The Big Picture

Times Square

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
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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 (A)
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Taxis are reflected in a window in Times Square in New York December 17, 2012 REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (A)
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The Times Square subway station is reflected in the front window of a police car in the Manhattan borough of New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (A)
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The world's largest LEGO model is on display at Times Square in New York, May 23, 2013. Made of 5,335,200 LEGO bricks and based on the X-wing starfighter that Luke Skywalker flies in the Star Wars movies, the model was transported to the United States from the LEGO Model Shop in Kladno, Czech Republic, where it was constructed by a team of 32 builders. The 11-foot-tall (3.3m), 43-foot-long (13m), and 44-foot wingspan (13.4m) model was on view in Times Square May 23-25, 2013. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images (A)
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Tourists enjoy the sights while visiting Times Square and its giant advertisement billboards in New York, April 3, 2013. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images (A)
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A wall billboard advertising for an upcoming television show is seen on a building in New York on February 25, 2013. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images (A)
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A police officer stands guard as revelers wait for midnight during the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (A)
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A woman rides the shuttle from the Times Square subway station in New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (A)
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Colombian Emmy-nominated actress and model Sofia Vergara poses with one of her Madame Tussauds wax figures on June 4, 2013 in Times Square in New York. DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images (A)
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Marcos Maidana fans yell while Floyd Mayweather talks during an outdoor news conference in Times Square, New York, Monday, July 14, 2014. Mayweather would fight Maidana for the second time in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (A)
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Participants cheer during the Cycle for Survival kick-off event as Equinox instructors lead rides in Times Square, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in New York. Cycle for Survival is the national movement to beat rare cancers. 100 percent of funds raised go directly to rare cancer research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. More than $50 million has been raised since its founding in 2007. (John Minchillo/AP Images for Cycle for Survival) (A)
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Over 8,000 people practice yoga as a salute to the sun at the 12th Annual Solstice in Times Square on June 21, 2014 in New York City. Yana Paskova/Getty Images (A)
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Members of the Indian-American community gather in Times Square to watch a live stream of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking to a capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (A)
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A man watches as police resolve a situation involving a person threatening to jump from Madame Tussaud's Museum In Times Square on October 16, 2014 in New York City. The situation ended peacefully and the person was apprehended by police. The late afternoon incident caused street closings in the heart of Times Square.Spencer Platt/Getty Images (A)
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Police officers arrest a protester in front of a McDonald's restaurant in New York's Times Square, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. The protesters are seeking to get unionized and have pay increases to $15 per hour. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (A)
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Sydnor Thompson, age 90, kisses his wife, Harriette Thompson, age 91, while reenacting the Times Square Kiss photo, taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, to mark the 69th Anniversary of the end of World War Two and victory over Japan on August 14, 2014 in Times Square in New York City. A statue reenacting the famous photo was also unveiled at the event. Andrew Burton/Getty Images (A)
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A man is outlined in chalk while participating in a flash-mob that was organized in support of stricter gun laws, in Times Square, New York, February, 24, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton (A)
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Musician Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction performs during CBGB Music & Film Festival 2014 - Times Square Concerts on October 12, 2014 in New York City. Anna Webber/Getty Images for CBGB (Anna Webber)
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Danny Peters, 40, plays a piano placed by the organization Sing for Hope Pianos at Times Square in New York June 1, 2013. 88 artist-designed pianos were placed in parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs for anyone and everyone to enjoy. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (EDUARDO MUNOZ)
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Performance artist John Bonafede marches on his hands as he drags dry ice, in representation of glaciers, while taking part in the People's Climate March through Times Square, New York September 21, 2014. An international day of action on climate change brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets of New York City. Organizers estimated that some 310,000 people, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and elected officials from the United States and abroad joined the People's Climate March, ahead of a United Nations summit to discuss reducing carbon emissions. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (A)
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Dozens of protesters hold up umbrellas while demonstrating in New York's Times Square to show solidarity with pro democracy events in Hong Kong on October 1, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images (A)
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A boy plays under the Bangladeshi flag while American Muslims take part in a demonstration against the government of Bangladesh during a protest rally in Times Square, New York April 13, 2013. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (A)
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Jorge, an immigrant from Mexico (center), stands amidst other people, all dressed as the Sesame Street character Elmo, while they try to make tips for photographs in Times Square in New York July 30, 201. New York City officials planned to regulate the Elmos, Batmans and other costumed characters who pose with tourists for tips in Times Square after a series of complaints over harassment and assault have been launched against the performers. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (A)
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Members of the US Military walk through Times Square in New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (A)
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A policeman drives a scooter while he patrols the Times Square subway station in New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (A)
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A member of New York City Police Department's bomb squad gets prepared in a bomb disposal suit to investigate a suspicious package, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in New York before determining that it was harmless. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan (A)
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A woman walks through the rain at Times Square in New York May 23, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (A)
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Naked Cowboy Titus Gandy performs in near 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) weather in Times Square in New York, March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (A)
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A bike delivery man makes his way through the snow in New York's Times Square December 29, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (A)
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The sun is seen setting behind buildings in Times Square during the Manhattanhenge, a twice a year occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the street grid of the city on 11 July 2014. EPA/JASON SZENES (A)
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