So, I´ve been spending A LOT of time in Times Square…perhaps too much.
Last time I was approached by a man dressed like the Statue of the Liberty. Underneath the mask I heard the voice of a Cuban, speaking to me in a heavy cuban spanish. The American Icon dubbed, in spanish! Isn’t that ironic, don’t you think?
This time I knew what I was getting into.
Or so I thought
In order to occupy my time I brought the book “Money Matters” (an ethnography of TS’s renovation process) and an extra camera. While taking the timelapse videos I began taking pictures of what was around. Two minutes into my activities I was approached by a bunch of drunken –or high– kids that had travelled from Long Island who had come to spend the night. One of the kids tried to talk to me in the lousiest of spanish–he kept on saying “si, si” as if that word could make up for his complete lack of dominion. IT was hilarious but also sad.
After sitting in the middle of a transient crowd for what seemed like hours, I took out my book and read under the screen lights. The book explained the cultural politics behind the Disneyfication of Times Square. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it… Millions of tourists were very excited. I felt like I was the only one reading in the whole place…
Reading helped me maintain my sanity in a tide of people and images. For a while..
Then I began to feel nauseous..
It seemed like nothing was static. The city turned to be something that was too transient, out of grasp…
I got out of there as soon as I could.