Times Square, Manhattan, New York City
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Times Square is a major intersection in Manhattan, New York City at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Times Square consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west, and West 40th and West 53rd Streets from south to north, making up the western part of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan.
Smaller than Red Square in Moscow, the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Champs-Elysées in Paris, Trafalgar Square in London, or Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Times Square has nonetheless achieved the status of an iconic world landmark and has become a symbol of its home city. Times Square is principally defined by its animated, digital advertisements.
Times Square today
The theaters of Broadway and the huge number of animated neon and LED signage have long made it one of New York's iconic images, and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan. Times Square is the only neighborhood with zoning ordinances requiring tenants to display bright signs. The density of illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals that of Las Vegas. Officially, signs in Times Square are called "spectaculars."
In 1992, the Times Square Alliance (formerly the Times Square Business Improvement District, or "BID" for short), a coalition of businesses dedicated to improving the quality of commerce and cleanliness in the district, started operations in the area. Times Square now boasts attractions such as ABC's Times Square Studios, where Good Morning America is broadcast live, elaborate Toys "R" Us, Virgin Records, and Hershey's stores, as well as restaurants such as Ruby Foo's (Chinese food), the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (seafood) and Carmine's (Italian) along with a number of multiplex movie theaters. It has also attracted a number of large financial, publishing, and media firms to set up their headquarters in the area. A larger police presence in Times Square has improved the safety of the area.
A notable example of the signage is the curved seven-story NASDAQ sign at the NASDAQ MarketSite at 4 Times Square on 43rd Street. Unveiled in January 2000, it cost $37 million to build. The sign is 120 feet (36.6m) high. NASDAQ pays more than $2 million a year to lease the space for this sign. This is actually considered a good deal in advertising as the number of "impressions" the sign makes far exceeds those generated by other ad forms.
General Electric leased, through its NBC Universal division, the famous Panasonic Astro Vision screen plate in the middle of Times Square until October 13, 2006 when News Corp. took over and started showing Fox News Channel.
In 2002, NYC's outgoing mayor, Rudy Giuliani, gave the oath of office to the city's next mayor, Michael Bloomberg, in Times Square after midnight on January 1 as part of the 2001-2002 New Year's celebration. Approximately 500,000 revelers attended the fete. Security was high following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with more than 7,000 New York City police on duty in the Square (twice the number for an ordinary year).
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