Image courtesy of the Times Square Alliance
Let’s face it: a lot of us are more than happy to say goodbye to 2018 and turn over a new leaf. If you’re ready for some cathartic collective destruction, use your lunch break on Friday to join others in Times Square for the 12th annual “Good Riddance Day” and say goodbye to the worst of this year. The event, hosted by the Times Square Alliance, is inspired by a tradition in some parts of Latin America in which New Year’s revelers stuff dolls with objects representing bad memories and burn them in order to make room for the new.
Details on the shred, ahead
Photo via Peter Stevens/Flickr
Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31, anticipation runs high as the world holds its breath waiting for the sparkling New Year’s Eve Ball to descend from its flagpole atop One Times Square. We all know that the countdown starts at 10, but there are a handful of other fun facts to muse over when it comes to the city’s most lauded tradition. From the wattage of the ball to the weight of trash produced to how long it takes to get it all cleaned up, see what we’ve rounded up, in numbers, ahead!
More on New Year’s Eve in Times Square here
Rendering via Sam Biroscak/ Design Pavilion 2018
New York City has 280 miles of scaffolding, totaling more than 7,700 sidewalk sheds in front of 7,752 buildings. Described as pervasive eyesores and sunlight-blockers, scaffolding has an unflattering reputation in the city. Artist Sam Biroscak is looking to change the public perception of these sidewalk sheds, by highlighting it as an “under-appreciated” urban element in his conceptual design. Dubbed Mossgrove, Biroscak’s project would create an architectural pavilion in Times Square made of two materials seen as nuisances: moss and scaffolding. The proposal calls for the installation be built during NYCxDESIGN, a nine-day event featuring interactive installations and talks. The theme of this year’s Design Pavilion will be “From This Day Forward” (h/t Untapped Cities).
See the design
Photo via Richard BURGER/Flickr
One of the true marks of a New Yorker is an aversion to Times Square, where slow-walking out-of-towners clog sidewalks, costumed characters try to hug you for tips, and overpriced suburban chains like Olive Garden and Applebees abound. But a few bright spots exist amid the touristy madness and Broadway shows, and they’re worth a visit if you happen to be in the area, if not a specific trip (seriously, avoid Times Square at all costs if you can).
Here are a few of our favorites
A crowd in Times Square; screenshot via TheLazyCowOnUTube
In 1904, the New York Times moved from the City Hall are to the triangular piece of land at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway, and 42nd Street. People thought they were crazy for moving so far uptown, but this was the same year the first subway line opened, passing through what was then called Longacre Square. Not only did their new Times Tower have a printing press in the basement (they loaded the daily papers right onto the train and got the news out faster than other papers), but it was the second-tallest building in the city at the time. To honor this accolade, the company wanted to take over the city’s former New Year’s Eve celebration at Trinity Church, and since the church elders hated people getting drunk on their property, they gladly obliged. So to ring in 1905, the Times hosted an all-day bash of 200,000 people that culminated in a midnight fireworks display, and thus the first New Year’s Eve in Times Square was born. But it wasn’t until a few years later that the famous ball drop became tradition.
Get the full history in this video
The holiday season in New York is one of the most magical times, packed with lots of events to perpetuate the experience. Aside from ice skating, holiday-themed bars, and the tree at Rockefeller Center, be sure to tuck into these art exhibitions and events to get you into the spirit! From old standbys like the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show to contemporary offerings like Yayoi Kusama’s glittering installations in Chelsea and Erwin Redl’s haunting field of glowing orbs at Madison Square Park, we’ve rounded up the 14 best must-see artsy exhibits this year.
Our top picks right this way
The Times Square shuttle platform, via Wikimedia
At the platform of the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle, a train track is hidden in plain sight. At both ends of the two-station line, tracks are numbered 1, 3 and 4, with no Track 2 to be found. As the New York Times explained, Track 2 once ran in its appropriate spot, between Tracks 1 and 3, but was taken out of operation nearly 100 years ago. After an attempt to expand the original 1904 line turned to major confusion for commuters, transit officials covered Track 2 with wooden flooring to make it easier for New Yorkers to walk to the new tracks.
More this way
Image via Wiki Commons
The day after Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo announced plans to review and remove controversial public Confederate structures and markers throughout the city, the MTA says it will do the same. Well, sort of. Over 90 years ago, station architect Squire J. Vickers installed mosaics resembling the Confederate flag at the 40th Street entrance for the 1, 2, 3 trains to honor early New York Times owner and publisher Adolph S. Ochs, who had “strong ties to the Confederacy” and was buried with a Confederate flag when he died in 1935. But yesterday, MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz told Gothamist, “These are not confederate flags, it is a design based on geometric forms that represent the ‘Crossroads of the World’ and to avoid absolutely any confusion we will modify them to make that absolutely crystal clear.”
Image via Radius Displays
Real New Yorkers will do anything they can to avoid the chaos of Times Square, but debuting in less than a week is a technological marvel that might draw even the most Midtown-adverse out of their Uptown or Downtown havens. As CityRealty first reports, Radius Displays, a leading digital sign producer, has plans to introduce a massive 3-D video display in the ad-drenched stretch this month. The billboard, which they are billing as “unlike anything else in Times Square, or indeed the world,” will not only span an impressive 2,600-square-feet but be made up of thousands of individual panels capable of creating mind-boggling Inception-like effects.
more details here
New York City’s avenue blocks are long, as are its winters; getting from Rockefeller Center to Times Square can be an unpleasant, cold and crowded experience–unless you take the underground passageway, the city’s largest, that spans the entire two-block-plus distance. Below, take a virtual stroll from avenue to avenue (and from the B/D/F/M to the N/R/W subways): Enter on the west side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Street and exit at Seventh Avenue and 49th Street–and buy yourself a few more minutes before you burrow into that parka.
Take a virtual trip through the tunnel