormous electronic signs in the middle of Times Square.

When your company’s name is derived from the word ‘intelligence,’ I’m not really sure that’s the best idea. Here's why:

To this I respond, in the future, I want spell check on mobile devices. Or people to know how to spell the word 'world' before they're allowed mobile devices. Or better yet, Intel to have put some of the money required to run this:

into a copy editor of some sort who could have at least fixed the spelling mistakes before displaying them in letters 200 feet high.

Moving on:

In case you can't read that one properly, it says: 'In the future I want...Science and Engineering in our cities, not just Lowcostville, USA.'

Well, um, kudos Anonymous for spelling everything right. But what the hell does that mean? Are you trying to say that Science and Engineering are currently only running rampant in poorer communities? And where is this Lowcostville anyway? What are the property taxes like? And, more importantly, has Billy Joel written a song about it yet?

Don't give me that "Average Joe" bull. I know that's you, TS Spidey.

Clearly an Intel employee. Maybe this is the copy editor trying to make up for letting all those spelling mistakes fly.

Cars that fly? "Envirimont?" chipmunklover08? Allllllviiiiin! David Seville, you've just been letting them run amok lately haven't you, as evidenced by this and that atrocious 3-D animated thing you signed off on last year. Just give him a damn hula-hoop already and keep them in school for chrissakes before I call Chipmunk Services on you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Land Of The Pilgrim's Pride

Honestly, sometimes this blog just writes itself:

This is just like a Highlights Magazine exercise. Alright, kids, let's find all the things wrong with this picture, shall we?

1) A kid has decided to don a cherished baseball cap of his uncle's. Whose fond memories of it include that time he wore it to a 1991 Kris Kross concert.
2) This kid came to Times Square yesterday on some sort of educational field trip with his classmates. Wherein they promptly lined up outside of Planet Hollywood. (No doubt to visit their notoriously knowledgeable host stand.)
3) There was a goddamn lizard on a leash. At one point hanging out on Uncle Julian's fabled hat.
4) Is it just me or does that woman who got into frame look exactly like a teacher every human being on the planet has had at one point in his or her academic career?
5) The red, white, and blue balloons in this photo really make it for me. They say: This Is America.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Say It With Swim Trunks

You're not going to believe this, but this window display is actually supposed to make me want to buy swim trunks:

Thanks, Quiksilver. I totes want to look like this guy:

Those tie-dyed board shorts really help to focus away from problem areas like stick legs, frosted hair and ambiguous sign language. See, the right arm looks like he's shooting a gun while the left arm looks like he's surrendering. It's a deep study on the alarmingly disaffected youth and their criminal vs. despairing tendencies.

Meanwhile, Mr. Garrett Parks is sporting "The Cashola:"

I think we can all agree that, in contrast, this whole look, from the hand gestures to the friendship bracelet to the neon trunks, is highly cohesive. Way to sell d-bag, Garrett. I hope this one makes the first page in your lookbook. You can tell from the way Mr. Jeremy Flores is looking at you that he agrees with me. Although, how much can you trust a man who is sporting all four Teletubbies colors in one article of clothing, really?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When Hipsters Go On Job Interviews

It only took 4 days of being locked in a jury deliberation room for me to have this realization without any hint of irony: it feels GOOD to be in Times Square again.

And I had to look no further than my train commute IN to create this commemorative TS re-entry blog post. So thank you, hipster guy.

A small disclaimer however: though I was completely stoked to be able to get back to my life (my life=this blog, let's face it), apparently my camera phone was still a little confused as it unfortunately didn't save the picture I clearly took this morning. Therefore, I'm going to have to ask you to use your imagination to recreate what I witnessed firsthand.

First, a very tall, very skinny male body. I'm talking like 6'5", 130 pounds. Got it? Good. From the ground up, some stylish black boots:

A pair of lovely brown dress pants:

And a nice pink button-up:

Unfortunately, that's about where Google Images stops helping me and I have to resort to my a-mazing art skills to help illustrate the rest. Because, we had this:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you mullet of wardrobes: business on the bottom, party on the top.

Clearly, this fellow decided to stop living off of his parents' trust fund and make some of his own money to pay for his Williamsburg loft. That being said, a job interview is no reason he should be expected to stop expressing his individuality or displaying his dead grandmother's bronzed molars.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Window Display, Interrupted

The tragedy of being stuck in a courtroom instead of reporting on Times Square continues.

But I did find this little gem in my hard drive:

This is an H&M window display. From 2009.

Let's examine the male outfit, shall we? Now I've discussed this tight pink pants phenomenon before. But unlaced Doc Martens, H&M? Really? That in combination with the green and blue Cosby sweater underneath the leather jacket and super jaunty pastel scarf just confuse me. What persona are we channeling here? Is it Sid Vicious? Basquiat? Huxtable? A chorus member from Rent? Though the blue skin is really bringing to mind The Beast from X-Men, who is generally naked and might not know any better when it comes to layering.

Meanwhile, the woman on the right has obviously just gotten into a heated brawl with a cast member from Cats. (Damn you, Bombalurina, I know it was you.) Neither her shirt nor her skirt made it out alive. But to console herself, she has purchased a lifetime membership to Hollywood Tans.

I fully expect to see these exquisite fashions being modeled on the streets of Times Square momentarily. Stay tuned...

Monday, May 4, 2009

This Message is Approve by PETA

If you've been following this blog at all, you've probably come across a lament or two about the false kings I am forced to reckon with on a daily basis; and by kings, I of course mean Muppets, Disney characters and superheroes.

It turns out that one brave soul must have read one of my many complaints and, unable to control his burning desire to dress in some sort of furry one-piece and wave at tourists from beneath a perpetual smile, came up with this:

Nope, that isn't Garfield, Heathcliff or the Cheetos cat. That, my friends, is a completely unbranded, untrademarked specimen of cartoon feline. For the purposes of this blog, I shall refer to him as Generico Cantbesuedforcopyrightinfringement Cat. Hmmm, there has to be a theme song in there somewhere.

But anyway, despite the lack of credentials, TV shows, comic books, or even blatant commercials to his name, Generico was able to incite frenzy amongst the species most indigenous to Times Square, tourists (scientific name: Nikoni walkslowerus). People gawked, children shrilled in delight, and in fact, just before I was quick enough to whip out my camera phone, a whole group of bridesmaids were falling over themselves trying to get a group shot with Generico. The bridesmaids were sans bride, but I assume that is because the bride had wisely disowned their satiny asses just before this undignified incident occurred.

I have become fascinated by the habits of these mysterious and lumbering Nikoni walkslowerus and their uncanny ability to be so distracted by the slightest hint of abnormality that their lower limbs will simply lock in place while their upper limbs immediately reach for anything with a lens on it. In fact, thanks to the eye-opening experience of creating this blog, I have now decided to dedicate my life's work to the scientific observation of these simple-minded yet fascinating creatures.

My first order of business is a proposal that we consider using this species, much more similar to homo sapiens than say mice or rats, for the testing of cutting-edge medical procedures or new shades of lipgloss. Let's face it, he's probably not doing anything.

Friday, May 1, 2009

When Good Mice Go Bad

Picture this: You are a beloved oversized rodent, your oversized rodent ladyfriend on your arm, taking a romantic stroll down Broadway.

What could the extenuating circumstances be that would cause this to happen:

Some hypotheses:

1) Michael Jackson has filed a missing jacket report. Uncle Sam has filed a missing hat report. The drum major of a local high school marching band has filed a missing pants report. No one, however, has come forward to claim owning gigantic blue starry Crocs.
2) In relation to the previously documented Minnie/Elmo encounter, Mr. M has insisted that Minnie file a police report describing the salacious behavior of the red-furred one. Of course, giving a proper description of the muppet could prove to be tricky, considering the alarming multiplication rate of persons who could answer to his description.
4) After getting the Naked Cowboy's legal advice, Minnie has decided to finally take action and trademark her gigantic-bow-on-head look. Lady Gaga, prepare to be served.
3) These upstanding citizens are being questioned as eyewitnesses to a possible Elmo-on-Elmo crime that occurred recently.
5) These officers are actually on Operation:Dali, also known as the WTF Patrol. They can frequently be seen traversing Times Square and are there to protect the people from a level of absurdity too dangerous for the psyche of the average citizen to handle.