T is for Times Square, of course!
When I started to put together the list of stations for this year's A to Z, I wrote down the letters of the alphabet. Next to the letter "G" I wrote Grand Central Station and next to the letter "T" I wrote Times Square. I filled in most of the letters easily, though a few were challenges. I rewrote the list several times adding names and taking others away, but the choices for G and T never changed.
I've written about Times Square several times, but this history in a nutshell includes a different twist. Originally the area was called Longacre, after the area in London. But with the beginning of the IRT subway line real estate speculation began in the area. In January 1905 a new headquarters for the New York Times was opened between Broadway and Seventh Avenue and 42nd and 43rd Streets. Longacre Square became Times Square. The New York Times is no longer at Times Square, but over one hundred years later the name remains.
Time to stop and hear the music
This station is one of the busiest in the system and it's also one of the liveliest. Music Under New York is an MTA program that brings a wide variety of musicians to the subways. This is one of my favorite spots in the subway system to enjoy the performers.
The Times Square Station has an extraordinary selection of art. Perhaps my favorite piece is New York in Transit by the distinguished artist, Jacob Lawrence. I may have passed this glass mosaic mural a thousand times -- I am often in this station -- but really "saw" it for the first time while I was taking photographs for this series a few months ago.
New York in Transit by Jacob Lawrence
One of the scenes of "The Revelers," by Jane Dickson
This beautiful mosaic series, of which the mural above is a part, recalls the activity that comes to mind immediately at the thought of Times Square, its legendary New Year's Eve ball drop. After a few years of watching the excitement on television I experienced it on New Year's Eve of 1966. My memory was that it was an unusually warm night for December -- I just looked it up and it was 63 degrees -- and I was visiting New York with my parents. We stood somewhere on Broadway and did the countdown to 1966 with thousands of other people who were enjoying the balmy night. For New Yorkers, however, 1966 would not begin auspiciously. January 1, 1966 is remembered as the start of a thirteen day transit strike which affected all of New York and closed every subway station.
In our next subway post we'll begin a short trip at Chambers Street. Please stop by to join our excursion.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a fabulous Friday!