Turns out the bright lights in Times Square are actually relics from a secret, seedy past

Times Square, the world-famous intersection at 42nd Street, is synonymous with bright lights, Broadway shows, and various Disney characters. However, the Manhattan neighbourhood comes from a secret history of vice. The blocks were lined with sex shops and pornography theatres, and 42nd Street itself was notorious for criminal activity.

“We would hear stories about people who would leave the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is right on 42nd Street, and they’d go three or four blocks north for 45th or 46th Street to cross over to Times Square,” Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins said in an interview with Business Insider.

New York City Mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins, and Rudy Giuliani all devoted municipal attention to the redevelopment and revitalization of the iconic midtown district.

Produced by Justin Gmoser and Arielle Berger

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