Love Radiates from Times Square on Valentine’s Day

By Amanda Moses

Kyry Martinez’s, 26, eyes widened when she looked upon the American Eagle billboard in middle of Times Square to see the words “Kyry, will you marry me?” in neon lights. As her gaze shifted downward toward her boyfriend, Justin Gonzalez, 27, he had already bent down on one knee with a bright smile across his face.

Teary eyed, Martinez nodded her head and sealed the deal with a euphoric kiss which was followed by a burst of confetti and Bruno Mars’ song “Marry me” blaring through the streets.

These Brooklynites are one pair of several couples who took part in “Love in Times Square,” an annual event where lovers make promises to each other in the form of an engagement, wedding, or vow renewals near Father Duffy Square’s red steps.

Martinez shared that she first met her boyfriend in Times Square while working at Forever 21, and now, nine years later, she plans on spending the rest of her life with him.

“We met here so what better place to celebrate our origin story,” Gonzalez said.

“It’s a lot of emotions, it brings a lot of memories and flashbacks because when we first started dating, we would be walking around, and this would be the area we would be at. It’s a lot of emotions right now and I’m very happy that it happened here. This is where we first started,” Martinez added. 

Whether it was getting down on one knee or taking that first step down the wedding aisle, couples found love at the heart of the Big Apple thanks to the Times Square Alliance who coordinated the entire affair.

After 15 years as a couple and two children, Nube Norellana and Jean Carlos Gomez also decided to tie the knot with their son Jaziel, 8, as ring bearer.

“I saw the commercial and I decided to take a chance. We were lucky we got selected,” Gomez said.

Couples around the country are invited to submit a brief explanation stating how they met and why their love should be expressed at the Crossroads of the World to the Times Square Alliance, and then a panel of judges chooses couples to receive a free wedding or proposal using American Eagle’s billboard.

“It is really a unique experience and it’s something we’ve been waiting to do for a long time to get married and we never thought it was going to be this way. We are really happy, sand we love New York, and we love Times Square so for us it’s special,” Norellana said.

Photos by Amanda Moses

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Amanda Moses