Lawn chairs in Times Square

Times Square, new pedestrian mall

New York’s new High Line park may be semi-private, but lawn chairs in the middle of a pedestrianized, five-block stretch of Broadway that includes Times Square are absolutely free. 

Times Square, new pedestrian mall

Times Square, pedestrian mall

Times Square, new pedestrian mall

They say by the end of the summer the chairs will be replaced by permanent seating fixtures about which there are already complaints. In the meantime, Times Square is half post-apocalyptic sci-fi and half peaceful sit-in. A positive view on the new pedestrian mall is here.

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5 Responses to “Lawn chairs in Times Square”

  1. John Hopper Says:

    It seems like a large city taking on a human scale. Nice and relaxed idea. However, as in all pedestrianised areas all over the world, from large cities to small market towns, there are complainers. Most are unnerved by the break with the status quo. Suprisingly, many are opposed to the idea of areas that are people rather than car friendly. I’m not sure where their head is. More power to relaxed atmospheres wherever we can make them, I say.

  2. Lindsay Says:

    I thought it was great. The number of commenters who called these people “time-wasters” and “non-producers” really made me laugh. What must they think of Europeans who enjoy their promenades and plazas? This also solves some practical problems – the crush of sightseers and shoppers who make walking and driving very difficult for New Yorkers going about their business. The hope is that the leisure foot traffic will get concentrated here, and working types can take other routes. It’s a very good idea.

  3. John Hopper Says:

    ‘Time-wasters’ and ‘non-producers’? I think these phrases have much more to do with the general American attitude of quantity over quality, than people sitting in the sun. If we all did a little less striving and accumulating, we’d all be a lot happier and have a few less ulcers, and perhaps the world wouldn’t be in quite the financial and environmental mess it’s in at the moment.

  4. Lindsay Says:

    Amen. People need to pull up a lawn chair and ask if the world really needs another widget. Interestingly, Times Square is named after the NYT which, like other newspapers across the US, may be in financial trouble and very quickly needs to figure out a response to the internet and other developments. And then Times Square became this sort of crass consumer mecca – it’s hard not to read this lawn chair encampment as a sign, while it lasts.

  5. bree Says:

    There was also this article in New York magazine:

    http://nymag.com/news/features/56794/

    Kind of talked about both sides of these new changes…

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