Good morning on this sticky Monday.
Times Square, that hourglass-shaped patch of our metropolis, has lived many lives: as a lackluster commercial district, a swanky cultural hub, a bustling agora, a sanctuary of sleaze, a core of crime, and a billion-watt neon circus.
Its iconography is just as varied, from the jubilation of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s V-J Day kiss to the bleak opening sequence of “Taxi Driver.”
It wasn’t even always called Times Square. That moniker came in 1904, when a certain newspaper moved into the neighborhood.
“Its meanings have changed,” the author James Traub once wrote of Times Square, “but the sense of its centrality has not.”
On Times Square’s busiest days, more than 460,000 pedestrians pass through the area sometimes called “the heart of the world.”
Still, the square may transform again: Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering digging up its pedestrian plazas and banning its topless models, who are known as desnudas.
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