NY is Epicenter of the arts. Architectural darling. Dining and shopping capital. Trendsetter. New York City wears many crowns, and spreads an irresistible feast for all.
Let me begin with one of the most likely places to visit within New York. When I had been to New York My first priority was to go and visit the Times square.
Times Square pumps out the NYC of the global imagination – yellow cabs, golden arches, soaring skyscrapers and razzle-dazzle Broadway marquees. It’s right here that Al Jolson ‘made it’ in the 1927 film The Jazz Singer, that photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt famously captured a lip-locked sailor and nurse on V-J Day in 1945, and that Alicia Keys and Jay-Z waxed lyrically about the concrete jungle.
Times Square had gone from X-rated to G-rated, drawing around 50 million visitors annually. On any given night, with the square flooded with light from wall-to-wall LCD screens and the sidewalks packed with people, it can feel like all of them are there at once.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Will bring more travel logs about other prominent places within New York.