Wednesday, December 7, 2011

5 Holiday Survival Tips for Times Square

Saks 5th Avenue
Well, Santa’s on his throne at Macy’s, the windows are up at Saks and the temperature has hit the thirties. It’s December in New York City – and that means the holiday season is in full swing the second Santa went through Herald Square on Thanksgiving. The New Victory being right in the thick of the Times Square and 42nd Street madness, we thought we could share tips for the weary as you battle the city sidewalks (busy sidewalks).

30,000 is a Crowd
You’re not the only one with this idea. The holiday season being what it is, the number of tourists in the city increase, ergo the amount of tourists in Times Square will increase. So you have to walk in there knowing ahead of time that patience is key. You will get your chance on the TDF steps or on the Toys "R" Us Ferris wheel! I’m a big fan of the national Costa Rican slogan, which is applicable in this situation: La Pura Vida. Roughly translated as the Pure Life or Breathe Deeply and Calm the Heck Down.

There Will Be Bathrooms
I am sorry to say I have yet to see the Charmin public restroom in Times Square this holiday season. However, no need to panic! There are other places to make a break for it when you have to go. Public restrooms are in Bryant Park and are always a solid option. Put the website on your phone favorites and download the app, SitOrSquat from the iTunes store at your earliest possible convenience. It is lauded as "***the ultimate restroom finder!" If it's not an emergency, I would even try skipping a potentially gross Starbucks and heading for the Barnes and Noble on 5th and 46th.

The Subway is the Only Way
Times Square is one of the most popular subway transfer stations in New York City. It’s the Ch√Ętelet of Paris, the Bank Street of the London Underground. Where else in NYC can you hit 11 subway lines within a block of each other? So travelers, tourists, commuters –prepare! Buy your MetroCard in another station to avoid inevitable long lines. Try and make transfers at other stations if possible. Enter the 42nd Street station from 40th Street or take the ACE instead of fighting your way down to the NQR-123. Don’t panic, you will eventually make it downstairs!

On the Run?
Maybe you don’t want to visit Times Square, maybe you just need to get through Times Square. In that case, it’s best to take advantage of every square inch of street and sidewalk space. I’ve noticed that on the west side of the square, walkers with purpose are better off in the “street” and the sidewalks are more congested. On the east side of the square, the reverse is true. If you are in Duffy Square … well, just add an extra seven minutes to your trip.

New. Years. Eve.
New Years Eve in Times Square
Hands down, New Years Eve is the worst day to try and get anywhere around Midtown, but especially this area (duh). So if you’re coming to see us, meet for lunch or see Selena Gomez across the street, avoid automobiles and busses at all costs. Your best friends are the subways, trains and your feet, but that will only get you so far. Plan for extra travel time, no matter where you are coming from. Period.

And if all else fails …
Well, you’ve given it the old college try. Resign yourself to catching a few random elbows and revel in being at the Crossroads of the World. Maybe swing by the New Vic and take some family photos on the Grand Staircase. Put on some music and jump into the holiday spirit!

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