Mandalapa's Excursions

Travel experiences, itineraries, tips, rants and more!

Currently in: New York | Miles traveled: 450,000 miles | Countries Visited: 27

Why I hate times square


Ugh, I can’t believe I am writing an article about it. I don’t hate times square just because of the foot traffic or tourists flocking the center when the ad boards light up, but because it doesn’t have any historical significance to it and its not even a pretty place to be. It like people going “Yeah, I like Kim Kardashian” but she has no talent nor she is pretty. Yeah, yeah, They have an M&M store which is the only sweetest part. I understand people want to see giant ads of Bud Light and Coca Cola and eat something american like TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, Red Lobster, McDonald’s or burger king but the fact is you can find them ANYWHERE in america. And I dont consider Olive Garden as classic italian joint where a lot of people from midwest go there to eat thinking its gourmet Italian food.

Times Square NYC from my office

Times Square NYC from my office – All I see is Red in times square

Wait till it drizzles and not even rains, and everyone starts busting out their huge golf umbrellas and poke everyone in the face. Damn it people, it’s rain and not acid and you wont melt away. May be the makeup does?

Getting past all this, here comes the annoying people in the street trying to sell you tickets to a comedy show or a bus pass to tour the city. The reason why it annoys me is that I work in times square and these people see me everyday and ask if I am interested to see a comedy show and follow me till I say “dude, GTFO”. I work on 45th street and to get to 47th for my subway, it takes me about 10 minutes on average. Just that 2 block walk is so crazy with tourists stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures of the giant Coca Cola ad or the Bud Light ad. Sometimes I really wish, they had a separate walking lane for tourists and new yorkers. That would be my day :).

A busy afternoon in times square

A busy afternoon in times square

Every time my friends who visit me say “Let’s go to times square!”, my heart just sinks, like the time in school when your professor says, homework is due tomorrow. I work there and have to deal with it 5 days a week and thats about what I can handle. It is true that it has plenty of big buildings here but so is any place in NYC. It is riddled with buildings.

There are also some random people performing in there all the time like the naked cowboy, and later naked cowgirl joined her. Seriously, the last thing I want to see after a day’s work is to see a dude dancing with his underwear.

You will also notice some random stupid acts taking place like someone left their lunch box and the whole square was cordoned off by the police and the bomb detection squad found a half eaten sandwich, there there was this one dude who got shot by the cops and you will see at least 1 arrest every 2 days in times square.

Dear Tourist, If you are reading this, I will give you these 5 places to visit instead of times square

1) Tribeca – great coffee shops, boutiques, close to trade center, right by the river and beautiful views of New Jersey [clears throat]

2) Harlem – It amazing how much of a turn around this place has had over the past couple of years. If you love food, check out Sylvia’s soul food and check out the historic harlem neighborhood.

3) Walk the Williamsburg bridge and have a drink at bedford ave and chill out with the original hipsters.

4) Prospect Park – If you know your way around the city and the subway system, please please check this park out. It’s an amazing park that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

5) Anywhere but times square – yeah, seriously.

Having said this, if you are a tourist, you will go to times square anyway.


  1. Shals

    Great work on the blog Rakesh! Although as a foreigner i must say Times Square most definitely is considered to be the top of the bucket list for a foreigner. What’s not to like about the Naked Cowboy, a 4 level Forever 21 and cheese cake galore :-)

    • Rakesh Mandalapa

      Thanks Shalini! What do i get from seeing a naked cowboy? May be a naked cowgirl? haha. But i hear you. It’s a big tourist attraction for its entertainment only.


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