I feel like most of this review is self-explanatory, but it needs to be put into words anyway.
Do you like smelling every other person currently in New York? Do you enjoy overpriced restaurants? Are you on a mission to stress yourself out enough to induce a heart attack?
Great! Head to Times Square.
It’s everyone’s first stop when they’re in New York, and yeah, it’s probably worth a glance -- but get in and get right back out.
The problem with Times Square is not that it’s not impressive -- it’s that you don’t get to enjoy it in the slightest. You’re too concerned with not walking into people.
Your instinct is to look up while walking through Times Square to admire all the lights that make it so poignant to begin with. But sorry, guys -- not possible. First of all, the minute you turn away from whoever you’re walking with, you get separated. Make sure you have a meeting spot arranged in advance. Secondly, New Yorkers DGAF about you, your new shoes or your feelings. Not that you’ll find many locals hanging out in Times Square anyway, but if you’re unlucky enough to bump into one while gazing around at all the lit up high rises, you will hear about it. And not in a PG sort of way.
It’s like this, of course, because of Broadway’s (the street, not the heart of the American theatre industry) strange curvature that splits what should be a normal NYC block into a sliver of surface area. Who decided this? There’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to this one street -- they couldn’t have arranged this better?
I once had the absolute pleasure of flanking -- and I use that term purposefully -- Times Square when the entire “square” part of it was under construction. Meaning you couldn’t walk through Times Square, but along its border instead. As did 400,000 other people (and that’s a real stat).
The place is inundated with street performers and vendors, only adding to the congestion, and every surrounding store is like a Venus flytrap for starry-eyed tourists: the M&M store, for example, is ridiculous. Do you need a stuffed green M&M? Go to the corner store on the other side of town and grab 12 packs of chocolate for the price of one at this place. This is child’s play, guys.
The worst is when you’re lost in New York -- sometimes a preferable way to spend an afternoon, since there’s so many hidden things to find -- and end up unknowingly turning a corner that puts you in the middle of Times Square. This happens quite often, actually.
Stick to the rest of New York. There’s another 300 miles of it.