In keeping with recent moves to stake claim to things/people that it doesn't whatsoever own, Russia went ahead and pulled a Dubai-calibur stunt by building a scale model of New York City's Times Square inside a freaking shopping mall. Wait, WHAT?
The project was conceived and executed by global tech titan Philips as a promotional effort for their Color Kinetics architectural LED lighting systems. And it was a go-big-or-go-home type of affair: the finished product is now the largest media facade in the entire country and includes 16 million different colors.
Keep in mind, the actual facade is much smaller than it appears. After all, it fits inside a mall aptly named VEGAS Crocus City shopping center in Moscow. The design was done to demonstrate "the growth of our business as well as our local expertise," according to Marina Tyshchenko, head of Philips Lighting in Russia.
Yep, it even has the TKTS steps on 47th street, and a slew of ads for Broadway shows and American products—all in English. The only thing missing, it seems, are the handsy guys dressed up in threadbare Elmo suits and aggressive comedy show promoters.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He has a minor panic attack every time he visits the real Times Square.