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Times Square

The Brian Lehrer Show

Times Square as a Model for the World

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Low-cost projects, like the Times Square pedestrian plazas, could transform the way urban space is used in cities around the world.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Social Security Overhaul; The Trans-Pacific Partnership; A Dollar Slice

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Christie's overhaul of Social Security; the Trans-Pacific Partnership; the Pope addresses the Armenian genocide; Times Square as an urban model; the history and evolution of pizza.

WNYC News

Times Square the Way It REALLY Used to Be

Monday, November 03, 2014

An "urban ecologist" wants to make the crossroads of the world reflect a New York before Europeans.

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WNYC News

Chinese Artists Want Your Help Mopping Times Square

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The collective Polit-Sheer-Form-Office hopes their upcoming art performance will get people to stop... and help clean up NYC.

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WNYC News

Times Square Characters May Get Regulated

Monday, September 08, 2014

Council Bill Would Regulate Characters

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Studio 360

Has Art Become Too Popular?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lines for museums stretch around city blocks as crowds jostle for selfies with famous paintings. American masterpieces by Hopper and Whistler stare down from billboards and bus shelters across the country. The New Yorker’s art critic calls the signs ominous.

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WNYC News

No Need to Tip Sponge Bob: Police

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Police have been handing out fliers letting people know they don't have to hand over a buck — or $5, or $10 — for getting a photo with a Times Square character.

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WNYC News

Broadway Prepares for 'Super Bowl Boulevard'

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Super Bowl is being played in New Jersey, but New York City hosting the pre-game festivities known as the NFL Experience. And starting this Wednesday, 13 blocks of Broadway will be converted into Super Bowl Boulevard—but not everyone is cheering.

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WNYC News

The History of the New Year's Eve Ball Drop

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Watch the livestream of the ball drop.

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Transportation Nation

Your Questions Answered: How to Navigate NYC on New Year's Eve

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

WNYC

At 3pm today, the NYPD will begin opening the designated viewing areas around Times Square, where a million people are expected to gather for the celebration. Below, we answer questions about how to get around -- and what to expect. Pro tip: before you get to the standing around part, you'll probably be doing a fair amount of walking.

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Transportation Nation

PHOTOS: The Mayor May Not Be Permanent, But the Times Square Pedestrian Plaza Is

Monday, December 23, 2013

No five-borough mayoral victory lap would be complete without talking about the transformation of Times Square, so Michael Bloomberg checked off that box by cutting the ribbon on the city's latest permanent pedestrian plaza -- with just a week left in his administration.

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Transportation Nation

On Times Square Pedestrian Plaza, It's Back To the Future for de Blasio

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WNYC

Bill de Blasio had made a convincing case for being pro-innovation when it came to New York City's evolving streetscape.  But his answer during Tuesday's mayoral debate on the pedestrian plazas in Times Square and Herald Square indicated that when it comes to urban planning, his instincts aren't exactly modern. 

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Transportation Nation

Street Redesign Advice From NYC DOT: Move Swiftly and Cheaply -- and Don't Forget About the Seating.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

How quickly did people flock to a newly pedestrianized Times Square, after New York City revamped it four years ago? "We put out the orange barrels and people just materialized into the street," said NYC DOT head Janette Sadik-Khan. "It was like a Star Trek episode."

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WNYC News

Capitalism Works for Me: True or False? New Yorkers Say False

Friday, September 20, 2013

Capitalism works for me... true or false? New Yorkers votes on Friday: 109 false, 93 true.

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WNYC News

How Vulnerable is Times Square to Attack?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Officials say Times Square was a possible target for the brothers allegedly responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. This revelation comes almost three years after an attempt to detonate a car bomb in the tourist hub. A security expert discusses the risk to the city landmark, as well as how the NYPD has sought to protect it.

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New Tech City

Tourists Use iPads and Other Digital Devices to Navigate New York City

Monday, January 14, 2013

A simple stroll around Times Square is enough to show that iPhones, iPads and other smartphones and tablets have virtually replaced paper maps, guidebooks and even digital cameras among the tourists visiting New York City. 

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WQXR Blog

Colony Records, Broadway Music Landmark, to Close

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Colony Records, the famed sheet music and memorabilia store on Broadway at 49th Street in Manhattan, will close its doors after 64 years. It is falling victim to a transfigured, digital world.

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Transportation Nation

New York's Subways Booming as Bus Ridership Continues Decline

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A crowded L train

The New York City subway recorded 1.6 billion rides in 2011 -- the system's highest number since 1950.

According to the New York MTA, which posted 2011 ridership figures to its website, midtown Manhattan continues to be home to the most popular stations in the system. Times Square-42nd Street came in at number one, Grand Central was second, and stations along 34th Street occupied three separate spots on the top ten list.

(click to enlarge)

Other trends of note: ridership to the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens has almost doubled since a racino opened last year, the G train is increasingly popular, and the Yankees are more popular with straphangers than the Mets.

Although the subways are booming, bus ridership continues to drop -- not surprising, given the MTA's elimination of dozens of bus lines as a cost-cutting measure in June 2010.

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Transportation Nation

An App For Finding NYC Subway Art

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Robert Wilson's "My Coney Island Baby" at the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station (photo by Rob Wilson, courtesy of NY MTA)

To get from Coney Island to Times Square, you can take the N train from Stillwell Avenue to 42nd Street. Or to put it another way: get on the subway at the Robert Wilson glass brick installation and exit at the Roy Lichtenstein mural.

A Roy Lichtenstein artwork in the Times Square subway station (photo by Kate Hinds)

"When you have a museum as large as ours -- we believe it's geographically the largest museum in the world -- a couple of labels isn't going to do it," said Sandra Bloodworth, the head of the MTA's Arts for Transit program. She was in Grand Central Station on Thursday with Howard Permut, the president of MTA Metro-North Railroad, and Jeff Hardison, a VP for software company Meridian, for the official launch of the Arts for Transit app.

Jeff Hardison, Sandra Bloodworth, and Howard Permut at the MTA's app launch in Grand Central (photo by Kate Hinds)

The free app, which went live Thursday at noon, has information on each one of the 236 (and counting!) permanent artworks in the New York City transit system. It was built for the MTA by Meridian, and it includes background information and photos about each art installation. It's searchable by line and artist, and the app also offers turn-by-turn directions about precisely where to see art in selected stations. Some artworks have videos, as well as audio podcasts, detailing the work.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Sandra Bloodworth said many subway riders just see the same few pieces of art on their daily commute and the app will help expand their horizons. "Now it's clear that each artwork is part of a larger collection -- and it's a collection that fits in your pocket."

Jeff Hardison echoed that sentiment. "You might pass an artwork and not know much about it," he said. "Now you can look it up."

Jeff Hardison and Sandra Bloodworth test-driving the app in the Times Square subway station (photo by Kate Hinds)

Bloodworth said the Arts for Transit program "think(s) about how the artwork will change the station." The app lifts the veil on that creative process and helps locate the artworks--figuratively and literally -- in the neighborhood in which they are installed. The entry detailing Romare Bearden's stained glass windows at the Westchester Avenue/East Tremont Avenue station says they "weave(s) together the spirit found in his beloved music, social concerns and interest in trains."

Romare Bearden's City of Glass, located at the  Westchester Avenue/East Tremont Avenue #6 station (photo by Rob Wilson, courtesy of NY MTA)

When asked to name her favorite piece of art in the collection, Bloodworth protested. (One reporter sympathetically compared her reaction to being forced to choose a favorite child.)  "Each artwork is created for the particular place that it exists...it's for that place!" she said. "So you only compare it to itself. And if you must measure it, measure it 'does it speak to you? Does it move you in some way? Does it create and add to your experience?' We believe the artworks do that. "

But when pressed, she admitted to a special fondness for a couple of pieces. "There's so many artists I would love to share them all..but if I had just five minutes today, I sure would not want you to miss the Sol LeWitt at Columbus Circle, or the Elizabeth Murray underneath Bloomingdales." Bloodworth said the LeWitt  "captures, in an abstract way, the movement, the energy of this place."

Whirls and Twirls by Sol LeWitt, located at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle Station (photo by Rob Wilson, courtesy of NY MTA)

It's hard not to love the Arts for Transit program. But let's play devil's advocate for a moment: when subway crime is up -- fueled in large part by thefts of smartphones -- is it a good idea to encourage people to whip out their iPhones underground?

Howard Permut, the president of MTA Metro-North Railroad, was pragmatic.  "The fact is there has been some increase (in crime), it's not been a huge increase, and I think that quite frankly that's just a trade off in life and in our society...when people have devices that make their life easier there are others looking to take them, that's always going to be a tradeoff that we have."

"We really feel we've had a mission to create art," said Bloodworth. "And now we're working with Meridian to really let our customers know about that art. It's their collection, they own it. They customer, the public owns this collection. Now they have the guide."

The app is available for Apple and Android phones. A slideshow of more art on the subway can be found at WNYC.

A Jacob Lawrence mosaic mural in the Times Square subway station (photo by Kate Hinds)

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