Opinions vary on the transformation of Times Square from seedy to touristy, but the changes seen in the last decade were not the first, nor will they be the last, to the so-called crossroads of the world. Perhaps the tourist-friendly metamorphosis was inevitable given the onslaught: Times Square is arguably the most visited place on the planet. Though counting unticketed crowds must be an inexact science, by most measures the intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street and the surrounding neighborhood is at or near the top of any destinations list. Crowds of half a million or more for popular events are not unheard of, and daily visits to the square run to around a third of a million. Once the heart of New York’s carriage industry, the area has changed with the city, but is always a character itself in the drama of unfolding life in Manhattan.
By Lane Turner
A dancer poses for a photograph as part of the “Dance as Art” photo project in Times Square in New York September 22, 2014. The project is a celebration of dancers and their place in the New York experience. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri