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Let’s Have a Parade

This extraordinary display is typical of a new generation of high-performance LED signage which has virtually replaced all of the older neon of Times Square, a trend which is universal. Like most New Yorkers, I rarely travel to Times Square, and I do so only when there are specific reasons. On a recent trip, I unexpectedly ran across this massive display which is part of the new M&M’s Retail World. See here for the set of photos.

I am not so fond of over zealous business establishments which are essentially mega-branding and marketing tools. Legacy businesses such as Coca-Cola, Disney, Warner Brothers, and many others have entered this new world of advertising, selling lines of branded products via their own retail stores. But I had to grant that this enormous LED display was just fascinating as I watched it cycle through image after image.

What can easily be seen as a gratuitous display and waste of money reminds me of a conversation I had with someone many years ago. My friend’s concluding assertion always bothered me, because at one level I didn’t like it, but at another, it rang true. He and I were discussing extravagance and celebrations. I mentioned how, in many cases, money could be better used for any one of a myriad of needy causes. His response was, “Yeah, but you gotta have parades.” This really hit me. People really do occasionally need to express joy and exuberance even if it is not always “practical” or “sensible.” We can’t live life with the souls of accountants. A world without love, flowers, laughter, and parades would be a dreary one.

So for now, just for a few minutes, let’s put aside aside our criticism, skepticism, and cynicism. Let’s have a parade :)

About the display and store: The 32½-foot-high by 31¼-foot-wide LED panel display was done by Union City, NJ-based D3 LED. The display content was designed by New York-based Show & Tell Productions. Store 25000-sq ft, 3-story design by Ohio firm Chute Gerdeman Retail.

8 Responses to Let’s Have a Parade

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post. Perfect for heading into the weekend.

    “You gotta have parades…”…nice.

  2. Great photo, big bold and in-your-face. Love the colours in this :0)
    Have a great week end!!
    Mab :0)

  3. Hello,

    I adore your blog which is for me, a goldmine for my next travel to NY.
    Thanks for your interresting and clever comments.

    Alex from France.

  4. Well said Brian. Perhaps they could have a charity box for donations though, starting with a hefty donation from the companies which make huge money out of selling candy coated chocolate albeit delicious ones.

  5. mouse (aka kimy) says:

    just started a city photo blog and wanted to check out the city daily blogs for new york – one of my absolutely favorite cities.

    great site. the colors are captivating as are the accompanying text.

    as a newbie, I am just now starting to put up ‘recommended’ city daily sites!

    thanks for being out there!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Want something new? Look at a photo gallery

  7. Your friend’s remark, “yeah, but you gotta have parades,” was spot on. I used to live in St. Louis. When an old, crumbling, utilitarian bridge needed to be replaced, the city dressed up the new bridge with ornate lighting fixtures. Many city residents got their noses out of joint over what they saw as a “waste of money.” I, on the other hand, welcomed even this modest effort to add some style to the streetscape.

  8. babooshka says:

    They can’t even spell the parade in my island let alone have one. Great image.


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