Taking a Look at Times Square

Powerful Essays

“Probably no other city in the world has a street or square as sufficient unto itself and so largely a separate civic entity as is Times Square.”

– The New York Times, Sunday December 16, 1906.

Times Square is located at the junction of Broadway (now a pedestrian plaza) and 7th avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th streets. Preceding to the American Revolution and afterwards, it belonged to John Morin Scott, a general that served under George Washington who had a manor house on today’s 43rd street. The house was surrounded by fields used for farming and horse breeding. It was called Longacre Square in 1872 after it became the center of New York’s carriage industry. Adolph Ochs, a New York Times publisher moved the newspaper’s operations to a new skyscraper in 1904 and then persuaded Mayor McClellan Jr. to construct a subway station there, and then the area was renamed Times Square.

The above quote from the New York Times can only be said to have increased in validity today. Times Square, regardless of its size, has economic, social, and psychological relevance of great magnitude. And in the following sections Times Square would be analyzed from these disciplines while examining relevant concepts that come into play.


Times Square finds itself in a city whose complexity in culture and spontaneity in character, often leaving its visitors as mere spectators, contrasts sharply with the perspective of an organized tourist industry. However, the creation of some destinations from scratch, completely repurposed districts, and the organization of the chaotic life in New York into something safe and consumable have no doubt made Times Square a place to visit as well as ridding it of many neg...

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...tarbucks too got protested against when it attempted to replace Little Rickie. On Grand Street, Dunkin Donuts and 7-11 are being fought against. Below is a table from Center for an Urban Future showing mass proliferation of New York City by chains. Another thing worthy of note is that the proliferation by chains leads to a situation where decisions that affect the community are taken by people who are not so committed to the locality in their boardrooms.

Personally, I believe the way to solve is that local efforts made to stand against the chains should be complemented by government intervention. Government should create policies that favor local communities and their businesses as they are naturally better custodians of their culture and place. It should not be forgotten that in a lot of cases it is this culture that attracted tourists in the first place.
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