The subways, buses, cramped apartments, and crowded bars of New York City are being joined by a new way to sit in a small space with other people. Please welcome the Meeting Bowls (or “tourist cages,” as Animal NY calls them), a new public art installation in Times Square. They’re exactly what you see in the picture: three huge basket things full of people.
The Meeting Bowls are the idea of a Spanish art collective called mmmm… (no, it’s really called mmmm…). mmmm… describes the bowls as “Temporary and playful urban furniture, they encourage friendly dialogue between strangers in a close yet pleasant space.”
They’re sponsored by the Times Square Alliance, a neighborhood organization repping Times Square businesses. Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins told us that they chose the bowls out of a number of different proposals, and that people are “loving it and saying that it’s a cool idea and a great idea. Urban life is all about these random intersections of different people from different places coming together.”
They can comfortably seat eight or nine people and “rock slightly,” according to Tompkins. “It’s a very gentle rocking,” he said when Runnin’ Scared tried to point out the meeting bowls’ resemblance to spinning teacup rides.
The bowls will be at Broadway and 46th till September 16th.