What is Times Square?
Times Square NYC is a major commercial intersection in central Manhattan at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in New York City.
Times Square – iconified as “The Crossroads of the World” and the “The Great White Way” is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry.
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 Longacre Square. The name stuck, even after the New York Times moved their headquarters across Broadway in 1913. Now Times Square New York City is known around the world as a symbol of the American spirit.
Times Square Today
Today Times Square is a constantly buzzing tourist magnet. According to Travel + Leisure magazine’s October 2011 survey, Times Square is the world’s most visited tourist attraction, bringing in over 39 million visitors annually. Approximately 300,000 people pass through Times Square daily.
Shopping in Times Square
Many people come to Times Square for the ambiance and the billboards spectacle, but there are also many restaurants and shops – well over 100 – in the area including some crowd-pullers such as the Disney Store and a large Toys”R”Us. But Times Square is best known for its entertainment, and plenty of visitors come here to attend a Broadway show. Times Square is also home to MTV’s headquarters and ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ is broadcast in front of a live audience from its office at 44th and Broadway. The NASDAQ Marketsite is also there.
Buildings & Theaters
The most famous building at the square is undoubtedly the iconic Paramount Building. The building was home to the Paramount theater where stars such as Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra performed in their heyday. Unfortunately the theater was demolished and the Paramount building is now merely an office tower.
Another former theater, the Embassy Theater, is now the home of Times Square’s own visitors center. Here you can get information about events and Broadway shows. There’s also a small museum that tells the history of Times Square.
The Times Square Ball
Times Square is the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop. On December 31, 1907, a ball signifying New Year’s Day was first dropped at Times Square, and the Square has held the main New Year’s celebration in New York City ever since. On that night, hundreds of thousands of people congregate to watch the Waterford Crystal ball being lowered on a pole atop the building, marking the start of the New Year. Today, Countdown Entertainment and One Times Square handle the New Year’s Eve event with the Times Square Alliance.
A new energy-efficient LED ball, celebrating the centennial of the ball drop, debuted for the arrival of 2009 ball, is larger and has become a permanent installation as a year-round attraction, being used for celebrations such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween.
On average, about one million revelers crowd Times Square for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. The millennium celebration on December 31, 1999, published reports stated approximately two million people overflowed Times Square, making it the largest gathering in Times Square since August 1945.
– Written by OnBoard Staff Writer Mukesh Shah 2013