42nd Street near Times Square — © Brian Rose
Times Square is not the tawdry danger zone of the past–a delicious feast for the eyes, a hellish tourist trap–42nd Street a ghoulish gantlet of porn for commuters rushing to the Port Authority bus terminal, an underworld of prostitutes, teenage runaways, pickpockets, and do-gooder preachers leaching off the whole bloody mess. Ah, those were the days.
The tourists remain, more pastel present than ever, discovering their own faux New York. The nostalgia whiners are correct–the present is never as cool, never as rich and creamy as the past–but they too easily miss the buzz of the present. If you’re going to be a photographer–one who bears witness to this time–you can’t wallow in the gauzy, yellowy instagrammatic glow of the past. You’ve got to be here, now.
Enjoy. Have a gelato.