TIMES SQUARE — It's a slice of suburbia at the Crossroads of the World.
A living room adorned with furniture found on Craigslist and on the street was installed in Duffy Square on Wednesday morning, encouraging passersby to pose and snap photos in the scene, organizers said.
“I think in society we kind of split up creative people and non-creative people,” said set creator and New York photographer Justin Bettman, who took photos with models at the set before opening it to the public.
“I think it’s a false barrier. People get really creative when you give them a canvas to work with."
The set was created using Craigslist finds and discarded objects, including a rocking chair found in Sheepshead Bay, a vintage suitcase from Forest Hills, a cuckoo clock from St. George, and a couch from Central Park West. They were all dusted down and sprayed with bed bug repellant just in case, Bettman noted.
The artist scouted the city for five weeks, scouring Craigslist ads and picking up furniture in his cargo van, he said.
“I wanted to bring New York City together by bringing all five boroughs to the center of Times Square,” Bettman explained.
Tourists and New Yorkers lined up Wednesday afternoon to snap a photos on the set.
“I was surprised to find a living room in the middle of Times Square,” said Qiuyu Wang, a 23-year-old producer from Roosevelt Island, who stopped to pose with friends. “The contrasts are very interesting. We can get creative. We definitely had fun."
Kerry Foyle, a teacher from Massachusetts, waited in line to take photos of her daughters and her friends at the scene.
“I think it’s a great additional activity, especially for the kids,” she said.
The public is also encouraged to publish their photos of the set on social media using the hashtag #setinthestreets.
Bettman, who lives in Bushwick, said he got the idea to set up indoor scenes on the city's sidewalks last summer.
“I wanted to build elaborate sets [for my photo shoots], but did not have the money or did not want to spend it on a studio, so I thought, why don’t I use what we have outside?" Bettman said. "And then I thought I would leave [the set] there for people to use it too."
Since then, Bettman's installations have popped up in Bushwick, Williamburg, the Lower East Side and in Chelsea, where he recently set up a bathroom that included a real bathtub.
The Times Square set will be open to the public every day through Sunday from 12 p.m until 7 p.m. It is located in front of Duffy Square, between 45th and 47th streets, from Broadway to Seventh Avenue.