Not Enough Chairs in Times Square

Less than a week after Times Square became an outdoor lounge, it is already hard to find a seat there.
June 9, 2009, 12pm PDT | Liyuan Huang
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"Mayor Michael Bloomberg closed large swaths of Broadway to traffic and filled Times Square with plastic lawn chairs in gaudy pink, blue and green as one of his experiments in making the city more livable. The question of whether New Yorkers would like the innovation is already answered. As anyone with a sandwich and a yen to watch the neon lights at lunch can attest, the big problem is finding a free chair.

The chair scene has quickly become another New York phenomenon, providing the tourists that fill the area with another reason to gape at the locals. Soon after the chairs were introduced last month, one man created an outdoor living room with a rug, lamp and three plastic seats. It had to go at midnight, when workers lock the chairs up for the night.

If traffic is merely bad, as usual, the next step is to make the area a little more glamorous. By August, the seating areas are scheduled to be resurfaced. There are plans for sturdier chairs and planters are expected to replace the orange plastic barrels now being used to warn cars away."

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Published on Sunday, June 7, 2009 in The New York Times
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