Modern cities often lack a true central area like old cities once did: a square with a small park, some benches, and space to go for a stroll and talk to friends. New York does have a central square, though, which is where the arteries of the city come together and where you can find the pulsating heart of the city: Times Square. Not even actually a square but merely an intersection between Seventh Avenue and Broadway, Times Square got its name from the New York Times office buildings that were built here in 1904. The headquarter building that stands at the southern end of the square, is no longer in use by the New York Times which moved to a different location around the corner.
Times Square is not just the centre of New York, but also the central point of the Theatre District: it is in this area that you can find musical and theatre shows in abundance. You can even find some guys spontaneously putting up a show right in the streets. Formerly a shady area with prostitution, petty crime, and drugs, Times Square has turned into one of the main tourist destinations in the city. Indeed, it is often difficult to see locals among the hordes of foreigners walking around the area, and you can hear the most exotic languages on the streets of Times Square.
Even though I have been to Times Square many times, mostly walking through the area, I decided to go there during the late evening for taking pictures. While during the day Times Square already has an energizing rhythm all of its own, it is during darkness that the area assumes its real pulsating power and energy. The buildings, the sky, and other factors that distract you during the day, are not visible anymore, and your focus is drawn solely to the maddening lights and advertising, the crazy traffic, the crowds that enjoy late-evening shopping in one of the many shops, or coming out of one of the many theatres, or just marveling at the fantastic, continuous light show.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Times Square (United States). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Times Square. Read more about this site.