When you think of Times Square, it’s hard not to picture giant chain stores, a handsy out-of-work actor in a Toy Story costume, 8,639 selfie-stick wielding tourists, and the nation’s most expensive Applebee’s. However, The Office for Creative Research has finally given us a reason to visit this overblown tourist trap (sorry, it’s not two free tickets to Hamilton). The public data sculpture, called We Were Strangers Once Too, is an art installation in the (literal) heart of Times Square.
Made up of 33 metal poles, the art project displays data that shows the role of immigrants in making New York City a vibrant melting pot. The poles all have red and pink stripes that vary in size depending on country of origin and population. While some stripes are small (like Sweden) some are vast (like the Dominican Republic). While the stripes look like random data from most vantage points, from the main observation point the stripes are actually in the shape of heart.
New York is a city of immigrants and this sculpture is a beautiful homage to diversity. We Were Strangers Once Too will be on view until March 5.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Guide to New York City