Art of  Times Square and the Theater District -- On and Off Broadway

Vincent D'Alessio, Johanna Lisi

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Known as the "Crossroads of the World," Times Square is New York's most famous intersection and the symbol of the lively surrounding theater district that included Broadway.


It was called Longacre Square until 1904, when the New York Times built a 25-story tower on the site. New Years Eve of that year marked it's first occupancy, with a celebration of fireworks that continues today. One hundred years later, a giant crystal ball descends at midnight cheered by millions who are packed into the square.

No Entrance
© Vincent D'Alessio
No Entrance -
Oil on Canvas

Neon in New York -- It's defining. The bright lights of Times Square, the moving neon images, excitement, homelessness, broken hearts, and some noteworthy fortunes have and continue to be made at this infamous crossroads on the great white way of the world in those new voluminously high corporate cathedrals carefully architectured for the companies touting their extraordinary media and a of course a bank on every corner.

While the lights are hailing homage to the theater disctrict and its excessive advertising, the billion dollar fortunes these days being made in those skyscrapers erected for the media and financial corporations.

The city's longest street, Broadway, is known for the section north of 42nd Street also known as "The Great White Way" for it's dazzle of neon.

The Theater and its dominant presence adds to the dynamic energy and serendipity that keeps the district powering onward into another new century.

Times Square is huge arena of entertainment, with the live studio shows taking place all over the west side of town in the 40s.

You have Stephen Colbert in the center of it all, with his daily shows and night time in Times Square is truly magical.

Signs light up for MTV, ABC, the Nasdaq and the BBC and the dancing crowd cannot help but find themselves kicking up their heels at Roseland. The headquarters of Nasdaq, the over-the-counter stock market dominates its corner with a screen that regularly broadcasts financial news.


King Times Square
© Vincent D'Alessio
King at Times Square
Oil on Canvas

Technology has completely changed the architecture. In Times Square there is this magnificently wretched excess and/or so much drama. The individual is a believer in the vitality of the city.

The reputation of Times Square was sullied when the nearby 42nd Street became seedy in the 1970s. Political administrations came and went. In the 1990s the X-rated movie houses and peep shows were closed and the square was transformed to a magical place once more.

In 1928, the New York Times erected the world's first moving electronic sign to post news, a fixture that remains, and has been expanded upon, although the Times has moved to 43rd Street.


© Johanna Lisi
Oil on Canvas

Times Square, the heart of the theater district extends from Broadway and Seventh Avenue. A myriad f streets that cross Broadway house more than 40 old and new theaters. They are displaying their extravagant productions that culminates in a compelling experience. Once a neglected and squalid neighborhood, Broadway and 42nd Street is now a safe place for children as well as adults. Visitors hoping for bargains on the same-day theater tickets will find the TKTs board where discounted offerings are posted.

Commercial attractions such as Circle Line, Ripleys, the Intrepid Museum, Madame Tussauds are available and the area is clean, safe and tourist friendly.

Residential buildings have grown in an area called Clinton. And bargain-priced eateries placed along 9th Ave serve varied and unusual foods than the tradtional famous restaurant row spots.

To the west of Times Square, near theLincoln Tunnel and Port Authority area, lies Hells Kitchen, where a gang and crime-ridden Irish community scraped by during the 19th century. Italians, Greeks, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and others now inhabit the vicinity. It is also becoming the "new Chelsea" as rents there continue to rise.


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