Yesterday, Julia and Ali took a trip to New York City. They had the day off from work. They wanted to have fun. Everybody has fun in “The Big Apple”, Julia thought. People think of New York and all of the billboards, people, and busy traffic. Times Square has all of those things. Ali had seen it in so many movies. They wanted to be in the middle of all of the excitement. They wanted to visit Times Square.
Julia drove. It took them two hours from rural Scranton, Pennsylvania. They left behind farms, fields, and cattle. Soon, they was on the highway. The highway was boring, so they turned on the radio. They started to sing along with the music. They talked about their friends and family.
Entering the City
There wasn’t much traffic, until they hit New Jersey. As soon as they exited the Holland Tunnel, the city was all around them.
“Look,” Ali exclaimed, “here it is!” The buildings were huge and modern. There were thousands of them reaching into the sky. They both started screaming immediately.
“I can’t wait to get to Times Square and see all the people!” Julia shouted.
They drove up the West Side Highway with their windows open and the radio blaring. People were jogging together along the Hudson River. Others were walking dogs. A helicopter landed just as they were driving by. There were cars everywhere and lime green taxi cabs.
“I thought the cabs are supposed to be yellow,” Julia said. “And I can’t believe people don’t use Lyft or Uber!”
“Oh, man, we’ll never find parking.” Ali goaned.
“Just pull into a parking garage,” Julia suggested. “It costs like $30 for the day, but my cousin said that’s the best thing to do. She’s lived here for years and knows what she’s talking about.”
They found a garage and drove in. Ali got a ticket from the attendant and left the car with him. Walking out of the garage, Julia and Ali felt the bright sun on their faces. They were both smiling.
Finding Times Square
“Alright, put Times Square into your maps.” Julia said.
“Nah, let’s just ask people for directions.” Ali said, enthusiastically. “It’s more fun that way.”
“Ok,” Julia replied, “you want an adventure!”
They asked a man in a dark blue suit who was walking by. “Head uptown on 6th” he said, pointing in that direction, “You’ll want to go maybe 20 blocks from here, until you get to Bryant Park. Make a right on 42nd and Times Square will be right there. It’ll take you maybe fifteen minutes.”
“Thanks,” they both said. The people in New York were fascinating. Julia thought that everybody looked beautiful. Ali couldn’t believe the variety of faces, skin tones, hairstyles and clothes that he saw. Everybody was headed somewhere fast. Some people wore backpacks and raced around on bikes. Others carried messenger bags and wore designer jeans and dress shirts. Almost everyone was wearing earbuds or headphones, listening to music or podcasts or having phone conversations.
They kept walking. The closer they got, the more people there were. They took a left on 42nd Street and now all they could see was a crowd. There were people in costumes, a naked cowboy, and lots of cameras. Everyone was taking selfies. Some were pointing at buildings. The buildings were covered with giant tv screens that glowed brightly. They were showing advertisements for cologne, clothes, cars, and computers.
Traffic is not allowed in Times Square. People can walk around safely. Julia and Ali took pictures of everything: the buildings, the people, the costumes. A newscaster was doing a report. There were dozens of police officers.