“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” Fair to say about any city, New York in particular, Times Square is Manhattan’s busiest bee hive of activity and one of the reasons this town never sleeps. With its gigantic screens, Times Square is one of the best places for New Yorkers to gather to hear the news that shape and affect our world. Two events that brought New Yorkers together at Times Square are the Inauguration of President Obama and the memorial service for Michael Jackson.
New Yorkers stood in the crispy January air to witness history as the first Black president took the oath of Commander in Chief. Whether you voted for Obama or not, no one could dispute the importance of the day. For those who couldn’t get to D.C., Times Square was the next best thing. Standing in the cold gave a sense of unity as New Yorkers stare into the face of war and recession, but staring into the faces of those that were shivering beside one another, New Yorkers also received a dose of hope as change had come to Washington D.C., America and the world.
When news that Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital, my jaded journalist mind thought it was a publicity stunt. Or maybe I just wanted it to be a publicity stunt as some human beings seem immortal. When I heard that he had actually passed away, I refused to believe it was true until I saw a member of the Jackson family confirm it. Once Jermaine made a statement, I knew the horrible news was true. Again, Times Square played host as the jumbo screens showed the memorial service in L.A. People wore his t-shirts, danced like Michael, sang his songs and dressed like him. It was a day filled with somber celebration and Times Square offered a place for so many people close to Michael’s music a place to go and mourn.
Times Square has seen it share of memorable events over the decades and will see many more. Each year people from all over the world choose Times Square as the place to shed the old skin of the past year and welcome the possibilities of the New Year. As the editor of F.A.M.E NYC I hope every FAMER has a bountiful, healthy 2010. As we cross the threshold into a new decade let our past help to shape our present as we create the mold for the future.
The slate is clean and I can’t wait to share with you the goings on of NYC for the next year.