Times Square: Love the Crowds!

Iconic Times Square used to be called Longacre Square, but in 1907 The New York Times moved its headquarters into the area and so the rest is history! Times Square is a major commercial hub on Manhattan Island with millions visiting every year. In fact, a whopping estimated 50 million visitors annually!

It’s busy on Times Square with pedestrians all the time. But the Square wasn’t always a pedestrian plaza. In fact it’s only a very recent development. It just seems so natural that you’d never think that there were ever any cars allowed on it.

But in 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg transformed Times Square into a pedestrian plaza as we know it today. He had very good reasons to experiment.  He had two goals:
  • Ease traffic congestion.
  • Cut down on pedestrian accidents.

It worked! The trial was so successful that it became a permanent pedestrian plaza in 2015. I was surprised that it took so long, but on the other hand I know it takes courage to make changes, even when it’s obvious. It would never have occurred to me that it already wasn’t  a welcoming and safe place for people, judging by the throngs who attend the New Year’s Eve celebrations every year. It’s got to be a lot easier to police!

That’s why it’s a great place for people watching. Mind you, you must tolerate crowds because it will be CROWDED all day and even all night long. The last time I was in New York I stayed at one of the hotels right by the Square and with all the lit signs, it looked like it was daylight. Crazy. Incredible.

On one trip, I was taking an airport shuttle and it arrived at like 4 AM for me to make a 6 AM flight back to Calgary, Alberta. I was amazed at how bright all those billboards made the sky. I can see why no one sleeps in New York! Especially around Times Square.

Here’s a picture I took on one of my trips there.

Times Square New York City
Times Square New York City

Here are some of the attractions around Times Square:

  • 5th Avenue shopping district
  • Broadway Theatre district
  • Carnegie Hall
  • MadameTussauds at 234 West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues
  • Restaurant Row – West 46th Street between Broadway and 9th Avenues
  • Billboards on Broadway (as you can see in my picture.)

Enjoy a walking tour around Times Square. Here’s a link to some:

22 Things to Do in Times Square

 

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