Times Square Porn ShopsImage via nyclovesnyc

As we explored two weeks ago, the battle for Times Square was long and messy. On February 24, 1998, the Giuliani administration won a major legal battle when the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the City had legally re-zoned Times Square, a seeming death knell for the local adult entertainment industry.

One of the initiatives Rudy Giuliani is most known for is turning Times Square, a neighborhood that was awash in porn shops, strip clubs, and thinly disguised brothels, into a Disneyfied tourist destination. In 1995, the New York City Council amended the City’s Zoning Resolution, banning “adult” entertainment and businesses in certain commercial districts.


Times Square MTV NYC 1990s Gregoire Alessandrini Untapped Cities

While the biggest complaint New Yorkers may have about Times Square today is the tourists, just over 20 years ago, a trip down 42nd street was a completely different experience, as many New Yorkers will remember. The “Great White Way” has undergone many changes in the past century and though recent changes have been more subtle, the 1990s were a transformative decade as Times Square shed its risqué past for a more family-friendly environment. (more…)

Last week, we checked out New York City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  The agency plans for emergencies, collects and disseminates critical information, coordinates emergency response and recovery, and educates the public on emergency situations. OEM was created in 1996 and became an official department in 2001. In 1998, OEM was moved to the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center and was promptly destroyed in the attacks on 9/11. Mayor Rudy Guiliani was criticized for authorizing this move and from leaked memos, it appears he overruled a recommendation to locate the center in Brooklyn. And so, many years later, OEM is now in Brooklyn.


Recently Untapped New York discovered this at Bedford Avenue and N.7th in Williamsburg. Looks like something is in the works for 2010!

Bedford Avenue-Coming Soon-Public Toilet-Urination Facility-Public Telephone-NYC

I first became intrigued with public bathrooms upon seeing the reppropriation of the Astor Place women’s room into a newsstand. Then I began to notice larger stand-alone beaux-arts buildings, and began to dig further. Today, the internet is littered with information about how to find bathrooms in New York City–nyrestroom.com, nyctoiletmap.com, restroomratings.com, and the global iPhone app SitorSquat by Charmin. But in real life, restrooms are harder to come by. In NYC as of April 2009, there were 666 park bathrooms, 78 subway bathrooms and the pay-per-use self-cleaning bathrooms in Herald Square. These figures have fallen sharply over the last half-century. In contrast, Singapore, which has a land area nearly 200 sq km less than New York City, has 29,500 public toilets.