Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York City

A Story by holly j

Times Square, New York.

The one and only. I can't imagine anything more extravagant or contradictory. Here is a hub where the homeless carry signs asking for money to buy weed intermingled with business men and women flaunting a Rolex or a Chanel. And the tourists - so many tourists! All viewing the screen that's viewing the scene. All toting maps bigger than a dinner table, only to end up throwing it away in frustration at the heat, the noise, the indispensable company they're stuck courting around.

Times Square seems to be the holy house of capitalism; advertisements flash every second of every day, bright lights never put out for fear of losing their main demographic. The precious beautiful people promising beautiful things to make an already insecure viewer look/feel/act beautiful also offer a solution in case what they're promising doesn't make them as beautiful as promised. All bases are covered (I have heard Maybelline is good for that). Consumerism flashes its steely bleached smile at all times here, catalysing the buying and buying and buying of stuff. Stuff to fill a bag, stuff for the relative you hardly talk to, stuff for sticking bills to the fridge when you return to real life; just utter crap is purchased and kept for no reason other than its mild sentimental value. A generic souvenir doesn't compare to natural (not to mention free) observation, though.

Humans are funny creatures. Here in amongst the theatres and fast food outlets characters take to their own improvised stage, either in self-made costumes or barely anything at all. I do have to admire their ingenuity. They know exactly where they are and what their job actually is - capturing money from those people with dinner-table maps and room for more stuff. Its not exploitive, it's business, naturally. A somewhat organic process, I would argue. Evolutionary advantages prevail - the seemingly weaker street mongers are in fact top of the chain; they're fully aware that their presence is a highlight and a gimmick, and know to charge for their services, garnering attention and an income from the very people who would, in real life, walk on by with a scorn in their politically correct plastered smile. Those spenders may claim it's a waste of time, that the performers are just good for nothing scum, yet who's walking away with the money this afternoon?

This analysis may strike as cynical or vicious, but it is in fact a celebration. As I wander among the very people I've just discussed, watching and catching snippets of conversation, I can only marvel. I'm here too, aren't I? I'm apart of this crowd, too. I'm just as much of a parasitic sucker on the grand teat that is Times Square, and what it really represents too. I'm another cog in the machine. Not necessarily mindless but idle enough in my existence to partake in that which keeps me a happy little consumer. The too and fro of what this Square represents is fascinating. The taking and giving, looking without seeing. Conformity is the only way of life, isn't it?

© 2014 holly j

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Added on July 27, 2014
Last Updated on July 27, 2014
Tags: Times Square, New York, USA, America, travel, observation


holly j
holly j

Canberra, Australia

Like the majority of people here, I've been writing for a long time and become erratic without those therapy sessions with pen and paper. This is my first attempt at joining the online writing communi.. more..

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