Who hasn’t visited Times Square, it’s like not being in New York! Many New Yorkers, as well as tourists, attach such importance to perhaps the most famous square of this metropolis. It is a place where you will stand in awe with your mouth open and watch the chirping around you.
According to Allcitycodes, Times Square is located at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. It is a kind of crossroads of the world, a place where various peoples and cultures meet on a relatively small area. The traffic rushes around you and the crowds of people are endless. All this is accompanied by flashing neon advertisements that only add to the total feeling of chaos. Americans are already used to it, but it will take some time for a European to absorb all these impressions.
In the past, the square was called Longacre Square, it was renamed in April 1904 allegedly at the instigation of Alfred Ochs – the owner of the New York Times newspaper. However, Times Square is not just a square, but the entire area made up of several blocks that are part of commercial spaces in Midtown Manhattan.
Today’s Times Square is completely different from the cheap place it was until 1989. Just a few years ago, it was a meeting place for criminals, weirdos and a workplace for prostitutes. At every turn you came across a sex shop or a “peep show” and there were also second-rate cinemas showing erotic films. In short, it was not exactly safe here, and tourists avoided the place. However, those days are long gone, Times Square is now clean, safe, patrolled by police and much more welcoming to visitors. Who would have thought that a place that was a black spot on the city’s image would eventually become a world cult monument. Today, you can meet tourists and groups of children on a school trip here. New Yorkers can be proud that this part of the city has been restored to its luster.
Buildings specially designed for the installation of electric billboards have sprung up here. The first illuminated advertisement was installed in Times Square already in 1917, and nowadays you will not find a house whose facade is not covered with advertising. One of the novelties that are coming to Times Square is, for example, a giant LED screen, which will be very visible at a distance of up to ten blocks and will be viewed by around 560,000 people every day. You will also find theaters, a number of restaurants and buildings that are worth seeing in their own right. For example, the new building that houses the Condé Nast company that publishes Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New Yorker magazines is interesting. Due to its uniqueness, it even earned the nickname “Citadel of elegance”.
Duffy Square, located between 46th and 47th Streets north of Times Square, is also an important point. On it you can see the statues of actor and producer George M. Cohen and Father Francis P. Duffy – a World War I chaplain of the 69th Regiment. It is also home to the Embassy Theater, the first cinema in the United States of America to show film weeklies. Right in front of Duffy Square rises the Times Tower skyscraper, which draws attention to itself especially on New Year’s Eve, when a glowing wheel is launched from it. On the way down, she counts down the last minute remaining until the New Year. This tradition has been followed in Times Square since 1904, when crowds of people first gathered here to celebrate not only the New Year, but also the opening of the Times Tower. People liked the custom so much that they continued it even after the Times left the building in 1913. Currently, around half a million people regularly gather on New Year’s Eve in Times Square to celebrate and count down the New Year together. They are not deterred by cold, rain, snow or traffic accidents. Millions more watch the spectacle on television.
The corner of 43rd Street and Broadway is dominated by the seven-story Market Site Tower, which literally lights up the entire neighborhood. It is home to a state-of-the-art broadcast studio that broadcasts live financial news from major news networks such as CNN, BBC or CNBC. The building is covered by state-of-the-art electronic screens with the latest information from the electronic stock exchange. Heading south, you’ll come across Broadway City, where you can immerse yourself in an interactive entertainment center.
The Times Square area is also complemented by many notable buildings worth seeing. The local theaters are literal architectural gems. The 1931 Brill Building used to be the center of the music industry. If you are a music connoisseur, visit the well-stocked Colony Records music store. The Paramount Building dates from 1926 and is decorated with clock towers and is one of the city’s landmarks. It used to house the Paramount Theater, today you can find a magnificent cinema there. Accommodation is provided by the nearby Paramount Hotel with a bar and restaurant. From a historical point of view, the theater restaurant Sardi’s is also interesting, which was opened in 1921. It became attractive mainly thanks to the caricatures of celebrities hanging on the walls, but also the cheap “actor’s menu”.
With the advent of modern times, the famous Times Square began to transform, and today you will no longer find many of the businesses that were once in high demand. For example, the popular Latin Quarter, where dance and singing performances were held, was closed. The same fate met Lindy’s, famous for its excellent cheesecakes, or Hubert’s Museum, where many tricks of nature were exhibited. The famous flea circus Dr. Heckler’s Flea Circus and also a number of bars for transvestites and prostitutes. Although the distinctive face of Times Square disappeared with these businesses, the benefit was noted both in the economy and in tourism.
Times Square is a place full of life that will stay in your memory forever. Perhaps that is why over 26 million people from all over the world visit it every year.