Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One Down, Only 11 More To Go

In Times Square, home of the Oblivious, it's exceedingly rare to find someone who is refreshingly self-aware.

Thank god this man knows how obnoxious he is.

Of course that doesn't explain phenomena like:
a) why he's talking to Spider-Man
b) why Spidey looks like he's about to slip him an unmarked envelope
c) why he continues to ask me if I like comedy. Every. Damn. Day. There is a step after Acceptance, Annoying Comedy Salesman. It's called step #2.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sometimes I Wish ESL Hadn't Worked For Me

Trudging through the pedestrian traffic in Times Square at any time of year means that - despite my best efforts to render my eardrums useless via the 8th incarnation of my earbuds - I will inevitably be forced to overhear a conversation that will blow the very fabric of space/time with its stupidity. Trudging through said TS traffic during the holidays raises the stakes of the equation thus: Tourists from the Midwest (x 10 to the power of 7) standing 9 across the breadth of the sidewalk (+345% likelihood) x the probability that I left my good headphones at my parents' house = a 745% increase in blown space/time fabric.

Case in point, here is what I heard not 10 minutes ago, verbatim.

Tourist #1: So which one is the famous museum in New York City? You know THE famous one.
Tourist #2: That's the art museum.
Tourist #1: Yeah, that's the one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

You know it's holiday time in Times Square when:

1) Dingy Elmo changes out his pimp hat for a Santa hat.

2) Santa's silhouette juxtaposes with the Lace stripper silhouette to make this striking high-art image.

3) I finally find out who those mannequins around the GMA holiday table are supposed to be and it suddenly makes so much more sense that it's Carrot Top in that weird Satan worship pose.

And that Donny is actually, er, missing and Marie is instead holding court with Wayne Newton, with Bette Midler presiding. In a Big Bird head.

Did I say "makes more sense?" I meant "makes everything infinitely creepier."

But I choose to look at this as GMA's subtle homage to The Nightmare Before Christmas instead of A Precursor to ST's Vivid Nightmares. Because believing in miracles is part of the holiday spirit.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let Us Entertain You

About two hours ago there was a fatal shooting on 46th and Broadway. You can read the details here.

This is scary and tragic and someone has now lost his life.

However, this doesn't stop the tourists of TS from continuing to do what they do best: being tastelessly overexcited and stationary in the most inappropriate places.

Far from staying away from the swarms of cops now at the area, most were crowding around to get a better snapshot for the family album. Quoth one: “It’s my first day in New York, so it makes very real what you see in the movies!"

Another one cited to a New York Times reporter that this was one of the more exciting moments of her trip - and that included such epic dramas as losing her luggage at Port Authority AND scoring tickets to 'Wicked.'

We're ever so glad NYC can continue to provide the type of exciting "real-life" entertainment that is sure to make Times Square a popular tourist destination forever more. And we in turn thank you, tourists, for providing both material rife for endless mocking in the midst of the most grave situations and excellent resistance for my much-needed elbow workouts. Seriously though, wouldn't you be happier vacationing elsewhere next time? I hear L.A. is fabulously safe this time of year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Celebrating Yuletide Traditions...DTS-Style

I pass by the Good Morning America studios every morning on my way to work. Even though there have been some questionable things/people on display there at times, I haven't written about it yet because I usually put my head down and hope to make it past the corner in less than 10 minutes.

This morning, I saw that they had put up their Christmas windows. The first window was a large but rather classy wreath which simply said "Season's Greetings from Good Morning America." The second window was this:

Right, I don't know why we're being welcomed to fabulous Las Vegas in Times Square - maybe that's where GMA is hosting its Christmas week programming? But forget that oddness for a second. Forget the tacky, overflowing holiday table that this "family" is sitting at. And let's take a closer look at the family itself:

Those don't look like standard issue mannequins to me so I'm just wondering: are they made in the likeness of GMA anchors? Is that supposed to be Diane Sawyer?! If so, why is she wearing Big Bird's hide as a hat? Is this a subtle homage to the Muppet takeover in TS? Or is this GMA's way of giving her the bird for leaving them to go anchor the nightly news?

Also, this is happening underneath that jolly Christmas table, by the by:

A medieval idol-worship ritual? An homage to that unsupervised 8-year-old cousin who got into the egg nog? A friendly yuletide reminder as to how to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? I have no idea. But yeah...Season's Greetings from GMA and DTS (and thanks for saving me the trouble of having to make my own holiday window; that classy wreath had me worried for a sec).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Times Square at Face Value

Yesterday's post inspired me to really embrace those Times Square characters and phenomena that in turn embrace what Times Square means to me. Toilets, giant inflatable rats,

and other bottom-feeding scavengers.

Please note that the rat and the shrimp were within about three feet of each other.

Now the shrimp is there to 'advertise' for Bubba Gump which at least makes sense despite the fact that I never quite got the logic of seeing a cute, cuddly anthropomorphized version of something you're about to eat. I'm using the term 'cute' loosely here.

But I don't really understand the giant inflatable rat. I've actually seen him before, a few months ago, placed outside some other scaffolding on 6th Ave. There are no signs on him to indicate whether he's part of some sort of protest or merely a friendly reminder that there are millions and millions of his doppelgangers scurrying beneath the very streets we're walking on and possibly all over our takeout since he seems to be clutching a bag of it in his claws.

Thanks, street rat. Of course, the other much happier thought that flits into my head upon seeing him is the classic refrain from Aladdin: Riff raff, street rat. I don't buy that. If only they'd look clooooooser.

And then I remember that there's more to me that meets the eye. That I too am a diamond in the rough just waiting for my genie's lamp to lead me far, far away from Times Square to the scantily-clad princess and sultan's riches that surely await me. Thanks, street rat!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And What Happens When You Flush?

If there ever comes a time during this holiday season that you start to doubt your career choices, that you wonder if your job is meaningless, demeaning or unbearably menial - think of this man.

This man is dressed as a toilet in the middle of Times Square. While I applaud that the costuming is much more apropos to its environment than any cheery faux Muppet - and while I actually think Charmin's sanitary new TS bathrooms are a smart idea - let's face it. It can't get more humiliating than having to stick your hand in a felt toilet bowl every time you need to adjust your crotch (and the seminal film Just One of the Guys taught me that this is something men have to do often).

It also wouldn't be terribly unlikely that some drunken, possibly costumed Times-Squarian will one day mistake that felt bowl for the real McCoy. Yeaaaah.

So whatever idiotic task your boss has you on, whatever soul-sucking assignment you are currently undertaking, just think - it could be worse. This is my Christmas gift to you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Context Is Everything

As someone who was in NYC on 9/11, there are few subjects which bring me to a more somber tone. Although I feel there is no way that anyone who was here can ever forget any of it, I generally don't comment on the 'Never Forget' paraphernalia that exists.

Until now.

Seriously?! Okay, yes demolition company - I get that you have a right to express yourself just like anyone else. But maybe considering the fact that the words Manhattan Demolition actually have to appear on your van, perhaps you could've picked a better medium for your sentiments. Ooh...I have a great idea never thought up by anyone before EVER: how about a patriotic tattoo?!

Tacky even by Times Square's standards. That is an achievement, indeed.