As we end our stay here in New York City, I will start a series on my experiences in the various districts of Manhattan that I have enjoyed on numerous occasions. My first will be about Times Square.
I’ve decided to pull each of the various districts out as a separate blog post so you can read my experiences of visiting these areas and decide if you want to do it if you come to New York City.
While some of these areas will appear as one of the top 10s to visit, they’re generally not my favourite places. For example, I can’t tell you how often I’ve ended up in Times Square. Not because I want to go there but because it’s sort of central to or I’m going to also it’s the theatre district. Since I’ve gone to so many plays, I end up at Times Square. Times Square, in my opinion, gives New York City a bad name. It’s noisy; it’s crowded; it’s just plain unpleasant.
Besides all the people in costumes wanting to take a picture with you, so you’ll give them $5, all the individuals are handing out flyers to various tours, shows, and other activities. Any New Yorker would tell you it’s not the real New York.
I was there around midnight last night after seeing “Wicked.” One could barely move.
Let’s explore what to do, not do, in Times Square.
- Become overstimulated with the Electric Atmosphere: Start your adventure by immersing yourself in the electrifying energy of Times Square. Marvel at the mesmerizing billboards, giant LED screens, and neon lights adorning the buildings. Going at night time is really like being on crack. Watch out for pickpockets.
- Snap a Photo with the Times Square Ball Like Millions of Others: Do you really need to pose with the legendary Times Square Ball? Although the ball is most famous for its descent on New Year’s Eve, it symbolizes year-round celebration and excitement. Capture a memorable photo with this iconic landmark and share the magic of Times Square with your friends and family.
- Go to a Broadway Show: Times Square is home to the renowned Broadway theatre district, where you can experience world-class performances and unforgettable shows. Check the current lineup of plays and musicals, and treat yourself to an evening of entertainment in one of the many iconic theatres. From beloved classics to cutting-edge productions, there’s something for every theatre enthusiast.
- Skip the Culinary Delights: Times Square is NOT a food lover’s paradise. It may have countless restaurants and lots of fast food chains. The so-called classic New York street food is overpriced.
- Head over to Hotel Edison: Located in the heart of Times Square, the Hotel Edison is a historic landmark that has embraced its Art Deco heritage. Inside, the lobby retains its vintage charm with its black-and-white marble floors, grand chandeliers, and stylish furnishings.
- Shop ’til You Drop: Not my cup of tea, but Times Square boasts an array of shops and flagship stores where you can find everything from souvenirs to designer brands. Explore the bustling retail scene, visit iconic stores like Krispy Kreme, Swatch, Swavosdy, Herseys’s or M&M’s World, and browse a wide selection of apparel, accessories, electronics, and more.
- People-Watch from the Red Steps: The iconic Red Steps in Times Square serve as a gathering place and a platform for observation. Find a spot on the steps and take in the vibrant tapestry of people passing by. From street performers and artists to colourful characters and visitors worldwide, Times Square offers an endless array of captivating sights.
Let’s talk more about Broadway at Times Square
The Red Steps in Times Square is a popular gathering spot and a symbolic landmark that embodies the spirit of Broadway. These iconic steps, officially known as the TKTS Booth, serve as both a meeting place and a platform for people to observe the vibrant energy of Times Square. Sometimes there are lines just to sit. I don’t get it. Pick a chair nearby to people watch.
The TKTS Booth, operated by the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), is a renowned discount ticket booth where theatre enthusiasts can purchase discounted tickets for same-day Broadway shows. The booth is adorned with iconic red steps, creating a vibrant and inviting space for theatregoers.
Broadway, often called “The Great White Way,” is the pinnacle of live theatrical entertainment in New York City.
The origins of Broadway can be traced back to the late 1800s when the theatre district began to flourish along Broadway and the surrounding streets in the Times Square area. The first theatre to establish itself as a prominent venue was the Empire Theatre, which opened in 1893. Over the years, more theatres were built, including iconic venues like the Palace Theatre, the Lyceum Theatre, and the Majestic Theatre, which became synonymous with Broadway’s glamour and prestige.
Broadway experienced significant growth and development in the early 20th century, with legendary shows like “Show Boat” (1927) and “Oklahoma!” (1943) captivating audiences and setting new standards for musical theatre. The area around Times Square became a hub for theatres, attracting locals and tourists eager to experience the magic of live performances.
Broadway history is filled with legendary performances, iconic shows, and celebrated stars. From the groundbreaking productions of the Golden Age, such as “West Side Story” (1957) and “The Sound of Music” (1959), to contemporary hits like “Hamilton” and “The Lion King,” Broadway continues to captivate audiences with its artistry and storytelling.
Visit Hotel Edison in Times Square
Hotel Edison is known to be one of the area’s budget hotels so it will be bustling with all sorts of people. The lobby is usually full of people waiting for their rooms or waiting to leave. Unfortunately, this can take away from the ambiance and experience. Do not be put off. Try to go when it may not be busy and enjoy the amazing Art Deco. Down the hall, where a famous scene from The Godfather, you can find a great series of three pieces representing three different eras.