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Neighborhood Guide: Times Square

 

The Crossroads of the World. The Devil’s Playground. Disneyland, NYC. The Deuce. Times Square has been called many things, has BEEN many things, to hundreds of millions of people over the past century or so: the site of spontaneous, glorious celebrations for everything from World Series championships to victories in two World Wars; the seedy symbol of the city in decline, home to peep shows, prostitutes and shady characters of all description; the much-maligned emblem of the mallification of New York City; host, every year, to the biggest, most-watched New Years Eve party on the planet.

 

 

No surprise, really, that this five-block stretch has gone through as many changes as the City itself since the New York Times building was completed in 1904 and Longacre Square became Times Square, the town’s brightest, most bustling heart. The Deuce’s most recent iteration as a pedestrian mall (though there are still far too many vehicles allowed for our taste) has drawn the area’s usual spotlight of attention and opinion, both for and against. Especially galvanizing are the cheap plastic lawn chairs that are serving as temporary seating (and have probably fallen apart by the time you read this) while planners decide how to make the “pedestrianization” more permanent.

 

 

One thing most everyone agrees upon: the recent renovation of Duffy Square—up on 47th Street, where Broadway and Seventh Avenues intersect–is a welcome addition to the area, its perfect people-watching bleachers serving as the roof for the TKTS booth, where tourists and locals alike stand on line to get 30% to 60% off coveted seats to top Broadway shows.

Times Square is located between 42nd and 47th Streets, and includes both Broadway and Seventh Avenues. It is open 24 hours a day, to say the least.

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