Many of us have come to appreciate the new, virtually crowd-free, Times Square ambiance. And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to share that affection.
The love fest begins today, with the unveiling of Love Letters, created by designers Soft-Firm. The installation won the 13th annual Love in Times Square Design Competition, and is composed of repurposed and donated plywood from building façades across New York City.
Love Letters winds across Duffy Square, creating four integrated spaces which from above look like two interlocking hearts. The “Soap Box” offers outward facing seating that doubles as a stage for public speaking and performance. The “Love Seat” provides a more secluded bench for a pair, while the “Chapel” supports two tiers of seating for a small group to meet safely and view Times Square from an elevated perspective. The enclosure then rises to eye level in the “Wishing Well”, a space for meditation and reflection on the spirit of the city.
Visitors are invited to tie a wish, a memento, or an artifact onto the netted underlay – maybe a letter to a lost loved one, or a message of appreciation to essential workers. The public can layer on their own meanings to the plywood storefront, each an author of the installation. Over time, it is hoped that Love Letters will become a memorial and a beacon: a symbol of hope — and you have until March 10 to get involved.
Times Square is also going BIG on the day itself, with the romance ratcheting up to the max. at 11am on February 14, when a couple whose nuptials were canceled last summer due to the pandemic will get hitched right at the heart of the Crossroads of the World. Also look out for surprise marriage proposals on Times Square’s American Eagle screen, including a proposal in Spanish and one from a couple whose love originated in Times Square.
In the evening, a celebration of love and commitment will take place on the iconic Red Steps. A few select couples will attend in person in socially distanced positions, and the event will be streamed live so that lovebirds from around the world can join from the safety of their own homes. The ceremony is free and open to people of all ages, genders, religions, races, and backgrounds. You can register at TSq.org/Vows.
You can submit your own love letter online and it will be added to the sculpture. Fill out the form at TSQ.org/LoveLetters