Shortly after the Tony Awards announced its much delayed 2020 nominations in the middle of a pandemic-induced shutdown, I brought actor and writer Kevin James Doyle back to Times Square for a tour of his favorite spots (watch video below), as I did six years ago for an article then on how the Crossroads of the World was a place for people-watching, exploring, shopping, dining, and celebrating. Would it still be a place to celebrate?
Doyle seemed the right tour guide for Times Square, although he, like me, hadn’t been there since March. The first steps Doyle took in New York City some 18 year ago were in Times Square at 4 in the morning. He was on a school trip to the city with 64 Ohio high school classmates and the bus deposited them there in the middle of the night. They ate at an all-night eatery. (He now acknowledges it was Macdonald’s.) They eyed the dazzling signs. They watched the sun rise. He decided to move to New York; his first job in the city was wearing an advertising sign in Times Square. He later gave walking tours of the Theater District. Then, in 2014, Doyle was in Times Square as the coauthor and costar with Margaret Copeland of “How 2 B A New Yorker,” a comedy revue that played every weekend at the Planet Hollywood located in Times Square. Now he’s starring in a new show online, rather than on stage.
Of his favorite neighborhood bars, only The Mean Fiddler remains, at 25 percent capacity. Midtown Comics, the largest comic book store in the United States, is allowing in-store pickup. Bryant Park is still around, though no longer the ideal place to people watch.