....... Divertimento: Times Square Barbie Christmas display is a hazard

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Times Square Barbie Christmas display is a hazard

The public space in front of Times Square in Causeway Bay has now got a colorful Barbie themed Christmas display. This was launched with some fanfare and there was a write up in the South China Morning Post. As with all such festive displays in Hong Kong, it is a photo oppotunity for many, locals and tourists alike - a great thing! However, I would like to share my concerns with you. Aside from the fact that one wonders what the relevance of Barbie is to Christmas, I believe that the display is an accident waiting to happen.

Here's why:

First, the floor is treacherously slippery when wet. I happened to walk through that area last week when it was raining and had to watch every step to make sure I did not slip. Mind you, I was wearing a pair of sensible flat, leather shoes. Imagine what it was like for ladies in high heels or toddlers who are unsteady at the best of times! One of the security guards had a lot of initiative and made productive use of the time minding the installation by asking pedestrians to watch out as the floor is very slippery. The other one nearby preferred to watch the clouds drift past.

I went back there today to check it out. It has been dry for several days. Well, there are several signs warning the public that the floor is uneven and it's slippery. Is that really all Times Square's management think is necessary to fix the problem? Really?

Second, the installtion itself is not ideal for a potentially very crowded area with a lot of through traffic. For example, take a closer look at this "cubby house". The roofline is about adult head height so that you have to duck to get in. Look at the shingles - metal, protruding and "in your face". I was there on a Thursday afternoon a month before Christmas and people had to step away to avoid knocking into the sharp metal. Imagine what it would be like during the weekend and closer to Christmas?

Enjoy....cautiously. Have a great day!

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