Options Aerial View: Playlist from August 5, 2014 Options

Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me. (Visit homepage.)

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Options August 5, 2014: The "T" Stands For "Times Square"!
Tonight: The "T" Stands For "Times Square"!

I work down the street and around the corner from the "Crossroads Of The World". I wish I could agree with Tom Waits when he sings "Times Square's a dream." (Cold, Cold Ground). For me, it's a nightmare. Instant headache. All those people, all that hustle, all those chain stores. For my money, it's one of the least interesting parts of Manhattan. But I suppose it's on your list if you're planning a visit to NYC. See it once and forget it.

While you're there you will most certainly be accosted by a "costumed performer" (those people dressed up like Elmo, Cookie Monster, a Mario Brother, Hello Kitty, Batman, Spiderman, etc.), especially if you have kids. They'll try to get you to take a picture with them for tips. This is a fairly new phenomenon, brought about by the cleaning up of Times Square and the establishment of "pedestrian plazas".

Last week, a Spiderman punched an NYPD Officer who had the audacity to tell some tourists "Pay whatever you want." They were trying to tip one dollar: Spidey insisted on five. In the wake of this incident and several others involving an Elmo and some others, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently said it's time to regulate and license these performers. Beyond the massive security risk they pose (who knows who's inside that costume?), they're sending tourists home with bad word-of-mouth about Times Square.

Tonight, in my second "Tourist Trap" installment, I go seeking comment from those "costumed performers". It wasn't easy. Most of them did not want to speak with me, whether due to a language barrier or because they don't think the "media" is on their side. I did eventually get one or two on the record, along with a young topless woman painted in patriotic colors, the Jewish Joker, a street dancer a cop or two and hawker with definite opinions on Guy Fieri and his restaurant. You'll also here about my quest for The Roots.

Please tune in and hear my final trip through Times Square (unless they take me through there in a meat wagon). Let me go there so you don't have to

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Artist Track Year
Jay Chris T. Z.  Empire Aerial View State   Options 2014 

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:10pm Mike East:

there was a dual doubledecker bus accident in times square today, since you mention there being too many
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:13pm Marcel M:

Hello all. Loving the theme tonight. That Olive Garden has been there a while now. There is nothing more pathetic than visiting New York and then eating there....
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:13pm Marcel M:

Damn how coincidental Mike, was it bad?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:14pm Mike East:

www.wnyc.org...
right by the TKTS booth.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:14pm Mike East:

11 injured
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:18pm Marcel M:

Dang
  Tue. 8/5/14 6:21pm fatblood:

NYC the loneliest crowd in the world. Ha
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:22pm Marcel M:

France the Bronx... same deal.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:22pm Marcel M:

Haha.. yes tell the Frenchman to go to the Olive Garden
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Tue. 8/5/14 6:28pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Times Square web cam - www.earthcam.com...
  Tue. 8/5/14 6:32pm u:

iow
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:36pm dale:

is this the naked cowgirl or something?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:40pm Sullivan Ballou:

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture"
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:45pm dale:

if you regulate street performers will they demand unionization, healthcare, a pension and vacation and sick pay?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:52pm Marcel M:

I suppose they could join the freelancers union..
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:58pm Marcel M:

Thanks Chris, bye all
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 8/5/14 6:58pm Marcel M:

Appreciating the significance of this song by the way! Midnight Cowboy running through my mind.... Times Square was a different place then boy!
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