Bringing Times Square to Philadelphia

Is that really a good idea?

A rendering of a digital display on South Broad Street

A rendering of a digital display on South Broad Street via a promotional video for the displays.

Times Square is great, or else too crowded and touristy and not nearly as authentic as Williamsburg, Brooklyn, depending on your point of view. But what about Times Square, Philadelphia? More specifically: what about the newly unveiled plan to turn a large swath of Center City around City Hall into a “digital district” with giant “urban experiential displays” at strategic locations?

Philly Mag’s Erica Palan sets the scene:

Picture yourself walking toward City Hall. Traffic zooms past you and as you stroll down Market Street, you dodge rushed business people texting and walking clumsily. The first thought that runs through your mind: Gosh, I wish this felt more like Times Square!

Oh wait.

No one has ever thought that in the entire history of Philadelphia.

But, she says, if Philadelphia is going to go down the Times Square path, we at least have to make demands for “a few things we’re going to need to supplement the visual atrocity.” The list that follows includes, among other things, a request that the guy who plays a trumpet and rollerblades around Rittenhouse Square become our version of the Naked Cowboy.

Check out the original post for the full list.

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