New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, March 02, 2009

Work and Play

Everyone likes a discount and theater tickets, which have always been pricey in comparison to other forms of entertainment, are one place where a deal is particularly welcome. Seeing a Broadway show is a virtual right of passage for a visitor to New York City, so it should come as no surprise that TKTS, which offers up to 50% discounts on theater tickets, has been a huge success since its inception in 1973. The tickets at the Times Square location are sold on the day-of-performance only. This is a first come, first served operation. No sales online or offsite, so expect lines. The discounts are real, however, this service is for the flexible and patient: those willing to go to a show "last minute", choose from the shows available and wait in lines.
In 2006, the original and rather primitive ticket booth closed to make way for a completely new, expanded booth and redesign of the plaza around it, Duffy Square. An illuminated bleacher style glass stairway (fabricated by Eckelt Glass of Austria) has been installed above the white fiberglass booth, manufactured by boat hull manufacturer Merrifield-Roberts of Bristol, R.I. From a New York Times article on October 16, 2008:
"the TKTS booth proper is topped by a sweeping cascade of 27 ruby-red structural glass steps, rising to a height of 16 feet 1 inch above the 47th Street sidewalk, where hundreds of people (as many as 1,500 if they squeeze in tight) will be welcome to congregate every day until 1 a.m."
The staircase is open to all for stoop sitting, eating and best of all for great elevated views of the entire Times Square area.
This was my first time atop these steps - I caught them as dusk. The glowing red glass steps is a magnet for everyone with plenty of frolicking and photography. I noticed a number of couples taking cell phone self portraits. I got into the spirit myself - taking a self portrait by hand holding a full size DSLR camera is a little challenging but I managed to get a couple of acceptable shots.
The whole atmosphere was like the proverbial school day off for snow - the unexpected was a nice surprise for everyone and a pleasant diversion for the ticket buyer. All work and no play makes New York a dull city :)

About TKTS: There are 3 TKTS locations in New York City - one in Duffy Square (north end of Times Square at 47th Street and Broadway); one at South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan and a third in downtown Brooklyn (Jay St. and Myrtle St. Promenade). There is also a location in London.


ChickenUnderwear said...

"The whole atmosphere was like the proverbial school day off for snow - ....."

Did you know today was gonna be a snow day when you wrote this?

Nice timing

Katie cat said...

You're right! (All work and no play)

Locals are supposed to avoid this area, but I always find myself voluntarily wandering through Times Square if I happen to be in Hells Kitchen or transferring there.

The new TKTS bleachers are an amazing sight!

Brian Dubé said...

ChickenUnderwear - it was snowing when I wrote this, but the snow was not the inspiration. I wrote about the snow day and realized it was snowing outdoors :)

Katie - I also visit this area even thought it is considered "too touristy" for residents. But I love lights - neon, LEDs at night.

Jeremy said...

Well Brian .. it sure is a right of passage in NY .. my first was not here but at the Astor Theatre ... got in for free to the BMG if I helped usher and clean up afterwards ... little did I know that meant cleaning up acres of unrolled toilet paper which was part of the show's finale .. a unique memorable experience ..rgds Jeremy

Beth in NYC said...

Thanks for posting this. I haven't seen the booth at night and now I see I should. There was also a TKTS booth at 2 World Trade Center (south tower). I remember buying tickets for my parents at that one.

James said...

I was there around the same time on the same day taking a picture of the Albert Einstien poster. You can see his hair and eyebrows in your second picture.
That was the first time I went to Times Square talk about sensory overload, it was great!

Thanks foe the post.