Things To Do in Times Square New York City - Attractions
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Times Square serves as a nerve center of activity in the city for both locals and visitors, performers and spectators. Much of what constitutes modern American culture has been invented and reinvented, tested, and displayed in the few blocks that make up the Times Square district. No matter how you slice it, there's never a shortage of things to do in Times Square!
Times Square begins at the junction of Broadway (now converted into a pedestrian plaza) and Seventh Avenue and stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. It has been nicknamed “The Crossroads of the World," "The Center of the Universe," and "The Great White Way."
Until 1904, Times Square was known as Longacre Square, after Long Acre in London, where the carriage trade in that city was centered.The name changed after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building – now called One Times Square – site of the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve; a tradition that began on December 31, 1907. Each year, an estimated one million people in Times Square, millions nationwide and over a billion watching throughout the world are united in bidding a collective farewell to the departing year, and expressing our joy and hope for the year ahead.
The most popular spectacles of Times Square have always been free – the dazzling electrical signs that gave Broadway its reputation as “The Great White Way.” Over the course of the past hundred years, Times Square has become an outdoor laboratory for new ways to communicate and advertise.
Insider Tip from The Citiview New York City: The ultra-posh InterContinental Hotel is a luxurious option for staying in Times Square!
Times Square is the only neighborhood with zoning ordinances requiring building owners to display illuminated signs.The neighborhood actually has a minimum limit for lighting instead of the standard maximum limit.The density of illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals that of Las Vegas. Officially, signs in Times Square are called "spectaculars", and the largest of them are called "jumbotrons."
Times Square is also where American news was made. It was here that writers like Walter Winchell and Damon Runyon perfected their punchy reporting style, the gossip column, and the use of slang, that redefined what news was – how it was to be written and reported, and what counted. Now ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Reuters, Viacom, Condé Naste, and of course the New York Times are all here.
This area is home to the best known Broadway theaters, as well as many different retailers, music clubs and restaurants. Times Square restaurants and stores are always exciting to visit and explore! It's impossible to visit NYC without seeing Times Square at least once and it serves as many visitors’ introduction to the city.
And no...you do not have to tip the costumed characters!