THE IN­CRE­DIBLE SE­CRETS OF TIMES SQUARE

Les éton­nants se­crets de Times Square

Vocable (Anglais) - - Tourisme -

Times Square est cer­tai­ne­ment, avec la sta­tue de la Li­ber­té, l’Em­pire State Buil­ding ou en­core la Gare Cen­trale l’un des lieux les plus cé­lèbres de New York. C’est un lieu de pas­sage im­por­tant où se trouvent de nom­breux ma­ga­sins pour tou­ristes mais sur­tout l’en­droit où se ras­semblent les New-Yor­kais pour cé­lé­brer chaque nou­velle an­née sous la cé­lèbre « ball ». Ce lieu est plein d’anec­dotes à dé­cou­vrir.

Love it or hate it, Times Square is un­de­nia­bly one of New York’s most ico­nic places. Here, nine lit­tle-known facts about the cross­roads of the world.

2. Hon­king horns, guys in El­mo cos­tumes, Dis­ney cha­rac­ters, ca­me­ra-to­ting tou­rists, and half-na­ked la­dies po­sing for pho­to opps on the pe­des­trian pla­zas—these are all just part of the fa­bric that makes up the square known as the cross­roads of the world. And thanks to its cen­tral Man­hat­tan lo­ca­tion and sta­tus as a ma­jor tran­sit hub, mil­lions of people pass through it, whe­ther they want to or not. It’s one of the world’s most ins­ta-

gram­med lo­ca­tions—even if ma­ny consi­der going there one of the most over­ra­ted things to do in New York.

ONE TIMES SQUARE IS WILDLY PROFITABLE DESPITE BEING MOSTLY EMPTY

3. But for all its mad­de­nin­gly chao­tic, claus­tro­pho­bia-in­du­cing qua­li­ties, Times Square is al­so one of the ci­ty’s most fas­ci­na­ting places full of hid­den his­to­ry and ea­sy-to­miss de­tails. Here are some facts about New York Ci­ty’s most high­ly traf­fi­cked area that may sur­prise you. 4. The ico­nic buil­ding at One Times Square is best known for the New Years Eve ball drop, and in fact, there’s lit­tle else there. It was ori­gi­nal­ly construc­ted as the New York Times head­quar­ters in 1904, back when the area was lar­ge­ly un­de­ve­lo­ped. Leh­man Bro­thers bought the buil­ding in 1995, and tur­ned it in­to the giant bill­board it is to­day. Ja­mes­town Pro­per­ties, which rents out the three bot­tom floors and the top floor, where the New Year’s Eve ball is sto­red year­round, cur­rent­ly owns it. Most of the floors are va­cant, co­ve­red in graf­fi­ti and de­cre­pit, but the bill­boards ge­ne­rate over $23 mil­lion per year.

IT’S ON­LY BEEN CALLED TIMES SQUARE SINCE 1904

5. The area we know as Times Square was called Lon­gacre Square un­til the Times mo­ved their head­quar­ters there in 1904, though they out­grew the buil­ding in 1913. Despite the name, it’s not a square at all. Anyone who’s been there knows it’s ac­tual­ly a tri­angle be­cause Broad­way in­ter­sects the grid on a dia­go­nal.

TIMES SQUARE WAS ONCE THE SEEDY HOME OF SEX SHOPS AND PORNO THEATERS

6. You would ne­ver know it now that the streets have been to­tal­ly Dis­ney­fied, but in the 1960s ‘70s, and ‘80s pros­ti­tutes, peep shows, and adult mo­vie pa­laces pla­gued Times Square. Drug use and crime were ram­pant. This was the New York of Taxi Dri­ver, when both tou­rists and lo­cals avoi­ded the area be­cause it was one of the ci­ty’s most dan­ge­rous neigh­bo­rhoods. In 1981, Rol­ling Stone called West 42nd Street the “slea­ziest block in Ame­ri­ca.”

POP AR­TIST ROY LICHTENSTEIN’S MURALS DECORATE THE SUBWAY STA­TION

7. Next time you’re pas­sing through the 42nd Street Times Square subway sta­tion, be sure to look up at the mu­ral by pop ar­tist Roy Lichtenstein. A na­tive New Yor­ker, Lichtenstein—whose pain­tings ap­pear at MoMA, the Met, and beyond—jum­ped at the chance to create a pu­blic piece for the subway. Ins­pi­red by co­mic strips, it de­picts a fu­tu­ris­tic train shoo­ting through an un­der­ground sta­tion.

YOU CAN STILL SEE REMNANTS OF AN OPULENT TURN-OF-THECENTURY THEATER

8. Times Square has been the cen­ter of New York’s Theater District since the ear­ly 1900s, though the theaters have un­der­gone ma­ny ups and downs since then. Ma­ny of the opulent theaters built at the turn of the cen­tu­ry be­came mo­vie pa­laces af­ter the Great De­pres­sion, porno theaters, or were al­te­red or torn down. But there are a few places where you can still see the remnants of those glo­rious theaters, like the for­mer Loews May­fair Theater that’s now a sou­ve­nir shop on 47th Street and 7th Ave.

IT WAS THE SITE OF AME­RI­CA’S MOST FA­MOUS KISS

9. Eve­ryone knows the ico­nic pho­to­graph of a sol­dier kis­sing a nurse in Times Square at the end of WWII, but no one ac­tual­ly knows who the people in the pho­to are. Al­fred Ei­sens­taedt, a pho­to­gra­pher for Life Ma­ga­zine, cap­tu­red the un­for­get­table image, but he wasn’t the on­ly pho­to­gra­pher shoo­ting pic-

8. remnants ves­tiges, ce qui sub­siste de / opulent somp­tueux, cos­su / Great De­pres­sion an­nées de dé­pres­sion éco­no­mique qui sui­virent la dé­bâcle fi­nan­cière de 1929 / to al­ter trans­for­mer / to tear, tore, torn down dé­mo­lir. 9. nurse in­fir­mière / WWII = World War II / to shoot, shot, shot prendre (pho­to, cli­ché) / tures that day. Still, the sub­jects’ iden­ti­ties re­main an un­sol­ved mys­te­ry.

TIMES SQUARE IS SO BRIGHTLY LIT IT CAN BE SEEN FROM OUTER SPACE

10. If you’ve ever pas­sed through af­ter dark, you know that the light pol­lu­tion here is real. Even af­ter sun­set, it feels like the land of the eter­nal sun­shine. In fact, Times Square is so bright, it’s one of the few places on earth that as­tro­nauts can pin­point from outer space. O

sub­ject ici, per­sonne (pho­to­gra­phiée) / un­sol­ved non élu­ci­dé. 10. outer space es­pace, cos­mos / sun­set cré­pus­cule / to pin­point re­pé­rer, lo­ca­li­ser (avec pré­ci­sion).

It’s one of the world’s most ins­ta­gram­med lo­ca­tions.

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