Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements. Times Square is sometimes referred to as “The Crossroads of the World”, “The Center of the Universe”,” the heart of The Great White Way”, and the “heart of the world”. One of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry.
Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, More than 50 Million people visit Times Square annually with more than 60 Million passing through its highly frequented subway station. Approximately 360,000 people pass through Times Square daily, many of them tourists, while over 460,000 pedestrians walk through Times Square on its busiest days.
In the year 2015, the city of New York was the most visited city in the country attracting approximately 58.3 million people, 12.3 million of who were international visitors. The city boasts of various tourist attractions.
Times Square is one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections and also the Hub of the Broadway Theater District making it a major center of the world’s entertainment industry. 40 theaters are located around Times Square, each one contributing to the fact that the famous theater district is so well known globally. With sales of $1 Billion per year, the Broadway shows are another commercial hub of NYC.
Times Square acquired its name in 1904 when Albert Ochs, publisher of the New York Times, moved the newspaper’s operations to a new skyscraper on what was then known as Long Acre (also spelled Longacre) Square. The name stuck, even after the New York Times moved their headquarters across Broadway in 1913.
Almost immediately the square became the place where New Yorkers gathered to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. In 1907 the Times began lowering a huge glass ball down its flagpole at midnight on New Year’s Eve to mark the occasion. Now Times Square is known around the world as a symbol of the American spirit.
At the turn of the 20th century, a number of impressive theatres were established on 42nd Street, and by the second decade of the century, the Times Square and Broadway area had become arguably the most famous entertainment district in the country. During this period it earned the nickname “Crossroads of the World”.
Times Square functions as a town square but is not a square in the geometric sense of a polygon.
New Year’s Eve celebrations
If you’re in New York City at the end of the year, don’t miss the New Year’s Eve Time Square Celebration. It began on December 31, 1907, and continues today. The New Year’s Eve Times Square Celebration attracts One Million of people who want to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. At 11:59 PM, the famous New Year’s Eve ball dropping ceremony begins, and by midnight, the geodesic ball has completed its televised descent. The square and surrounding streets are filled with people.
The Ball is a 12 feet (3.5 m) diameter sphere, weighing 11,875 pounds (5400 kg) and covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles.
It is capable of creating more than 16 million colors and billions of patterns and has been the ball since 2007 – the latest in a long series of redesigns since the ball was first dropped in 1908.
However, for the millennium celebration on December 31, 1999, published reports stated approximately two million people overflowed Times Square, flowing from 6th Avenue to 8th Avenue and all the way back on Broadway and Seventh Avenues to 59th Street, making it the largest gathering in Times Square since August 1945 during celebrations marking the end of World War II.
Important Information about the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop NYC:
- Alcohol is prohibited at the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in NYC.
- Public Rest Rooms are not available at the Times Square NYC Ball Drop.
- Prime viewing areas tend to fill around 5:30 PM.
FREE THINGS TO DO IN TIMES SQUARE
One could spend hours in Times Square shopping, people watching and being amazed by the billboards. The “crossroads of the world” as it is known, is jam-packed with free entertainers as well. Have a look yourself through this real-time webcam of 47th Street and Broadway.
Every night from 11:57 pm to midnight, you can witness the world’s largest digital art exhibition where the huge billboards in Times Square are synchronized resulting in three fabulous moments of the same whimsical imagery. Watch a short video of the synchronization.
This is the quintessential thing to do in New York – for locals and visitor alike. Times Square is one of the best places to sit and watch the world rush past. Grab a seat in the pedestrian zone or sit on the red TKTS steps. No matter where you sit, you’ll feel the NYC buzz of energy around you.
TIMES SQUARE AT NIGHT
Times Square is open 24 hours. There is never a time when you will find it quiet and empty. Many of the free activities going on in the nighttime, like the Midnight Moment or the amazing people-watching place at night. Times Square buzzes with energy from early morning to late night. No matter when you go, this New York City landmark is always aglow.
Have you been to Times Square? What was your favorite memory to share with other readers!? Comment Please!