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Billboards advertising Broadway shows at 47 St. and 7th Ave.

Times Square is a major intersection in Manhattan, a borough of New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. The Times Square area consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west, and West 40th and West 53rd Streets from south to north, making up the western part of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan.

Formerly named Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed after the Times Building (now One Times Square) in April 1904. Times Square, nicknamed "The Crossroads of the World," has achieved the status of an iconic world landmark and has become a symbol of New York City. Times Square is principally defined by its spectaculars, animated, digital advertisements.[1]

The intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street, at the south-east corner of Times Square, is the Eastern Terminus of the Lincoln Highway, the first road across the United States of America.[2]

Contents

History

Broadway at 42nd St in 1880.

Before and after the American Revolution, the area belonged to John Morin Scott, a general of the New York militia where he served under George Washington. Scott's Manor House was at what is now 43rd Street, surrounded by countryside used for farming and breeding horses. In the first half of the 19th century it became one of the prized possessions of John Jacob Astor, who made a second fortune selling off lots to hotels and other real estate concerns as the city rapidly spread uptown.[3]

Hotel Astor

In 1904, New York Times publisher Adolph S. Ochs moved the newspaper's operations to a new skyscraper on 42nd Street in Longacre Square. Ochs persuaded Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr. to construct a subway station there, and the area was renamed "Times Square" on April 8, 1904. Just three weeks later, the first electrified advertisement appeared on the side of a bank at the corner of 46th Street and Broadway.[4]

The New York Times, according to Nolan, moved to more spacious offices across Broadway in 1913. The old Times Building was later named the Allied Chemical Building. Now known simply as One Times Square, it is famed for the Times Square Ball drop on its roof every New Year's Eve.

Also in 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association, headed by entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, chose the intersection of 42nd Street and Broadway, at the southeast corner of Times Square, to be the Eastern Terminus of the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America, which originally spanned 3,389 miles (5,454 km) coast-to-coast through 13 states to its Western Terminus in Lincoln Park in San Francisco, California.[5]

As the growth in New York City continued, Times Square quickly became a cultural hub full of theaters, music halls, and upscale hotels.

Crowd gathers outside The New York Times to get World Series results from a remote scoreboard in October, 1919
Times Square quickly became New York's agora, a place to gather to await great tidings and to celebrate them, whether a World Series or a presidential election
James TraubThe Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square

Celebrities such as Irving Berlin, Fred Astaire, and Charlie Chaplin were closely associated with Times Square in the 1910s and 1920s. During this period, the area was nicknamed The Tenderloin[6] because it was supposedly the most desirable location in Manhattan. However, it was during this period that the area was besieged by crime and corruption, in the form of gambling and prostitution; one case that garnered huge attention was the arrest and subsequent execution of police officer Charles Becker.[7]

The general atmosphere changed with the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Times Square acquired a reputation as a dangerous neighborhood in the following decades. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, the seediness of the area, especially its adult businesses, became an infamous symbol of the city's decline.[8]

In the 1980s, a commercial building boom began in the western parts of the Midtown as part of a long-term development plan developed under Mayor Ed Koch and David Dinkins. In the mid-1990s, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (1994–2002) led an effort to "clean up" the area, increasing security, driving out pornographic theaters, drug dealers and "squeegee men", and opening more tourist-friendly attractions and upscale establishments. Advocates of the remodeling claim that the neighborhood is safer and cleaner. Detractors, on the other hand, argue that the changes have diluted or "Disneyfied" the character of Times Square and have unfairly targeted lower income New Yorkers from nearby neighborhoods such as Hell's Kitchen.[citation needed]

In 1990, the state of New York took possession of six of the nine historic theatres on 42nd Street, and the New 42nd Street nonprofit organization was appointed to oversee their restoration and maintenance. The theatres were renovated for Broadway shows, converted for commercial purposes, or demolished.

New Year's Eve

The southern end of Times Square, New Year's Eve, December 31, 2007.

Times Square is the site of the annual New Year's Eve ball drop. On December 31, 1907, a ball signifying New Year's Day was first dropped at Times Square[9], and the Square has held the main New Year's celebration in New York City ever since. On that night, hundreds of thousands of people congregate to watch the Waterford crystal ball being lowered on a pole atop the building (though not to the street, as is a common misconception), marking the new year. It replaced a lavish fireworks display from the top of the building that was held from 1904 to 1906, only to be outlawed by city officials.[9]. Beginning in 1908, and for more than eighty years thereafter, Times Square sign maker Artkraft Strauss was responsible for the ball-lowering. During World War II, a minute of silence, followed by a recording of church bells pealing, replaced the ball drop because of wartime blackout restrictions. Today, Countdown Entertainment and One Times Square handle the New Year's Eve event in conjunction with the Times Square Alliance.

Samsung JumboTron on the facade of Two Times Square identifying the new year.

A new energy-efficient LED ball, celebrating the centennial of the ball drop, debuted for the arrival of 2008. The 2008/2009-ball, which was dropped on New Year's Eve (Wednesday, December 31, 2008)[9] for the arrival of 2009, is larger and has become a permanent installation as a year-round attraction, being used for celebrations such as Valentine's Day and Halloween.

On average, about 1 million revelers crowd Times Square for the New Year's Eve celebrations.[10] However, for the millennium celebration on December 31, 1999, published reports stated approximately two million people overflowed Times Square, flowing from 6th Avenue to 8th Avenue and all the way back on Broadway and Seventh Avenues to 59th Street, making it the largest gathering in Times Square since August 1945 during celebrations marking the end of World War II.[11]

In 1972, entertainer Dick Clark began hosting a live half-hour ABC special detailing the event entitled Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve,[12] which not only aired the descent of the ball, but also performances from popular bands and commentary from various hosts in other cities, notably Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Orlando. During the millennium celebrations in 1999, Peter Jennings based ABC's operations in Times Square, hosting ABC 2000 Today.

Times Square today

Lights and advertising at the southern end of Times Square
Traffic at Times Square
Skyscrapers of Times Square
Cleaning up after snowfall
Times Square Pedestrianized
The swan song of Times Square's original plaza seating.

The theaters of Broadway and the huge number of animated neon and LED signs have long made them one of New York's iconic images, and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan. Times Square is the only neighborhood with zoning ordinances requiring building owners to display illuminated signs.[13] The density of illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals that of Las Vegas. Officially, signs in Times Square are called "spectaculars", and the largest of them are called "jumbotrons."

Notable signage includes the Toshiba billboard directly under the NYE ball drop and the curved seven-story NASDAQ sign at the NASDAQ MarketSite at 4 Times Square on 43rd Street and the curved Coca-Cola sign located underneath another large LED display owned and operated by Samsung. Both the Coca-Cola sign and Samsung LED displays were built by LED display manufacturer Daktronics. Times Square's first environmentally friendly billboard powered by wind and solar energy was first lit on December 4, 2008.[14]

In 1992, the Times Square Alliance (formerly the Times Square Business Improvement District, or "BID" for short), a coalition of city government and local businesses dedicated to improving the quality of commerce and cleanliness in the district, started operations in the area.[15] Times Square now boasts attractions such as ABC's Times Square Studios, where Good Morning America is broadcast live, an elaborate Toys "Я" Us store, and competing Hershey's and M&M's stores across the street from each other, as well as restaurants such as Ruby Foo's (Chinese food), the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (seafood), Planet Hollywood Restaurant and Bar (theme restaurant) and Carmine's (Italian) along with a number of multiplex movie theaters. It has also attracted a number of large financial, publishing, and media firms to set up headquarters in the area. A larger presence of police has improved the safety of the area.

In 2002, New York City's mayor, Rudy Giuliani, gave the oath of office to the city's next mayor, Michael Bloomberg, at Times Square after midnight on January 1 as part of the 2001–2002 New Year's celebration. Approximately 500,000 revelers attended. Security was high following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with more than 7,000 New York City police on duty in the Square, twice the number for an ordinary year.[16]

From August 14, 2003 to August 15, 2003, the lights of Times Square went dark as a result of the 2003 Northeast blackout, which paralyzed most of the region and parts of Canada for over 24 hours. Power was finally restored to the area on the evening of Friday, August 15.

On the morning of March 6, 2008 a small bomb caused minor damage but no reported injuries.[17]

On February 26, 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that traffic lanes along Broadway from 42nd Street to 47th Street would be de-mapped starting Memorial Day 2009 and transformed into pedestrian plazas until at least the end of the year as a trial. The same was done from 33rd to 35th Street. The goal is to ease traffic congestion throughout the Midtown grid. The results will be closely monitored to determine if the project works and should be extended."[18] Bloomberg also stated " he believes the street shutdown will make New York more livable by reducing pollution, cutting down on pedestrian accidents and helping traffic flow more smoothly."[19]

The original seats put out for pedestrians were inexpensive multicolored plastic lawn chairs, a source of amusement to many New Yorkers. They lasted from the onset of the plaza transformation until August 14, 2009, when they were ceremoniously bundled together in an installation christened "Now You See It, Now You Don't" by the artist Jason Peters.[20] They were shortly replaced by sturdier metal furniture, and on February 11th, 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the pedestrian plazas would remain permanent. [21]

Notable landmarks

Times Square is a busy intersection of art and commerce, where the chaos of hundreds of advertisements (signs and "newscrawlers") vie for viewers' attention[22]. A few famous examples:

Coordinates: 40°45′26.16″N 73°59′9.02″W / 40.7572667°N 73.9858389°W / 40.7572667; -73.9858389

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Corporate presence

The following companies have corporate presences in the area:

Major buildings on and near Times Square

Times Square in popular culture

View of the northern part of Times Square, with the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel (Two Times Square) in the center.

The Times Square neighborhood, notably its busiest intersection, has been featured countless times in literature, on television, in films, in music videos and recently in video games. An immediately recognizable setting, Times Square has been frequently attacked and destroyed in a number of movies, including Deep Impact, when a tidal wave destroys Times Square, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, when robots broadcast a message. Films have also employed the opposite tactic, depicting the typically bustling area as eerily still, such as in Vanilla Sky, as well as the post-apocalyptic I Am Legend, in which Will Smith and his dog go hunting for deer in the deserted urban canyon.

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ironicsans/sets/72157594496838152/
  2. ^ http://www.cruise-in.com/resource/cisbk09.htm
  3. ^ http://therealdeal.com/newyork/articles/john-jacob-astor-the-making-of-a-hardnosed-speculator
  4. ^ http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM7J68_Times_Square_New_York_New_York
  5. ^ http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=18026
  6. ^ http://www.freebase.com/view/en/tenderloin_manhattan
  7. ^ http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/cops_others/becker/2.html
  8. ^ http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/207131/new_york_guide/times_square_new_york_city.html
  9. ^ a b c http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/nye_ball.html
  10. ^ http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/nye.html
  11. ^ http://timessquare.nyctourist.com/
  12. ^ Collins, Scott (2006-12-25). "Past, Present, and...Future?". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/dec/25/entertainment/et-channel25. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  13. ^ Oser, Alan S. (1986-12-14). "GREAT WHITE WAY; Planning for a Brighter Times Sq.". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/12/14/realestate/perspectives-great-white-way-planning-for-a-brighter-times-sq.html. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  14. ^ Collins, Glenn (2008-11-14). "In Times Square, a Company’s Name in (Wind- and Solar-Powered) Lights". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/nyregion/15billboard.html. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  15. ^ Times Square Alliance Tourist information center in former Embassy Theater
  16. ^ http://www.gothamgazette.com/searchlight/bloomberg_inaug.shtml Inaugural Address Of Mayor Michael Bloomberg
  17. ^ BBC News March 6, 2008
  18. ^ Seifman, David (2009-02-26). "Broadway Cars Can Take A Walk". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/02262009/news/regionalnews/broadway_cars_can_take_a_walk_157028.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  19. ^ Vanderford, Richard; Goldsmith, Samuel (2009-05-25). "Walk, bike or sit, car-free, in Times Square and Herald Square". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/05/25/2009-05-25_broadway_stroll_walk_bike_or_sit_and_check_email_carfree_in_times__herald_sqs.html. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  20. ^ http://nyclovesnyc.blogspot.com/2009/08/jason-peters-now-you-see-it-now-you.html
  21. ^ http://www.ny1.com/5-manhattan-news-content/top_stories/113521/pedestrian-plaza-to-remain-permanent-fixture-of-times-square
  22. ^ http://www.timessquarewishes.com/blog
  23. ^ Hidden Tokyo

Bibliography

  • The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub (ISBN 0-375-50788-4)

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

This page may not meet the Wikitravel criteria for a separate article, and should be merged into Manhattan/Theater District. If you have an opinion, please discuss on this article's talk page. You can help by copying any relevant information from this page to the new page. Once all content has been copied, this article should be made into a redirect. Some important notes:
  • Attractions are not given their own article, nor are very tiny towns or districts. See the Wikitravel article criteria for a guideline about what topics get their own article.
  • Content can still be added to this article, but that content will likely be moved to Manhattan/Theater District at a later date.
  • Please do not remove this merge notice without first discussing on the talk page.

Times Square is in New York City.

Get in

Geographically, Times Square is actually a triangle formed within Broadway and Seventh Avenue, extending from 42nd Street to 47th Street in Manhattan's Theater District. Getting in shouldn't be a problem as there are many intersections and points of entry along the streets, but the usual, slow-moving gridlock traffic can create frustration. Walking to Times Square is most likely the best way to get in.

See

The "new" version of Times Square is all about the plethora of bright lights, neon signs, tickers, billboards, and flashy video screens. Times Square is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque spots in all of Manhattan. The lights and signs can be viewed anytime, but the most enchanting experience comes when one visits Times Square at night, as all the signs and screens are ablaze with color.

Do

There isn't exactly much to do in Times Square in terms of attractions, but there are a few exceptions. An exciting experience would be to take a ride on the indoor ferris wheel inside the flagship Times Square branch of Toys "R" Us. The cars, based on toys, can carry several people and each round will allow riders to see each floor in the building. An attendant at the loading station will take a picture of you in the car before you go up, however; purchasing the photo is expensive so only do so if you really want to get it.

Another experience could be heading to ABC's Times Square Studios bright and early in the morning to be in the live audience of the network's famous morning news show, Good Morning America. Walkbys can view the show in progress from the studio's street level windows and catch up on the latest news scrolling away continuously on the building's lower two message zippers. Or, head across the street to MTV Studios in the afternoon and watch as crowds of teens scream for their favorite entertainers on the network's hit music show, TRL.

Another interesting thing to do - particularly if you want to keep up with the latest news and sports headlines from the country and around the world - ABC's Times Square Studios features two message zippers just above the sidewalk which scroll continuous news and sports headlines from ABC and ESPN. And you can't miss the famous Dow Jones news and sports zipper attached to One Times Square's lower facade.

Buy

Another main reason that tourists flock to Times Square is for the abundance of stores that suit just about every interest. A few of the better known stores include:

Toys "R" Us - The name pretty much speaks for itself, though it's probably a lot bigger and more dazzling than the typical Toys "R" Us store back in your hometown. Take a ride on their indoor ferris wheel and browse through the many sections of toys, games, and electronics. Located at 1514 Broadway, between 44th and 45th Streets.

Hershey Store Times Square - Purchase all types of chocolate goodies and Hershey-themed trinkets here. A few dollars can also get your personalized message scrolled across their authentic zipper outside on the store's facade. Located at Broadway and 48th Street.

M&M's World New York - Purchase all types of M&M goodies and M&M-themed trinkets here. Located at 1600 Broadway.

Virgin Megastore - Browse through this store's wide selection of music, CDs, audiotapes, and more. Located at 1540 Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets.

Sephora - One-stop shopping for all your cosmetic needs. Located at 1500 Broadway, adjacent to the ABC Times Square Studios.

Eat

Eating is also not an issue while spending time in Times Square. There are some unique, family-owned restaurants in the area, but you will mostly see glorified versions of the chain restaurants like McDonalds, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Red Lobster, and Applebee's that you would see back home.

Sleep

Some of the well-known branches of hotels like Hilton, Doubletree, Marriot, and Crowne Plaza feature tall, charming hotels throughout Times Square or the surrounding vicinity. Most are usually in the moderate price range (for New York City hotels), well located, feature ample space and a view of the Times Square streets (sometimes upon request). Reservation is crucial at these hotels due to their convenient locations and room quality. For more information, visit their respective websites.

Contact

If you need to contact someone while in Times Square, a cheap, easy, and quick way to so is to use one of the many payphones that align the streets. However, if you are looking for something a little more private, head to the Times Square Information Center (1567 Broadway) to access Internet for no charge on one of their Yahoo! computers or stop in to the EasyInternetCafe for use of their Wi-Fi laptop access and, of course, for something to eat.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia

English

Proper noun

Singular
Times Square

Plural
-

Times Square

  1. (in New York City): a wide intersection extending from 42nd to 47th Streets where Broadway and Seventh Avenue intersect in Manhattan

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|250px|Times Square in New York City]] Times Square is a major area in Manhattan, New York City at the meeting point of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. The well-known city street area is probably most famous for its annual (every year) New Year's Eve ball drop. It´s one of the famous sights of New York. You can look at it on Broadway and 41st street.

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