advertising suits this place, and there's nothing more fraudulent than
the name "Times Square" itself.
You can look and
look, but the one thing you won't find in Times Square is a square.
On a tourist map, Times Square is all the city blocks between 9th Ave on
the West and 6th Ave on the East, and 41st St on the South to 53rd St on
the North. At ground level in the very heart of Times Square,
there are two roads, 7th Ave running directly North and South, and Broadway,
running at an angle. There's a narrow strip between these roads
and this, together with the roads themselves, constitute the square.
When you're standing in Times Square, you're standing in the street.
Oh yes, and in Times
Square there's a ball on a stick on top of what used to be the New York
Times building. I assume that the ball is a classic "timeball"
like the ones last century installed in harbors all around the world which
would drop at midday to let all the ships in the harbor set their clocks.
One of the few of these timeballs remaining is in New Zealand, in the South
Island city of Dunedin.
The ball on the stick
is only 6 feet across. A lot of noise was made about its construction
from Irish Waterford crystal, but at this distance it could just as well
be made from silly putty. In this photo, the giant TV screen
below the ball is carrying live footage of the ball itself.