Friday, November 28, 2008

O Tannenbaum

This evening I went downtown, and as you might imagine, there were a lot of people around. I wandered a few stores, not really shopping but rather enjoying the festive atmosphere. As I approached Union Square, the crowds on the street were unbelievable. It was like being in Shibuya on a Saturday night. The streets around the Square were closed to traffic, and there was a distinct police presence. Two recent news stories flashed through my mind: the Mumbai terrorist attacks and the Walmart employee who was trampled to death by an insane crowd of consumers. I tried to imagine what might have drawn all these people to this area, but at first I was stumped. I saw a few people carrying anti-gay signs, but they seemed marginal: this was your typical crowd of holiday shoppers. People were even clustered around the windows of surrounding hotels, staring down at the Square. Then I wondered if it might have something to do with the Christmas tree. Sure enough, a few minutes later people started counting down and then the gigantic Christmas tree in the Square was illuminated.

The crowd dispersed much more quickly than I'd have thought possible.
For the record, these photos were taken with an iPhone.


Blogger jain said...

Wow! Amazing.

6:09 AM  
Blogger jain said...

The Walmart employee--Yeah, I can't believe a guy was trampled to death in the name of shopping. Absolutely sickening.

6:11 AM  

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