From the top of the red steps above the TKTS booth at 47 St between Broadway and 7 Av, survey the nonstop energy pulsing through Times Square. The triangular building covered in digital screens at 42 St is home to the New Year’s Eve ball. Can you see it on the pole? The ball stays in this lowered position until 6pm on New Year’s Eve when it rises to the top to get ready for the final countdown at 11:59 PM.
Continue down Broadway, which in Times Square is a pedestrian walkway with too many pedestrians. Digital billboards compete for your attention. Entertainment here is flashy, but not all of it is hi-def. Keep an eye out for the Naked Cowboy posing for pics in his tight white briefs and little else. Cowgirl counterparts have also popped up, some noticeably perkier than others.
The Marriott Marquis b/t 45-46 St is a nearly 2,000-room behemoth and the only hotel with a Broadway theater. The revolving restaurant on top is named The View.
The Paramount Building at 1501 Broadway b/t 43-44 St was built in the 1920s when New York City was a center of movie making. This Art Deco building included a theater that hosted live acts like Fred Astaire, the Beatles, Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. It was also the world premier of Elvis Presley’s first movie, Love Me Tender. The Hard Rock Cafe at 43 St pays tribute to musical legends past and present. The building was converted to office space after the theater closed in 1964.
Directly across the street is ABC Studios where Good Morning America tapes.
At Broadway and 42 St you enter the Crossroads of the World. In 1978, Mayor Ed Koch went on television to tell tourists to stay away from this iconic area that had declined into danger. Today, “New 42 St” features family-friendly entertainment like Madame Tussauds and Broadway theaters with Disney productions.
Make a lateral move east along 42 St to 6 Av. Look up at the Bank of America Tower. At 1,200 feet (366m), it’s the city’s third tallest building after 1 WTC and the Empire State. Continue cross-town along 42 St past Bryant Park, the New York Public Library and towards the Chrysler Building.
The next stop is Grand Central – a convenient place to rest for a bite to eat and use the bathroom. If you want to continue sightseeing, pick up our Midtown Tour from Grand Central!