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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.

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Birdman-Michael Keaton-Underwear-Times Square-NYC Film Locations-43rd Street-Times Square-St. James Theatre-Hotel Edison-Rum House.58 PM

Birdman, the 2015 Best Picture Academy Award winner was shot in New York City, telling the story of a washed up superhero actor played by Michael Keaton, looking to make his comeback in a play he has written, directed and starred in based on Raymond Carver’s short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” Throughout the film, he is haunted by the voice of Birdman, the superhero that made him famous. Though the film appears to be one single long, tracking shot, director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki cleverly and skillfully wove together long filming segments, the longest at 15 minutes, most around 10 minutes. Here are the locations used in the film, all around New York City’s Theater District and Times Square:

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Times-Square-Victory-Theater-Nayland-Blake-ICP-Triennial-Untapped-Cities

Few conversations about New York City spark more heated debate than the redevelopment of Times Square. For some, it symbolized the end of New York City’s soul as we know it, the beginning of a corporate, stale, Disneyfied city. For others, it was a rebirth, a defiant reversal of a downward spiral that had unleashed crime and middle-class flight throughout the five boroughs. On February 11, 1981, when the 42nd Street Development Project announced its plan.

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Patrons at the counter

Neil Simon memorialized the cafe in his Play “45 Seconds From Broadway”

The story of the two men who first opened the Cafe’ Edison and the hotel in Times Square is the stuff Broadway plays are written about. Cafe’ Edison’s Harry Edelstein and the Edison Hotel’s original owner, Ulo Barad, met in Warsaw–both survivors of the Holocaust.  The rental agreement between the two men for the cafe consisted of a handshake between two good friends.  The cafe’ never had a real lease.  Although the cafe’ and hotel are still in the hands of the same two families, that relationship came to an end this past weekend.

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William Shakespeare is not only one of the most widely read English authors, but also one of the most easily recognizable, with his beard, mustache, and oblong shaped head. As a result, he has been commemorated and memorialized throughout New York City. Below, we explore some of those many places where you can find references to the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

1. Shakespeare Garden, Central Park

Shakespeare's Garden Central Park-NYCImage via Wikimedia by Ingfbruno

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Old Times Square-Long Acre Square-Cobblestone-NYCTimes Square, then Long Acre Square. 

We’ve been doing a bit of research about Times Square these days, in a forthcoming book about the history of Broadway that we’re working on. The Library of Congress has as great repository of vintage photographs and we’d thought we’d share the striking evolution of Times Square from 1898 to today.

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