On a map, Times Square is simply the spot where Broadway and Seventh Avenue intersect. Yet in contemporary culture, the iconic crossroads is a global icon. The embodiment of everything New York City represents, Times Square is a concrete jungle of bright lights, yellow cabs and dazzled sightseers.
Towering skyscrapers loom overhead, lined with digital billboards that blaze crowds with a constant stream of Coke adverts, smartphone logos and Broadway posters. Its fame has earned it a reputation as “The Crossroads of the World”, with busy days attracting almost half a million visitors. From the home of Good Morning America to the site of the iconic New Year's Eve ball drop, Times Square is a melting pot of modern American culture.
As one of New York City’s major transport hubs, Times Square is a commuter’s dream. A handful of the city’s subway lines run through the 42nd Street Times Square Station, which makes for easy transport to anywhere in Manhattan. Commercial buses and airport shuttles make a beeline for the area, while taxis, hop on hop off sightseeing buses and even pedicabs are also popular options. Parking can be chaotic, which makes public transport the mode of choice for locals and tourists alike.
While today Times Square is a buzz of commercial activity, it wasn’t always so. In the 1970s an economic crash saw a mass exodus of corporate headquarters, which shutdown billboards, shopfronts and luxury hotels alike. For decades the square functioned as a lawless den, though in the 1990s no-nonsense mayor Rudolph Giuliani set his sights on an above board revival. By the new millennium, Times Square was once again the beating heart of the Big Apple’s tourism scene.