New York Sights to See - Times Square
Considered the Heart of
New York City in so many ways, this neon-lit district is
the Las Vegas of Manhattan.
For nearly twenty years, apart from Broadway
shows, the area was almost unbearable owing to the seedy
inhabitants and shops. Changes have been made, however, and all that is
Originally developed in the 1830s by the wealthy Astor family as a
nose-in-the-air neighborhood, the current name came into being when the
New York Times
established itself there in 1906. When the subways made it to the 42nd
Street, the city's theater producers moved from lower Manhattan,
filling 76 theaters by 1928.
families could visit a show, have a bite to eat and return
home without worry. That's true again, thanks to an extensive
rejuvenation effort that began in the 1990s. The crowds are still
there, thicker than even normally crowded Manhattan. But for both the
natives and visitors there are theaters, restaurants, shops and much
moved in, as did Toys
"R" Us where kids can enjoy the indoor Ferris wheel ride.
The Virgin Megastore, which recently closed, was nearby for the teens
who got bored, and it will be missed by them and their parents alike.
There's a Madame
Tussaud's Wax Museum (similar to the one in San Francisco or
London), along with an eccentric Hershey
For those who want to take in a Broadway show - but don't want to pay
the $100 or more (for some), there's TKTS
at 47th Street. This outdoor booth sells last minute seats to a dozen
shows at discounts of 25-50%. Availability is varied and the line is
long, but obviously many find it worth the wait.
The police patrol the area heavily and seeing their retro/futuristic
station is one of the many worthwhile sights along with the speed chess players
and street performers.
Be prepared to hear a song whether you like it or not!
Dining opportunities are ample and run the gamut from Burger King to Planet Hollywood to
an upscale Italian dinner at Cara
Mia. There's even Brazilian fare at Brazil Grill
on 47th and 8th Avenue, where the steak is to die for. BB King, the R
& B guitarist has even gotten into the act with an eponymous
eaterie of his own.
Even during the day there's lots to see and do. Good Morning America
broadcasts weekdays from the ABC
Studios and the hosts often interview people on the
street. They also host live bands and solo performers for segments on
New York's famous clothing designers make their living not far away and
you'll often see workers hauling racks of clothing to and fro. Not
something you'll see in every major city, it helps to create some of
New York's special ambiance.
Even the non-famous names make for an interesting visit, as there are
dozens of jazz clubs, bars and other serving venues around. The street
vendors, too, offer edible food and interesting gifts to take back home.
Not far away are Rockefeller
Center, the CBS Building and a host of other
architectural marvels that make for worthwhile daytime sightseeing.
Be sure to make time to just stand (someplace you won't be crushed!)
and take in the huge sign at One
Times Square. That's the location (now) from
which the illuminated ball is dropped on New Year's Eve. A tradition
since the NY Times opened its building around the corner in 1906/1907,
the air is brisk and the crowd lively.
You cannot seriously plan a visit to New York, the city, that is,
without planning to see Times
However, I guess you could just go to Chicago instead!
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