You always hear about how New York’s Times Square used to be – back when hookers and porno ruled the area, and the midnight scene became so menacing that cab drivers altogether avoided the district. Over the past decades, Times Square has transformed into an iconic family-friendly public place, where tourists snap photos of skyscrapers of commercial billboards under the safety of the Golden Arches.
This year, Times Square has gone all out for Valentine’s, encouraging lovers to stop by for a vow-renewal ceremony and to stroll through the Heartwalk, a heart-shaped walkway created out of boardwalks salvaged after Hurricane Sandy. At midnight each night of February, six of Tracey Emin‘s neon love messages will appear in a romantic billboard installation.
Times Square Romance
Heartwalk is a heart-shaped public art installation created from the boardwalk debris salvaged from New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. It begins as two ribbons of wooden planks that gradually lift from the ground to form a heart shaped space within. Visitors can actually walk into the middle of the display and stand in the “heart” of New York City. Designed by Brooklyn’s Situ Studio, Heartwalk was the winner of this year’s annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition co-hosted by Times Square Arts and the Design Trust for Public Spaces. The installation was inspired by the Hurricane Sandy victims “and the love that binds people together during trying times.”
The art installation Heartwalk in Times Square. Photo: Times Square Alliance
Once the sun sets, the Heartwalk installation becomes lit with a red glow. But if you really want to be bedazzled, wait until 11:57pm when Midnight Moment illuminates the sky. s[edition] worked with Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts to feature British artist Tracy Emin’s moving neon works for the month of February. Each midnight of the month, Emin’s “I Promise to Love You” collection of neon love messages will illuminate Time Square billboards. “This is my lonely hearts column which I’m sending out to America: I’m here, I’m single!” Emin says in the video below:
As James Traub explains in The Devil’s Playground, Times Square has become New York’s agora, “a place to gather to await great tidings and to celebrate them.” Whether you are celebrating the month of romance, Singles Awareness, or the spectacle of New York’s iconified crossroad, head over to Times Square for a truly special time.
- Situ Studio’s “Heartwalk” – February 12th – March 10th, 2013
- Tracy Emin’s “I Promise to love You” Midnight Moment – Begins daily at 11:57 pm – Until February 28th, 2013