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  • If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there. Robert Kiyosaki
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Walk Times Square Hum

COMPLETED BY 23

LISTED 37

A pedestrian island in the middle of world-famous Times Square emits a strange, and purposeful, humming noise.

Times Square has a few very noticeable features. Bustling crowds, bright lights, honking car horns and shouting vendors. The sights, sounds and sensations have long pleasantly overwhelmed unaccustomed visitors to the world landmark, even as they make local eyes roll.

But one feature is known for being unknown.

It’s a hum–a strange, hard-to-identify sound resembling a distant moving and clanking of heavy machinery or some other technological machination not found in natural settings. It’s deliberately concentrated on a singular pedestrian island in the middle of the busy intersection, and the most observant of passers-by will undoubtedly notice it.

In fact, the noise is deliberate. Rising up from what seems to be beneath the street, the hum was originally an art installation by Max Neuhaus, called Times Square, created in 1977 without signage or notification essentially to see if anyone on the world’s busiest street would notice. And like any piece of unmarked art meant to catch the attention of the public, almost no one did notice.

The hum has since become a tradition, and the stuff of legend, as almost anything that lasts for decades with little formal marking does. It was finally removed by the artist in 1992, only to be restored once again by a collaboration headed up by the Dia Art Foundation.

And thus there it remains: The strange, unavoidable, barely noticeable humming noise heard by hundreds of people each day with only a minute portion of them actually noticing.

Some people say art isn’t art unless it makes a statement. Times Square fits this criteria, even if its statement is a constant stream of nothing, noticed by no one.

 

Success stories

Alisa Williams

Jul 10 at 17:41 pm
Done!

Cristian Diaz

Mar 25 at 19:25 pm
Done

Medhavi Agarwal

Jan 15 at 19:35 pm
first trip to Ny. Hershey's store was great

Valene Joshua

Jan 14 at 23:01 pm
I did it

Carla Chosa

Jan 14 at 22:23 pm
NYC!

Rosalind Pingleton

Jan 11 at 21:02 pm
done

Anneli Johansson Eik

Jan 08 at 22:46 pm
Yay

Amanda Hanson

Jan 03 at 05:07 am
did this while on tour with the Billings Youth Orchestra