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Secrets of Times Square

Impulse – Experience the Ups & Downs on Broadway

Impulse – Experience the Ups & Downs on Broadway

Visitors enjoy seesaw rides at Impulse, an interactive work of public art currently on display on Broadway between W37th & W 38th streets in NYC. The seesaws light up and play musical notes when in use. Photo by Brian Hetser

Thanks to our good friends at The Garment District Alliance, a non-profit Business Improvement District that manages the public space, one block of Broadway has been closed to traffic in order to bring you Impulse, an interactive art installation comprised of 12 over-sized seesaws that transform the Broadway pedestrian plazas into a gleaming winter wonderland. Last night I spent a few hours on site observing the action and interviewing visitors, tourist as well as native New Yorkers. This interactive display got high praise from everyone.

When two or up to four people, climb on and begin to both teeter and totter, the seesaws radiate with light and musical elements, creating your very own winter light show. 

In this long exposure photo, visitors are seen enjoying seesaw rides at Impulse, an interactive work of public art currently on display on Broadway between W37th & W 38th streets in NYC. The seesaws light up and play musical notes when in use. Photo by Brian Hester

Impulse is located on Broadway in the Garment District between 37th and 38th Streets through January 31st. This block is temporarily closed to vehicles and has been converted to public space through the New York City Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Seasonal Streets Program, expanding and enhancing the pedestrian experience.

As I mentioned I interviewed several visitors to the exhibit and without exception that all loved the piece, the experience and the vibe that this created in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York City. Visitors from as far away as Canada and China, and Native New Yorkers from all 5 boros as well as visitors from across the USA all shared incredibly positive glowing feedback. But you don’t have to take my word for that, just take a look for yourself.

A young couple, Kate and Aman of Brooklyn share moment and a kiss amidst the seesaws. To imagine the power of this installation, that it could create such an intimate environment in the middle of Broadway in Midtown Manhattan . Photo by Brian Hester
All the way from Canada Lola and Jibril loved riding the giant, light up, musical seesaw. Photo by Brian Hester
On the other end of the seesaw pictured above, also from Canada, Nadia and in the unicorn hat Julia. Photo by Brian Hester

In addition to discovering that the reaction to this installation was universally unanimous overwhelming positive I also found out that none of the people I spoke with knew about the display prior to stumbling upon it in their travels. Most discovered the attraction very much by accident. You, the educated reader of this column, will of course have advanced knowledge and will head down to The Garment District on your lunch hour of after work, or for the truly brave souls, after a productive happy hour? I might even suggest that forward thinking companies take small teams down there as free “team building” exercise. Whatever your motivation I highly recommend experiencing the highs and lows of Broadway for yourself. The exhibit will remain in site through the end of this month at this location, in The Garment District, Broadway bet. W37 & W38. If you don’t make it by then not to worry as the Seaport District has a similar display, designed an built by the same folks, on display there through the end of March, The Seaport District has also added a temporary ice skating rink that offers visitors a chance to skate with a unique Only in New York view. That will be another feature in future days.

A sister and brother, Deborah and Jacob, both of New York City, grab a quick selfie after taking their turn on the over-sized playground toys. Photo by Brian Hester
Kaiah Gittens, 7, of Queens is all smiles as she rides with her big sister. Photo by Brian Hester
Candace Gittens, 8, of Queens is all smiles as she rides with her little sister. Photo by Brian Hester
Kaiah Gittens, 7, of Queens is all smiles as she rides with her big sister. Photo by Brian Hester
Ivy, from Manhattan, tries her hand at modeling amidst the lights of Impulse on Broadway. Photo by Brian Hester
Claire, a visitor from China, enjoys a ride with her friend Ivy. Photo by Brian Hester
Ivy, of Manhattan, waves as she enjoys the giant seesaws that are part of Impulse. The work is currently on display and free to the public through the end of this month. Photo by Brian Hester
Carmine of Corona breaks out in laughter as she rides the giant seesaw. Photo by Brian Hester

Of course those who know me know that I HAD to take a try on these seesaws for myself. Take a look. And fear not if you visit alone, its New York City, you are never really alone.

Decided to take a long exposure selfies using my tripod as I was having such a great time photographing, playing with the lights and actually trying the seesaws out for myself. Loved them!!! Photo by Brian Hester

Secrets of Times Square

Brian Hester is a New York City based freelance photographer covering any nature of event including but not limited to; breaking news, sports, entertainment, fashion, nature and whatever may catch his wandering eye. Since 2011 Brian, has been covering community events and high school sports for North Jersey Media Group and their successor Gannett USA Today. His clients include Rutgers University and Monmouth Athletics. ​You can see more of his work at www.brianbehindthelens.com

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