Trip Trivia posted a story about the busiest intersections in the world. Can you believe I have been to all of them? Where are they, and what was I doing there?
They say that crossing the street with thousands of your best friends in a memorable experience. I am not so sure. But in most cases, the visual stimulation is worth the price of admission.
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo
Of course, probably the busiest in the world. Also home to what is now the world’s most well known dog, Hachiko. If you ever get to see the Japanese version of the film (not the Dick Gere version), you will cry until your eyes drown. Needless to say, Shibuya is Times Square on steroids. Can you believe that about 2500 people cross here at the appropriate time? Best of all, there is a Starbucks on the second story overlooking the crossing. Perhaps you can count the number of people here? We have, in the past, chosen, the Hachiko statue as a meeting point, as have perhaps a thousand other people.
Times Square, New York City
Perhaps one of the most photographed locations in the world, along with the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon, and the Teeming Power of Lisa. I like the energy that Times Square forces into every muscle and pore. Don’t go unless you want to be a real New Yorker for a few days. As the Chairman of the Board sang, the city never sleeps, and it is certainly true here. I did not know it was originally named Longacre Square, until the New York Times moved here. Each day, anywhere from 380,000 to 450,000 traverse the heart of the Square. And on New Year’s Eve, the count is more than a million!
Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris
Would you believe twelve avenues converge here, with its epicenter, the Arch de Triomphe? The Arch was featured in last week’s Tour de France, as the race traversed tree lined Champs Elysees a full SEVEN laps! The first time is the best, since it just seems so, well so French, of course. France was not so nice to me on my first visits in the 70s, thanks to de Gaulle, and his anti-American attitude. But it has gotten better, or I have mellowed, maybe some of both.
Piccadilly Circus, London
What was I thinking when I first heard the term? Imagine my great disappointment when I found out it was just an amorphous circle in the middle of the city. But it was my first trip to Europe. And it was my first view of a famous site. I was on my way to see a play, either “Hair” or “Butley” with Alan Bates. Would you believe a hundred million people get here each year? But it is close to London’s famous theaters, and the Underground. It is a natural meeting place for pre theater dinner.
Naturally, I have my own “list” of busy intersections, based on my travels.
Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Spanish Steps, Rome
Revolution Square, Bucharest
Red Square, Moscow
Wenceslas Square, Prague
Heroe’s Square, Budapest
Old Town Square, Warsaw
St. Peter’s Square, Rome
Taksim Square, Istanbul