That tax return you’d rather not look at again? Get rid of it. The receipt for the engagement ring your former boyfriend returned? Chuck it out. Your to-do list from the beginning of last year? Toss it away. Today at noon, New Yorkers have the chance to bid good riddance to paper memories they’d rather see relegated to the trash. It’s “Good Riddance Day,” on 46th Street and Broadway, in Duffy Square.
New Yorkers can shed themselves of everything they’d rather never see again with an industrial shredder and a dumpster. Got something other than paper? For harder-to-destroy items, a sledgehammer is available. (Is this safe??) Caution: It’s intended for things like electronic devices that got the better of you. (Goodbye, Palm Pilot…)
If unloading your trash isn’t enough of an incentive, the Times Square Alliance is giving out a $250 prize for the most creative memory. Participants can write down their worst memories on a piece of stationery, which will be provided. (You can also submit online, at timessquarenyc.org). Past creative entries included all the unmatched socks in someone’s drawer (winner of the creativity award); as well as good riddance to being single (this person was getting married.)
The first 100 participants will receive a special gift (their own paper shredder, perhaps?).
Organizers caution that the event is not meant to be used as a means of dumping all your trash. It’s about bad memories, people, not getting rid of the contents of your trash can.
So grab that nasty memo from your boss and go!
New Year’s Eve in New York City has gone green.
This year, the numbers in the giant “2010” sign in Times Square will be lit by light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) instead of halogen bulbs. The one and the zero for the sign arrived by pedicab–also green, thank you very much–this past week.
The new bulbs are nine watts instead of 40 watts, as they were in the past; they will use about 80 percent less energy.
The 2010 sign is on display at the Duracell Smart Power Lab for one week, through next Wednesday, December 23. (It’s at 1540 Broadway, in Times Square; check out their website, powerlab.com, for more information.) Visitors can have a wow-look-at-that experience while they’re there; they can push pedals that will create energy that’s converted to battery power that will light the numbers as the ball drops. (Yes, it sounds like a nursery rhyme.) The lab is open Sunday-Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm; and Thursday-Saturday, from 10 am to 11 pm, with special hours on holidays, so be sure to check.
Got all that? What it means is that the energy created by people pedaling a series of “Rovers” will be stored in the batteries to power the sign–approximately 32,000-watt hours are needed.
When you’re done, you can have your picture taken with a replica of the 2010 numbers. The real numbers will be placed atop the ball at One Times Square to await the massive New Year’s Eve celebration.
Considering the rush in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, this may be a better alternative than waiting in the cold for hours–and you can go green at the same time.
Here’s a new spin on Veteran’s Day in New York City: Choose a lipstick, pucker up, and kiss a postcard.
Well, there’s more to it than that: Cosmopolitan Magazine and Maybelline New York have teamed up with the USO for “Kisses for the Troops,” a program designed to deliver “kisses” to troops serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Here’s how it works: The “Cosmo Kisses for the Troops” van will be roaming around the city today with a military escort and uniformed personnel. Those New Yorkers who are lip-ready and willing to participate will be offered a choice of Maybelline lipsticks with which to smack a postcard; the cards will be delivered to the troops in time for New Year’s Eve.
In addition, Cosmo and Maybelline will donate one dollar for each kiss to the USO.
But wait–there’s more! All kisses logged in between 7 am and 7 pm today will count towards setting a new Guinness World record for most lip prints collected in 12 hours. (Have many people tried to set that one??)
Want to get in on the action? The van will be found at various points across the city today, including Times Square (8:30-10:30 am); Union Square (11:00-1:00 PM); NYU, near West 8th Street and 6th Avenue (3:30-5:30 PM); and the Meat Packing District (6:00-7:00 PM). Call (212) 649-2577 for more information—and pucker up for Veteran’s Day!
A new take on the usual New York City architectural tour has come along. There are apparently a surprising amount of visitors and locals who are interested in seeing the city through LEDs, mercury vapor lamps and the prism of gels, as odd as that sounds.
Three months ago, a self-guided tour map of New York City lighting designs was published by the Illuminating Engineering Society of New York in conjunction with the Designers Lighting Forum of New York. The self-guided maps have been so popular that only 1,500 of the original 20,000 are left in the office of the Illuminating Engineering Society. Much of the $25,000 spent on the project was provided by sponsors, and the society is currently considering a second printing.
The large foldout map leads people to different areas of New York City. The tour highlights the ethereal lighting of buildings and structures, along with the lighting designers and firms associated with each. Some examples that can be viewed at nighttime are the Alexander Hamilton Customs House, the Brooklyn Central Library, the TKTS kiosk in Times Square, and of course the illuminated glass Apple Store at Fifth Avenue. Much of the tour’s purpose is to bring attention to the overlooked lighting design industry that places a crucial part in how we view structures. Attention to lighting has also become more relevant as buildings look to become more energy efficient. Copies of the map can be purchased online at www.iesnyc.org/CityLights.aspx
The national Candlewood Suites chain made its New York City debut for the first time ever on July 17 with the opening of Candlewood Suites Hotel at Times Square. This hotel has garnered the title of being the city’s first midscale extended-stay hotel, providing guests with the experience of staying in a studio apartment space for a midscale price.
The new Candlewood Suites is located near Times Square at 339 West 39th Street, a perfect destination for business and leisure travelers. With nearly 300 branded hotels in New York City, this is the first unique hotel of its kind to open as a midscale extended-stay hotel, offering a practical alternative.
The 188 guestrooms are all studio suites with large rooms and full kitchens with a full-size refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and microwave, and stocked with all the kitchen appliances one needs to live as if they were enjoying the comforts of home, such as pots, pans, plates and so forth. There is also a large workspace with desk, a recliner and deluxe bedding. Uniquely, though the rooms resemble studio apartments, the hotel still has hotel amenities like a 24-hour fitness center, onsite laundry facilities, and high-speed Internet access. Guests can also visit the Lending Library where free movies and music are available, and the Candlewood Cupboard in the lobby for food and small items.
As New York City’s richest resident Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempts to run for his third term, Times Square’s famous busker and tourist fixture Naked Cowboy has offered himself as a write-in candidate against Bloomberg for the office of New York City mayor. Known for singing and strumming his guitar in nothing but a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and tighty-whities in rain, snow or shine, Naked Cowboy, a.k.a. Robert Burck, 38, officially announced his candidacy for mayor of New York City on July 22.
Burck held a press conference in Times Square where a large crowd of media gathered. He kept things brief with plenty of wordplay, promising to “do more with less” for New York City residents. Burck’s platform includes cutting wasteful spending, building the city’s economy and tourism, supporting small businesses, and greening city buildings. If elected November 3, Burck said he would remain accessible and carry on this usual routine in Times Square.
Though he may seem not seem like a serious choice, Burck cited Arnold Schwarzenegger as having not been elected governor of California for his vast political background, but rather because he “exuded the spirit of the community of which he represents.”
Burck has a political science degree from the University of Cincinnati, several self-published motivational books, a country music album, and is an ordained minister, eager to build a Times Square chapel marrying straight and gay couples in an effort to rival Las Vegas’ wedding business.
Seven blocks along Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square in New York City have been closed to vehicular traffic to relieve traffic jams, reduce pollution, and allow pedestrians the pleasure of enjoying the city’s center without worrying about being hit by a taxi. West 47th Street to 42nd Street in Times Square and West 35th Street to 33rd Street in Herald Square are the blocks along Broadway where this has taken place.
The new pedestrian promenade took effect on May 24, 2009 as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to reduce Midtown congestion. The remainder of the year will serve as a trial, and the experiment could become permanent if all goes smooth and the city benefits.
The opening of the car-free pedestrian area has eased the Times Square chaos and created breathing room in the usually unbearably crowded Times Square. People who work in the area have a new place to spend their lunch break and New Yorkers who normally avoid Times Square are venturing in to join tourists.
The city has so far provided lawn chairs for lounging and tables and chairs, but not much else, as it is an ongoing development. Musicians and performers have also been hired by the city to attract afternoon crowds, and the Naked Cowboy is out in full force.
While the pedestrian mall undoubtedly improves the congestion of crowded streets and sidewalks, the big question yet to be answered is whether this will help or hurt Times Square and Herald Square businesses.