Times Square People watching

Old Jun 12th, 2010, 04:41 PM
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Times Square People watching

Is there a good place to get a coffee/soft drink and cheesecake in times square and people watch?
FL40 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Get coffee anywhere - cheesecake at Juniors or Bananas foster cheesecake from Planet Hollywood and sit in emperor Bloomberg's chairs and knock yourself out.

Personally, I'd leave Times Square for Madison or Union Sq or Central Park but to each his or her own.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 05:43 PM
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Union Sq or Madison Sq is much better for people watching. In Times Square you will be watching other tourist watching you watching them.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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Can't imagine wanting to sit in Times Square - it's a pustule on the face of the city - esp with all those plastic lawn chairs. If you want to people watch in midtown go someplace pleasant like Bryant Park. (Plus they have a bunch of stands for buy decent food - from 'Wichcraft on up.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 08:22 PM
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And you can add Wahington Square Park to the people watching mix.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 08:59 PM
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Juniors Cheesecake -- West 45th Street between Broadway & 8th is my favorite. Times Square is closed to traffic so just pull up a seat.

My favorite place to people watch is central park near the bandshell.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 09:29 PM
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Union Sq? E14st? huh? It's full of homeless, drugged out teens, NYU students, gays, hippies, run aways, dog walkers, fake so-called artists, the farmer's market has spoiled food,
on and on.
Same as Venice Beach in LA.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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Union Sq? E14st? huh? It's full of homeless, drugged out teens, NYU students, gays, hippies, run aways, dog walkers, fake so-called artists, the farmer's market has spoiled food,
on and on.
Same as Venice Beach in LA.
Yes, exactly like Venice Beach except for the Beach and the Venice Part.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 09:01 AM
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Oh come on......Times Square is a hoot post-Broadway shows. Its like going to the carnival. Of course, you'll be watching other tourists, but then that can be pretty entertaining. I love that the street is blocked to autos in the evenings and we tourists can stroll without dodging taxis. The lights, the billboards, the crazy people, the Naked Cowboy, the pedi-cabs. Its like Vegas or Mardi Gras in a 4 block stretch. There is a high degree of energy in Times Square after the shows and its fun. On my last trip the NY Police department had the most beautiful row of their shiny motorcyles on display complete with officers in full dress uniform. They were showing off their cycles to young and old alike and obviously having some fun bantering with the crowds and possing for photos. It was Fleet Week and TS was awash in handsome, white uniformed boys with wide eyes. It truly felt like a set for "On the Town". Is it ALL of NY? Certainly not. Does it represent those of you who live there? No. But it is exciting and a must see for any first time visitor. Even some of us long time visitors wouldn't do NY without walking through Times Square one night.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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I love Times Square, I think it is an important part of the City, and often walk through heading uptown. If you don't like that part of the city, to each his own, but don't knock it, it is a vital part of the city.

If you want to sit and people watch, pick up something to munch and pick chairs and a table and enjoy. There are chairs and tables set up along the avenue as a pedestrian walkway. It goes all the way down to 32nd St.

Antoher good spot is the revolving bar at the Marriott, it gives you a great view(s) of the entire area. I think it takes about an hour to go all the way around, so relax and enjoy.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Sorry - I'm a native (unto the 3rd generation) and don;t find it amusing to watch a pack of tourists bumbling around, stating up a tall buildings (never saw one before???) and taking picture of each other in front of stores that have no purpose (M&Ms? Who need an entire store for M&Ms???)

When NYC has so much that is truly interesting, not to say fascinating, I just don;t get sitting in Times Square.

As mentioned you're seeing mostly tourists. If you want to see real New Yorkers (and yes, some are really weird) the other choices given are much better.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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Yes, nytraveler. Some of these people have indeed never see all that neon or digital imagery on such tall buildings. They live in places that are different than yours. Do you ever take photos when you go to the mountains or a tropical island. Why? "Never saw one before????" Don't have a beach at home? I guess the people who live in those places would think you are a little wierd ----if they had your attitude. And by the way....those "bumbling tourists" pour a LOT of money into your hometown, some of which probably benifits you as a resident.

Why would anyone want to sit around watching or taking photos of "real New Yorkers". Aren't you just ordinary people? What's interesting or even amusing in that? At least a giant M&M is colorful and the Naked Cowboy is -- well, (almost)naked! Its funny! Don't you get it? Of course there are interesting and educational offerings in NY. No one said there wasn't. But what you propose is a bit like going to school without recess. If you are unamused by the tourists in Times Square, you shouldn't go there. Why encourage the tourists to stay away?

The origianl poster simply asked for advice on where to get something to eat and to sit for his/her own amusement. Why take this opportunity to air your disdain for Times Square and the visitors who go there?
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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I've visited NYC more than a dozen times, and now live here for the summer. I think Times Square is a hoot. I see a lot of shows via playing/winning lottos, which means I usually have an hour or so to kill after getting tickets before going to the theatre.

For something tasty, I really like Crumbs for cupcakes -- there's one on Broadway @ 52nd, and one on 42nd near 6th, across from Bryant Park. Otherwise you could grab a piece of cheesecake from Junior's (yum! - I think it's on 44? btw 7 and 8th.) I also like Jamba Juice a lot if I'm in the city, and there are a couple near Times Square, one of which is open until midnight.

In addition to the tables and chairs, another option to sit and people watch is the "red steps" that make the TKTS booth. Sitting there you're right in the middle of the lights and colors and heat and energy and oddness of TS.

Enjoy the city
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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Most NY'ers have a prejudice against Times Square. There has to be something in between the old Times Square filled with hookers and porn and the new one which a cross between Vegas and Bubba Gump. Something like 66% of Broadway theater goers are from out of town. And there are no destination resaturants in the area, just places to eat when in the neighborhood.

We take all our guests to Times Square and they are overwhlemed by the sights and the crowds, even those from other large cities. That is nice but I can't wait to escape.
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Old Jun 13th, 2010, 06:45 PM
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Tourists usually have limited time - and unfortunately many do things based on a list put together by god knows who - that focuses on things that are tacky, time-wasting and often expensive - rather than what the city really has to offer.

I have no problem with tourists taking pictures of Times Square (and yes, I have taken pix of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, etc) - but don;t get spending hours sitting in a chair watching random people walking around in the area.

(And yes, we have spent an hour in Rome or Paris sitting in a cafe with a drink and watching the world go by - but it was a pleasant cafe with something attractive to look at -not NYC's center of tackiness inhabited by thousands of other tourists.

(Perhaps Adu is correct and it's the likeness to Vegas - which I despise more than anyplace else on earth except Disney.)
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Old Jun 14th, 2010, 12:52 AM
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You might also consider Bryant Park (42nd & 6th is closest
entrance to Times Sq area). At that entrance are (2) bocce
ball courts which is interesting to watch as there are
regulars who play there.
There's also a new cocktail/lounge area w/pillows. Both ends
have snack bars. At night in summer are the free movies.
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Old Jun 14th, 2010, 06:05 AM
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Who said anything about spending hours sitting in a chair? Times Square is insane, especially at night. It is worth a walk through and if you want to spend a little time there people watching, there certainly will be lots of people to see. But is there a place to actually sit in Times Square?

For a daytime respite from sightseeing, I would find a bench in Central Park.
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Old Jun 14th, 2010, 06:16 AM
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You can grab an overpriced drink, apps and/or dessert at Broadway Lounge, the 8th floor bar of the Marriott Marquis. The bar overlooks Times Square.

The revolving restaurant called The View is many many floors up and the only people you may see from there are in the restaurant and those in the windows of nearby buildings. It is pricey and the food is not good.
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Old Jun 14th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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May I suggest that we keep in mind there is a line between what New York City residents do in New York and what tourists do in New York. As nytraveler states, "yes, I have taken pix of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben" -- in that case nytraveler was a tourist not a resident. I doubt that Parisiennes line up to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower -- but WOW! its spectacular at night. I would never tell a visitor to Paris to sit quietly in a park watching old movies and skip the Eiffel Tower. Are you kidding? Would you go to Paris and skip the cafe society? It IS Paris. Would you tell visitors in San Francisco to skip a cable car ride because the lines are long and the cars are full of tourists? Cabel cars ARE San Francisco. Just like Times Square IS New York. Like it or not, residents, "On The Town" (New York, New York..da,da,da,da,da) hasn't been the defining NY show piece for no reason at all.

Times Square is big and bold and bright at night. Theater goers are often filled with high energy after a show and TS is a great place to wander a little, laugh and wind down. Its safe (at least a lot safer than when I first started going there 20 years ago). Have you walked from TS, across on 42nd St. to Bryant Park at night? Its scary!

You are lucky to have an iconic symbol of your city that draws travelers from all over the world. Why-oh-why do you go to print extolling its sins? Honestly, if watching old movies in Bryant Park was the essence of NY entertainment, I'd stay at home. I can do that here. We have amazing parks, with old movies and lots of good restaurants and the watching of real people.

When you respond to a post here, we trust those of you who live in NY to find the good in all your city has to offer and help us find it too -- even if its Times Square. If you know all its sins, then you must also know its virtues. Share that.
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Old Jun 14th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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Times Square IS New York
Times Square is not NYC, it is part of NYC. NYC means many things to many people. And if you think Times Square IS New York, you are missing the rest of the greatest city in the world.

It would be equally narrow to say NY is any one of the following-Wall Street, the art center of the world, the culinary center of America, the publishing center of the US, the home of world class universities and foundations, the home of world class museums, immigration history, sports teams, Central Park, interesting residential neighborhoods, Brooklyn Bridge, Colonial and pre-Colonial history, hundreds of music and dance venues, UN, etc., etc.
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