When visiting New York City going to Times Square is a must. When living in New York City avoiding Times Square is essential, unless you have family and friends visiting and you go to see a show.
If you go to Times Square during the day you find a cattle stream of tourists clogging the sidewalks, overloaded with shopping bags, eyes agog and faces awash with bedazzled expressions. Families collect at street corners and vendors line the sidewalks with tables of accoutrements. If you go to Times Square at night you should wear sunglasses for there is no inch of space without a flashing light.
Now Times Square is more pedestrian friendly. Broadway cuts diagonally through Times Square and used to be for traffic; now the swatches of streets intersecting with Broadway are islands of pedestrian safe havens. Sidewalks are less congested although traffic is more congested. Small red iron tables and chairs are collected in clusters along the pedestrian islands and you can sit at your leisure right in the middle of Times Square with traffic on either side – very relaxing. Or you can climb to the top of the bleacher-like steps on top of the TKTS booth and sit for hours while watching the chaos all around you.
Times Square, is the hectic and clogged artery of theater in New York City that will always prove to be a fascination to tourists and locals alike.
One of the great things about New York City is the determination to not let any space go unused. Apartments are small, I still have relatives that think I am joking when I tell them the size of my apartment; and finding room to put everything I own is quiet a feat. The rest of the city is no different.
There used to be a train track on the west side of the city that ran above ground. This train track was used in the 1930’s for freight trains for all of the warehouses on the West Side. And while that line no longer runs the tracks are still in place. After much anticipation and of course the occasional debate, the old train tracks are now an elevated park and walkway called the Highline.
From West 20th Street down to Gansevoort Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) you can walk about two stories above street level. There are patches of greenery along the walkway with benches peppered here and there. At one point the walkway widens and there is a small arena of seats facing windows that provide a view of the street traffic below, like a little local theatre. And due to an ingeniously subtle design you can lounge on benches that sit on the old tracks, just push with a Hulk force to adjust your seat for a view for a spectacular people watching show.
The Highline might just become the next “must see” in New York City. This is just the beginning since currently only one section of the Highline is open; when the entire Highline is complete the park will run for a mile-and-a-half! Wow!