Times Square: The Good, The Bad, The Heart of NYC
Posted: February 17th, 2012
Though named for the New York Times Company, Times Square is aptly named for changing with the times, being a sign of the times, and reminding the world what time it is every New Year’s Eve.
Not actually a square at all, but rather a district at the core of Manhattan bordered by 6th and 9th Avenues and 29th and 52nd Streets, Times Square is a robust NYC Tourist Attraction that attracts more than 26 million visitors each year.
So, why all the attention?
The official website of Times Square describes it as “the intersection of spectators and performers, tourists and locals; all the diversity of the city, the country, and the world interacting.” Indeed.
It’s a difficult task to aptly describe Times Square. It seems to change by the minute, but then, that’s part of its constancy – that there is always something new to see, do, taste, touch, hear, experience, perceive. And that’s just the obvious. Layer that with a checkered history, underground and above ground connections to the rest of the city, and the vibe of crowds from every walk of life and you’ll begin to fathom its nickname as “The Crossroad of the World.”
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Having formerly been called Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in 1904. In 1929, the stock market crash took its toll on the district and as many businesses folded, they were replaced with less reputable endeavors including pornographic “peep shows,” prostitution, and later still, a notorious decay post-1945 as more people moved to suburbs, challenged sexual boundaries, and faced racial strife.
Despite the area’s problems, there was still the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop tradition that started in 1907 and today brings more than a million people to the district each year.
There was also the Broadway and the Theater District, which by 1928, had some 264 shows being produced in 76 Times Square Theaters. Among the unique spectacles of Times Square are the larger-than-life electrical signs that earned Broadway – still the busiest theater district in the world – its nickname of “The Great White Way.” Interestingly, zoning in Times Square requires that tenants display bright signs.
Times Square has been an incubator for testing new ways for advertising, news reporting, and determining what should be reported. Today, Conde Naste, Viacom, Reuters, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and the New York Times are all in Times Square.
In the 1990s, then-mayor Rudy Giuliani led the charge to clean up the area along with Michael Eisner and the Disney Corporation. The process was deemed “Disneyfication.” Today the area is filled with such reputable tenants as Disney-restored Amsterdam Theatre, Toys-R-Us with its two-story indoor Ferris wheel, ABC News, Hard Rock Café, Madame Tussaud’s, and a Virgin Record Megastore – allowing plenty of enticing options for kids and adults alike.
The crowds that made Times Square a great destination more than a century ago have returned in the last two decades so that once again it is not only a thriving New York Attraction with Times Square Hotels, Times Square Shopping, and Broadway Theaters, but it’s also a microcosm of the world at large. Times Square must be experienced to be understood and, once experienced, the intense energy that permeates every corner will remain for a long, long time.
About Milford Plaza Hotel - A Times Square Hotel
Milford Plaza Hotel is located in the heart of New York City, surrounded by Times Square, the Broadway Theater district, Manhattan’s best restaurants and nightclubs, the Empire State Building, the subway, shopping and more – and is undergoing a $140 million renovation to remain among the best NYC Hotels in Manhattan with 1,300 Guest Rooms and Guest Suites.
The Milford Plaza Hotel is readying all new Guest Rooms, Lounge, Fitness Room, and accommodations that will impress guests worldwide. This historic Times Square Hotel is perfectly located near all NYC Activities and Attractions that bring visitors to Manhattan – for business or pleasure. Jacob Javits Convention Center, the financial district, Madison Square Garden, MOMA, Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, Greenwich Village, and much more is within minutes by walk or ride. Come see the best of NYC and stay at The Milford Plaza Hotel – the favored destination for a Times Square Hotel.
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