I vacillate between "Eww" and "Aww" when it comes to public displays of affection (aka PDA). It's one of those situations you really can't judge until you see it happen, and your reaction is usually heavily influenced by whatever mood/stage of life you're living at the moment.
In a new relationship? "Aww, look at that cute couple smooching under the bridge!"
Bad break-up? "Eww, look at those morons making fools of themselves under the bridge. UGH."
Recently married? "Aww, isn't love lovely? LOVE FOR EVERYONE!"
Recently separated? "Idiots. WHERE'S THE WHISKEY?"
There's something about New York City in particular that encourages (or, at the very least, doesn't discourage) couples from being very affectionate to each other in public, no matter what their age or relationship status might be. It's not just teenagers and twenty-somethings making out on the L train on; I've definitely witnessed women with salt & pepper hair perched on their balding significant other's lap making goo-goo eyes at each other. For all I know, that woman may be the CEO of her own company, and that man could be the head of recruiting at a large law firm in Midtown. But there they are, giggling and whispering like a couple of high schoolers behind the bleachers of a football game. Except they're not in high school, and it's the middle of Bryant Park. And now her tongue is in his ear! GAH! LOOK AWAY!
Ironically, the density of New York City's population allows for a comfortable anonymity for most residents. You would experience a painful sensory overload if you really tried to take in all of the sights, sounds, people, commotion, etc. that flood every street and every avenue, every minute of every hour of every day. So we all walk around with blinders at 50% opacity, filtering out what we don't need but paying attention to the more curious or out of place when we see it.
PDA always makes it through my filter because, in a city that's always moving, PDA requires stillness from its participants. You have to plant yourself in one place for more than a few seconds. You have to focus on one person. You have to put your blinders on 100% opacity to the rest of the world. You have to be willing to act like a bit of a fool because very personal love--the kind that moves you to make a public display of affection--many times looks like foolishness to others. And that's fine! I'm glad that you find such joy in your relationship! But please try to remember that love isn't all goo-goo eyes and kisses under the bridge. PDA can be demure and quiet and just as lovely. A caress of the cheek, a squeeze of the hand, the wink of an eye. Classy and non-gag reflex inducing. Everyone's a winner!
But if you can't help yourself, make good use of your $1750/mo studio apartment in the West Village and leave the rest of us to fall asleep quietly on our train ride home.