I don’t run. Actually, I can’t run. Keith is a big runner and when we started dating he told me “If you can walk, you can run”. Since we were dating, I did what any logical woman would do, I pretended to love running. I signed up for 5Ks and I ran on the treadmill at the gym. All was well with my diabolical plan until one fateful Sunday afternoon at Lakeshore Athletic Club. I was bent over at 90 degrees trying to “run through” a stitch in my right side, Keith came over and pushed the big red emergency STOP button on the treadmill. “You’re done. You were right. You can’t run.”. He married me anyway and I blissfully walked down the aisle. After all, he knew there was no chance I’d be a runaway bride.
So you can imagine my absolute delight this week about all the running in NYC. It began on Sunday with the New York City marathon. 50,000 people running through all five boroughs of New York. I comfortably watched it on my couch while eating lox and bagels and sipping on my Kenyan hazelnut coffee.
Then, on Tuesday, the run for NYC mayor was coming to an end. The mayoral election was finally here: De Blasio or Lhota? I always love election day. Not only can we exercise our freedom to vote, but, because dozens of political TV commercials have finally run their course.
So, by Wednesday I felt that I had some pretty good momentum behind me. Where should I run off to today? The MoMA? Bergdorf Goodman’s? No, too mundane and predictable. I needed to lace up my arch supporting peggy sue’s and strap on my “I love NY” fanny pack. I needed something bigger. So naturally, I decided to go where no “real” New Yorker would ever tread. I ventured to a spot where only the true tourist would dare go. I went to Times Square.
I don’t know what made me do it. I am the anti-tourist. I don’t do tours. I don’t take photos. I don’t buy souvenirs. But, Times Square is something of a must-see. It’s the high-wattage beating heart of Manhattan. It’s the genesis from which all of Manhattan’s energy pulses.
I packed Chelsea into her gold puppy purse and hopped on the 1 train to 42nd and Broadway. We emerged from the quiet and dark subway, instantly mugged by sensory overload. The immense crowds were to be expected, but, Times Square is really all about the visual over-stimuli. I’ve seen it hundreds of times on TV. I knew what to expect. But, when I was surrounded on all sides by it I have to admit it was something I have never experienced before. It actually was kind of cool and even spectacular.
Besides the blinking lights, changing billboards and scrolling ticker tapes, the other spectacle is the people watching. Of course, I saw throngs of map clutching tourists with their white sneakers and back packs over-stuffed with who knows what. But, the really good stuff is everyone “working” Times Square. There are dozens of Statues of Liberty, several spindly spidermen, and some very mangy, dodgy looking Elmo’s.
I wanted to take a picture of these alleged cherished and trademarked Elmo’s, but, they traveled in pairs, like thugs. I honestly felt if they saw me snap a picture of them they would shake me down for some loot. If I refused to fork over the moolah I thought I was going to get roughed up on some alley off Sesame Street where the air isn’t so sweet.
However, the crème de la crème was the naked cowboy. Yep, he’s still here wearing just his whitey tighties and singing away in the crisp November air. Obamacare be damned if the cowboy catches a sniffle, there is a true American sweetness and honesty to this very odd character.
But honestly, my favorite part of Times Square is Duffy Square. Here, there is a large red stair case leading to nowhere at all. Chelsea and I sat on these steps for about a half an hour. Perched on these stairs, I felt removed from all the chaos, yet, had an intimate view of everything. This, my friends, is the best seat in all of Times Square.
Finally, C-dog and I took one last look at Times Square and gave it a little nod and wink. She’s a tough old broad who’s seen a lot. But, she seems to be winning the race against the times. Do I need to run back to Times Square any time soon? No, but remember, I don’t run.
Pictures of the Week…Vote for your favorite!