Times Square might seem the most exciting place in New York to live, but there’s a reason most true New Yorkers won’t touch it with a stick. Actually, make that a multitude of reasons. Sure, it’s vibrant and busy and there’s always a ton of things to see and do, but while that makes it a good place to visit, it can make it hellish to live. if you’re considering living in Times Square, here are 10 very good reasons you shouldn’t.
1. It’ll make you late for every event
Regardless of whether it’s winter, summer, spring, or fall, 5 am or 5 pm, the one thing you can always guarantee is that Times Square will be crowded. If you’re visiting for a day, it’s easy enough to grit your teeth and put up with it. But if you have to push your way through crowds day in, day out, it gets tiring, fast. It’s usually worse between 7 pm and 8 pm, but no matter what time of day it is, there are always crowds of people. As a result, walking at a normal speed is next to impossible. As suitcaseandheels.com says, you’ll have to get into the habit of giving yourself extra time to navigate through Times Square if you have to be somewhere particular… otherwise, get used to being late.
2. It’s impossible to get a taxi
Times Square is always full of taxis. The problem is, you stand more chance of winning the lottery than you do of stopping one. Most of the taxis you’ll see will already have fares. Even if they don’t, there are always so many people desperately trying to flag one down, you can spend half an hour or more before you get lucky. When you do finally manage to catch one, you’ll spend a fortune crawling through traffic before you even leave the square.
3. The restaurants are underwhelming
Times Square restaurants aren’t the best in the world for the simple fact they don’t have to be. The footfall is guaranteed, and with so many tourists visiting each day, they don’t have to rely on good word of mouth to fill seats. There are exceptions of course, but if you’re a keen foodie, the Times Square dining experience is likely to leave you underwhelmed. The other problem is the prices – as vanillaskydreaming.com notes, most New Yorkers eat out more than they eat at home, but eating out in Times Square regularly will do terrible things to your bank balance. It doesn’t help that there’s often a mandatory 18% tip added to the bill.
4. There’s no nightlife
You might think that Times Square would have some of the best nightlife in New York. It doesn’t. There are a couple of swanky rooftop bars with lovely views, but this really isn’t the place to go for a night on the tiles. If you’re looking to hit the clubs, you’ll need to venture over to the Meatpacking District or the Lower East Side… although good luck finding a taxi to get you there.
5. It’s super expensive
It’s not just the restaurants that are overpriced in Times Square. Regardless of whether you’re buying something for the apartment, your weekly groceries, or even just a bottle of water, expect to pay an awful lot more than you would in other parts of the city. Some people get around the problem by shopping elsewhere, but having to drag your weekly groceries all over town isn’t exactly a great way to spend a weekend.
6. Everything shuts early
Regardless of what time of day it is, the flashing billboards give the impression that Times Square is open for business. It’s not. While most places around the actual square stay open until around 11 pm or 12 am, the surrounding streets are a different story. If a late-night snack attack hits, good luck in finding anywhere that’s still open after 9 pm.
7. It’s a pain to walk home
If there’s one place most New Yorkers refuse to hang out in, it’s Times Square. The problem is, Times Square isn’t exactly close to most of the places they do hang out, meaning that meeting up with friends can get tricky. If you’re used to walking home after a day with friends, forget it – unless you have legs of steel, getting to Times Square from pretty much anywhere is a drag.
8. The flashing lights can be a nuisance
The flashing billboards might be part and parcel of what makes Times Square such a major tourist attraction, but as businessinsider.com explains, admiring them in the street is a very different proposition to having one directly outside your bedroom window. If you want to live in Times Square without sacrificing your beauty sleep, prepare to invest in some very thick blinds.
9. It’s noisy
You rarely see the word ‘peaceful’ and ‘Times Square’ together in a sentence, and there’s a very good reason for that. If you dream of living in the kind of place where your home is a sanctuary of calm and tranquility, don’t move to Times Square. No matter how thick your walls and how effective your windows are, it’s almost impossible to drown out the noise completely. Even the best white noise machine on the market will struggle to make a difference. If you move in, prepare to invest in a very decent set of noise-canceling headphones.
10. The entertainers can get annoying
Times Square is full of legit street performers and entertainers who add to the atmosphere without making a nuisance of themselves. Unfortunately, it’s also full of dodgy entertainers who think that buying a costume then aggressively trying to get you to take a photo with them and demanding tips constitutes entertainment. It’s not, and when you have to deal with it day in, day out, any pleasure that comes from living in Times Square quickly goes. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also have to get used to people constantly trying to scam you out of your money. Telling the difference between a genuine charity collector and a fake one is almost impossible. They sound convincing, look the business, and it’s all too easy to cave in and open your wallet. If the money ended up doing good, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. The problem is, 9 out of 10 times, you’ll simply be lining their pockets.