People who live in NYC do not like to go to Times Square. The only actual New Yorkers you’ll see are cops or people who work there. Still, many see Times Square as the epitome of the New York experience — why? Good branding on the city’s part is my guess.
That said, I took my Swedish visitors there and discovered that the new visitor’s center is actually very cool. You can learn about the area’s darker days, which involved lots of sleaze, nudity and peep-shows.
There is a replica (or maybe the real thing?) of the ball that is dropped every New Year’s Eve. It’s very sparkly and changes color continuously.
I really like the New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall — hopes & dreams, pared down to fit on tiny post-it notes.
Then, we paid a visit to the M&M store — a crazy place that really pushes the boundaries of how far you can extend a successful brand. In my opinion they’ve gone way too far (M&M thongs?), but the tourists seem to dig it. The actual M&M’s are, however, seriously overpriced.
The Times Square Visitors Center is on 7th Ave between 46th & 47th Streets.