New York City San Valentine’s Day

San Valentine has arrived in New York City! Love is in the air and since yesterday evening, men and women were running around the city with flowers bouquet and chocolate boxes. The showcases are all in a red-hearts mood and sweet peluches are ready to make boys and girls happy.

What captured my attention a couple of days ago, was the new sculpture in Times Square. You can immediately notice a series of black, red, and pink poles but, once turning around, the magic is done: if you stop in front of them, you can clearly recognize a big red heart! And it’s not over here: if you approach the poles, you can read countries’ names plus a series of numbers for each one of them. What that numbers mean? They are the numbers of immigrants – residents in New York City, for each of that communities. So yes, the San Valentine’s sculpture in Times Square wants to celebrate immigrant’s communities.

The opera is titled “We Were Strangers Once Too” and has been designed by The Office of Creative Research. The thirty-three poles represent the 2015 census data, therefore the thirty-three larger communities of foreign-born New York City residents.

Many people were curious about the meaning of the poles – even a guy asked me “What that means?” and while I was explaining him, we started to talk about our origins and our lives in New York City. Isn’t it amazing? New York City, its people and, in this case, its art, are able to transform a simple walking in a discovery, specifically in a discovery of diversity that makes this city richer every day.

Let me finish this post with a thought: San Valentine’s Day celebrates love – in all of its forms. It is the celebration of people who are in love one another – but it is also the celebration of the deepest, craziest, happier, heartbreaking, and more exciting sentiment that human beings can feel: LOVE.

Sara Belligoni


The San Valentine’s sculpture in Time Square “We Were Strangers Once Too”