Times Square forms a major commercial intersection and neighbors Midtown Manhattan in New York City. This is at Broadways junction (currently the pedestrian plaza) and the Seventh Avenue. It stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Often it is named as the “Crossroads of the World”, “Center of the Universe”, and the “Great White Way”. It is a brightly illuminated Broadway Theater District hub and one of the busiest pedestrian intersections in the world. It is also reputed as an epicenter of the global entertainment industry.
A number of top global travel magazines have referred to Manhattan’s Time Square as a global tourist attraction hosting more than 39 million visitors every year. Statistics estimate that around 330,000 people go via Times Square each day, comprising of tourists and the people working in the surrounding areas. Formerly, it was known as Longacre Square, but was renamed as the Time’s Square in April 1904 following relocation of New York Times headquarters to the newly erected Times Building at the square.
The Times headquarters’ inauguration celebrations were marked with extensive fireworks; a tradition that has since lived on. The tradition continues to be held till today. In 1907’s New Year Eve, the first famous ball-lowering at the Times Square’s rooftop pole was held. Today, the Times Square is a constantly buzzing hub of tourism, and one of the top visited locations across the globe.
What does Manhattan’s Times Square have to offer?
The Times Square offers a pedestrian area. For a large portion of its existence, the Times Square has not been more than a huge traffic intersection. Additionally, in the recent past, it has been redeveloped to become a more pedestrian-friendly square with huge car-free plazas having replaced much of the asphalt. The 2012 redevelopment project, known as the Times Square Transformation is expected to end in 2016.
The ambiance and the great billboard spectacle attract many people to the square. Additionally, the exotic restaurants and shops, inclusive of the crowd-pullers like the Disney Store and the huge Toys “R” Us all attract visitors. Nonetheless, Times Square is well-known for its provision of entertainment with a good chunk of visitors attending the famous Broadway show. It houses MTV headquarters and ABC’s ‘Good Morning America” is also broadcasted in the presence of a live audience from the offices located within the precincts of the Times Square.
Paramount Building and Visitors Center
This is perhaps the most famous buildings hosted at the square and is without doubt an iconic building. It is home to Paramount Theater where lead stars including Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby as well as Frank Sinatra operated in their heyday. Sadly, the theater was destroyed and today, the paramount building merely hosts offices. Another famous theater, Embassy theater, hosted at the building now houses the squares visitors’ center. The center acts as the point of access for information about events as well as Broadway shows. Also worth noting is the existence of a small museum which tells of the square’s history.