So I wasn’t going to post until I finished my Addams Family post and my blog is generally supposed to be only about entertainment (generally/only.. He writes but doesn’t know grammar, does he?) but given the location of the tonight’s Times Square Scare this warrants a post. I find it rather comical yet scary that I found more information about what was going on in Times Square from Twitter posts, Facebook comments and text messages from friends. Furthermore, some of the information I discovered from say CBS.com was incorrect.  They reported that because of the events “Broadway shows like Lion King have cancelled performances.” Now, compared to the actual event this isn’t really THAT big of a deal. I assumed this was correct since it came from, ya know CBS!!!!  But the truth is that the show started an hour late.  I was working at Come Fly Away (in the Marquis Theatre, dead center in the middle of the chaos) and we started at 8:33pm.  Yes we were late and almost half of the audience didn’t show up but we still had a show as did everyone else I’ve heard.  Shows outside of the blocked off area (i.e. Mary Poppins, Million Dollar Quartet, Everyday Rapture & Hair) started on time though.  Had I been watching the news and had a ticket to Lion King I wouldn’t go to the theatre if I was told the performance was cancelled but if I knew it was going to begin late then I would’ve still attempted to go.  The Box Offices are going to be crazy tomorrow morning!

The first bit of information came from word-of-mouth, which is to be expected.  However, there was no news on any of the mobile-friendly sites I visited (NY1.com, CBS.com, etc) until after 9pm.  Why did it take so long for the news to catch wind/post on this event? I ask as a serious question, not to be snarky…  I’m thankful that no one got injured but information is key.  Several friends said they heard explosions and saw smoke and one friend told me they saw propane tanks.  Now, I know the news clearly isn’t supposed to start a panic by reporting this and by the time you read this I’m sure Times Square will be up and running again, but if it APPEARS that a bomb-related explosion went off alongside the building I work in, I’d like to know why, what, when, where, how and I want to know it quickly!  I was not allowed out of the hotel for over an hour and I know this is going to anger me for saying this later but I spent $7.34 on a Snickers bar and a Naked Juice because that was all the Marriott had open! $3.50 for a bag of chips!! Are they cereal??!!??!!

Ahem! A man from Japan told me a few months ago that NYPD are extremely well trained. I was born here so I wouldn’t know the difference between them and any other Officers but tonight really showed how effective and efficient they are.  Blockades were up and police presence was OBVIOUS! You were NOT going where they didn’t want you to go and that made me feel safe.  At 9:20pm I saw a group of about 7 people be asked to show their tickets just to be allowed to pass through the barricades to go see Addams Family.  Its annoying in the moment to be told you can’t get food because of a situation unknown to you but it is meant to keep us safe and I appreciate it.

Soo, from what I’ve gathered from Facebook, Twitter and text messages (not from any official news site so cross-check the info) is that a small car bomb did go off and an explosion was heard and smoke was seen.  Shortly thereafter a second explosion was heard.  At this point defensive actions were put in place by the NYPD and Times Square was effectively rendered a temporary ghost town.  Apparently the bomb itself did not go off so perhaps it failed?  I’m not sure.

I say all of this to say that some people refute the usefulness of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Tonight, they gave me more accurate information than CBS did, who, btw, is still reporting that Lion King cancelled their show.  I do not think that the major news stations are any less valuable but I do think that sites such as Twitter can be a very valuable to them.

Who would have thought today, May 1st, probably the most gorgeous day in NYC so far this year would be marred by such a senseless act; if indeed it was a bomb, which it appears it was.  Now that I am home (the subways were running fine with extra police presence) I’m going to sit down with a bowl of pork fried rice and watch South Park’s “Medicinal Fried Chicken.” I encourage you to do the same!