Ah, Times Square, New York. Some call it “The Crossroads of the World”, others “The Center of the Universe” and some “The Great White Way.” Regardless of what you call it, Times Square is a clash of colors, sounds and smells. A sensory overload.
When you first arrive in Time Square, you have an overwhelming urge to just stop and stare, turning slowly around and around in circles, taking it all in. Just like the movies. Everywhere you look there are people, cars, flashing lights and billboards advertising Broadway shows, clothing stores and consumer brands.
Times Square is the meeting point of Broadway and 7th Avenue, stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Street, in the heart of the entertainment district of New York City. Every way you go or look, you spot theatres boasting the some of the best musicals and shows.
Of course, it wasn’t always the commercialized hub that it is now. Times Square started off, before and after the American Revolution, as a manor house and farm. It was slowly sold off to hotels, and other real estate ventures in the 19th century and was known as Longacre Square. By the early 1900s, the New York Times moved into the area, followed by a subway station and the first electric advertisement. All this spurred the growth of businesses in the area, and Times Square became the cultural hub that it is today.
And I believe it. Whether you are there at in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night, the square is alive and busy with people wandering the streets, popping in and out of stores, and enjoying the hustle and bustle.
I found it a bit overwhelming the sheer amount of people. There are vendors trying to get you to go to their shows, people selling things on the street and hundreds upon hundreds of tourists doing exactly the same thing you are. Even when I visited the square after midnight there were still so many people – even more than during the day it seemed!
Have you been to Times Square? If so, how did you like it?