Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New York - Time Square

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Times Square is a major commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Times Square, iconified as "The Crossroads of the World" and the "The Great White Way", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. 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.

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Formerly named Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904 after 'The New York Times' moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building, which is now called One Times Square and is the site of the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve.

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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 Crystalball being lowered on a pole atop the building, marking the start of the new year. It replaced a lavish fireworks display from the top of the building that was held from 1904 to 1906, but stopped by city officials because of the danger of fire. Beginning in 1908, and for more than eighty years thereafter, Times Square sign maker Artkraft Strauss was responsible for the ball-lowering. During World War II, a minute of
silence, followed by a recording of church bells pealing, replaced the ball drop because of wartime blackout restrictions. Today, Countdown Entertainment and One Times Square handle the New Year's Eve event in conjunction with the Times Square Alliance.

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Times Square is a busy intersection of art and commerce, where scores of advertisements – electric, neon and illuminated signs and "zipper" news crawls – vie for viewers' attention. A few famous examples:
  • TKTS booth
  • Coca-Cola sign
  • Budweiser
  • Times Square Studios (home of ABC's Good Morning America)
  • One Astor Plaza (home of MTV's New York studios)
  • Chevrolet clock (an analog clock displayed on a digital screen)
  • Forever 21 (formerly Virgin Megastores)
  • The Hard Rock Cafe New York
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Disney Store
  • M&M's World
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