Multinational Dried Noodle Consortium Invades Union Square, Discomfits Pedestrians


Two free tickets for you, each valued at $5

With alarming precision, a fleet of small blue sports cars emblazoned with advertising art took over a block of Union Square West on Wednesday afternoon, right across from the Greenmarket, with as many as 10 street reps in matching outfits (except the girls wore little blue caps) importuning passersby and offering a pair of tickets to something called Casa Barilla.

They sure look like tickets.

Except the tickets didn’t guarantee admission to the event, which was listed as taking place September 13 through 17, over a broad range of hours. According to one of the guys distributing tickets, Casa Barilla is “a one-hour course about pasta.” We can be sure we already know what kind of pasta they’re lecturing about.

More disturbing, perhaps, than commercial interests commandeering a portion of the public thoroughfare for their own interests for an entire afternoon (the vending trucks usually parked there had been made to disappear), is the fact that the Casa Barilla event is advertised as taking place in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield.

Trade shows staged on public lands in Central Park? That simply sucks.

Come and watch a one-hour commercial in Central Park that you should be paying $5 for!

Their parking spaces protected by very official-looking orange plastic cones, the Barilla street team reaches out to snag pedestrians.

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