Travis Bickle: A Distant Memory of Old New York [Experience]

I selected two Experiences today from the Box. My 1st instinct was to grab the one with the crinkly paper but, I closed my eyes and pulled out a woodcut piece that had a boxed DVD strapped to it and $20.


Taxi Driver!

And then the realization that I may have to do coke and watch a Times Square Peep Show for a couple of nickels dawned on me. Actually, the fact that Finals are owning me dawned on me and I got nervous. Neva agreed to be my partner in the whole “reliving” of the Times Square that Travis Bickle used to live in.


From our Trip (see Neva’s Post) it doesn’t exist. The closest we got to “Taxi Driver” NYC was the advertisement of “FlashDancers” atop a Taxi Sign. While Times Square is safe, it is also a sad place to go. Devoid of it’s danger and grit, New York City seems to have washed away it’s personality and culture as a result. The various signs of Broadway stage productions are the last of what I feel is the heartbeat of Times Square’s once-boiling blood.

The chaos that Travis Bickle came home to, after the Vietnam War is now replaced by the chaotic movement of tourists, violating street-etiquette bearing flash bulbs and overpriced street delights in the forms of double-decker bus tickets and warm bags of nuts and oversized soft pretzels.

I too felt displaced while in Times Square alongside my Experience partner, Neva. I rarely visit Times Square and always avoid it. The rain was falling on us, and we were carried to the edges of 47th and 8th avenue. Street Walkers have been replaced by Street Tourism Hawkers, and penny candies and loosies are now organic fruit trucks and cafés. I wonder what Travis Bickle would think of NYC now…the overstimulation and noise is still present in NYC, it’s just very different.


**On the ride back to NYU, we got some entertainment from “TWO BROTHERS!” and I saw a man who looked like my father’s “doppleganger”, while being surrounded by “The Spirit of America”…Neva took a photo of all the “terror” on the train.


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