When tourists think of New York, they often think of Times Square, but real New Yorkers avoid Times Square as much as they avoid the gap in the Union Square subway station. That’s because Times Square is a chaotic mass of slow crowds, mall stores and chain restaurants. Here are four reasons not to waste precious vacation time in Times Square plus some exciting alternatives.
4 Reasons To Avoid Times Square On Your Next Trip To NYC Photo Gallery
No authenticity. In the ’80s and ’90s, developers built up Times Square as a commercialized area to lure in tourists. It doesn’t have the genuine character of a real New York neighborhood such as the West Village. There you can stroll past historic architecture from the 19th century and visit bohemian cafes that were famous in the 1960s. Or go uptown to the Upper West Side, featuring the iconic Central Park as well as landmark stone buildings decorated with gargoyles. Then cross the park to the Upper East side, where regal brownstones and the Metropolitan Museum of Art surround you with culture and history.
Crowds and creepy costume characters. Times Square is filled with masses of tourists plus polyester costume characters asking for money. Don’t be part of that crowd! Instead, get a breath of fresh air on the High Line, a 1.45-mile long park built on a former railroad line that rises approximately 30 feet above the city. It features horticulture, art vendors, restaurants and sun decks plus an elevated view. Getting there can be part of the open-air fun if you use the city’s bike sharing system. Or keep things breezy by riding on the open top deck of a TopView sightseeing double-decker bus.
Chain restaurants with bad service. Many of the restaurants in Times Square serve mass-produced meals that can be found anywhere in the United States. And you’ll have to wait in long lines to get it! For a real New York meal, you can savor authentic Chinese cuisine from dim sum to dumplings in Chinatown. Or enjoy eclectic cuisine in the East Village, edgy restaurants and trendy bars in the Meatpacking District and hipster cafes in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg.
Mall stores with generic style. Manhattan is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world. But no true fashionista would browse the chain stores at Times Square when so many other options abound. So practice your catwalk as you visit the Upper East Side’s Madison Avenue for high-end fashion, SoHo for vibrant clothes and gallery art, and the Meatpacking District for avant-garde designer boutiques. To get something from tomorrow’s hottest new designers today, shop at The Market NYC, where you can mingle with the designers themselves.
We hope the above reasons have convinced you not to get stuck in the crowds and commercialism at Times Square. The city offers so much more than that! Next time you’re in New York, avoid Times Square and get a genuine slice of the Big Apple.