When I was young, my father would take us to these book warehouse sales, where mostly outdated and oddball titles were peddled on the cheap. On one of those trips, I stumbled upon a book about the zodiac which introduced me to the world of astrology. The notion that the supermarket clerk and I could share similar traits based on our birthdates captured my juvenile attention, and when I reached the section with compatibility charts, I quickly looked up the only couple whose birthdays I knew: my parents. Appalled by my findings, I rushed over to my mother and exclaimed “You shouldn’t have married Dad! You’re not compatible!” My mother calmly replied, “If you’re not compatible with someone it doesn’t mean you can’t marry him, it just means the two of you might have to work harder.”
I might have put this theory to the test when I suggested we check out an art installation in Times Square, because 1) it’s 10 degrees out with a wind chill that makes it feel like minus 3 degrees and 2) it’s in Times Square. And work hard he did, as Justin reluctantly accompanied me to “Heart of Hearts”, this year’s winner of the Times Square Alliance’s annual Valentine’s Day design contest. What appears to be a simple ring of 10-foot tall mirrored hearts manages to simultaneously capture the reflection of its highly kinetic surroundings on the exterior, while creating the illusion of privacy in its interior. On the Times Square Arts page it states, “Within the ring, diamond-shaped spaces inside each heart will create six “kissing booths” where couples will find their activities mirrored, allowing both privacy and publicity in the Heart of Hearts.” It was a selfie magnet, and even the locals rushing through couldn’t resist pulling out their phones for a quick snap.
If you’ve avoided Times Square like most New Yorkers do, this art installation might be a fun reason to revisit it. While the crowds can be maddening, The Crossroads of the World can still thrill. And if the weather happens to be slightly kinder when you make it out, maybe you’ll get lucky (or unlucky) and catch a glimpse of the Naked Cowboy and your Times Square experience will be complete. Heart of Hearts is on display through March 6th.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
Pair it with:
Lunch at Num Pang
Times Square is, unfortunately, home to several national restaurant chains hoping to draw in tourists. But you don’t have to succumb to the Olive Garden breadsticks! Head over to 48th Street, where you’ll find Num Pang, a brightly-colored street-art decorated shop serving Cambodian-style sandwiches with interesting options like Peppercorn Catfish and Roasted Cauliflower on its menu. The sandwiches are highly acclaimed, and similar to their Vietnamese banh mi counterparts, include cucumber, pickled carrots and cilantro which they pair with their signature chili mayo. Their menu now also includes rice bowls and salads, so it’s the perfect lunch solution.
148 W 48th Street
Mon – Fri 11am – 9pm
Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm