Three visits to New York city & this was my first time in Times Square! I thought I'd be one of those snarky, jaded characters who goes around muttering "damn tourists!" under their breath but unfortunately I pranced, in a silver dress that, to the other end of that neon spectrum. I was seen marveling at everything with my mouth slightly open, like a kid in one of those disneyland commercials (another place on my list!) I was a flaming cliche and I loved it!
But it wasn't just the faint overlay of pastel light that sat over the whole square, or the fact that great actors were pouring through fiery monologues a block away, or how every pretzel vendor thrived within a 3-block radius, equally. What gives Times Square or any immersive public space legitimacy is that every human body is engaged in one singular experience - fascination!
My first ever encounter with fascination was when I discovered soil in my backyard as a 4 year-old. I would spend hours planting everything from apple seeds, pencils, toy cars to cutlery to see if something bloomed the next day. I was singularly obsessed with the idea of germination, it was my version of magic. This fascination with unearthing has moved from the plant world (I can hear botanists everywhere rejoicing) to people. The process of getting to know someone, understanding their motivations, their triggers, what they find funny, whether they cry openly or muffle their sobs under a shower, the things that make them angry, the moments that make them be unadulteratedly themselves - these aspects of one's being pull me in like 8 kilo magnets.
So whether it's the glittering commercializations of Times Square or the visceral practices in your garden, fascination seems to be the golden ticket to living a fulfilled life that's raging with the urgency of an unrealized idea. It pushes you to dig deeper, to ask uncomfortable questions and keep the little kid inside of you alive with pleasure!
Naomi Rader & I marked the square with our fascination!