John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The heart-shaped structures encourage public smooching for Valentine’s Day.
Times Square, home to famed sensual sights like the Naked Cowboy and, uh, Gropey Cookie Monster, is about to get even racier. This Valentine’s Day, giant, golden hearts will pop up at the busy crossroads, complete with caves that offer visitors the opportunity to suck face.
The “Heart of Hearts” installation is the product of local designers at Collective–LOK, who won a Times Square Arts competition and plan for nine hearts reaching 10 feet into the air. “Times Square is the heart of New York City—a blur of bright lights and billboards, noise, steam, passion and possibilities,” they write. “It is spectacle made manifest, day and night. For Valentine’s Day we offer the Heart of Hearts, a space for both intimacy and performance within this spectacular atmosphere.”
That intimacy and performance will be enhanced by copious amounts of mind-altering substances, at least to judge from the collective’s dizzying depictions of orgiastic joy around the big hearts. (Just look at that couple doing a hand-stand smooch while dancers cryptically gyrate, and tell me everyone’s in their right minds.) Here’s more from the designers:
A faceted ring of nine golden, mirrored hearts creates a pavilion that reflects and multiplies the pulsating activity of Times Square, creating a kaleidoscopic interior that dissolves the boundaries between viewing and performing. Within the ring, diamond-shaped spaces inside each heart create “kissing booths” where couples find their activities mirrored, allowing both privacy and publicity within the Heart of Hearts.
Now prepare for a trip through the looking glass with these renderings: