Hot on the tourist trail we’re heading towards one of the main visitor hot spots – Times Square.
Once a seedy, run down and distinctly dodgy area, Times Square has reinvented itself as a glittering, flashy neon tourist magnet.
From the 1960s to the early 1990s, the seediness of the area, especially due to its go-go bars, sex shops, peep shows and adult theaters, became an infamous symbol of the city’s decline.
Formerly known as Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the then newly erected Times Building. The newspaper has long since moved on but the name remains.
The whole area is actually less of a square and more of two areas in the shape of a bowtie.
The northern part of the bowtie is known as Father Duffy’s square and features iconic glowing red steps.
Broadway show billboards jostle for attention alongside Hersey’s commercials.
Times Square has inspired, and featured in, many films over the decades, from the inspiration for Frizt Lang’s futuristic dystopia Metropolis in the 1920s to the gritty underbelly of NYC in Midnight Cowboy.
More than 36 million people per year visit Times Square each year and around one million people gather to witness the New Year’s Eve ball drop.
From it’s crime ridden decades to its resurrection as a high energy, chaotic tourist draw, Times Square mirrors the crazy, rollercoaster ride that is NYC .
We’ll head back to the square later on during the holiday to witness its neon glory in the dark.