Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The TKTS Booth at Times Square, New York

When my niece, whose first time it was to be in New York, was antsy one evening, I decided to take her to see the action at Times Square. What better place to show her the vibrancy of New York than Times Square at night?

We walked four long blocks west from where we were staying, and then four blocks over. It was a good workout and the streets that led there were quiet. But as soon as we got there, it was a different story. Times Square was hopping! Look at the throng of people who were there that evening. For a moment there I felt I was in Nanjing Road in Shanghai.

The last time I was in New York, a few years back, I didn't notice this new TKTS outlet. I was shocked to see this beautifully designed structure right where the old TKTS outlet used to be.

TKTS is where you can buy discounted same-day tickets to many Broadway shows. My sister who used to live in NY introduced me to TKTS many (many, many) years ago, when we were still in college.  Since then it has become a habit to always check TKTS first.

Not every show is on TKTS, specially those that have just opened. But there are tons of good shows on TKTS. The booth is open from 9 am to 6 pm everyday.

The TKTS botth used to be a ramshackle structure with a few attendants on this same spot of Times Square. The line used to snake around the booth, and the wait was always very long--sometimes more than an hour. sometimes even two. We bought tickets on this trip at 5 pm one late afternoon and there was hardly a line. I think we were just lucky.

I wondered exactly when all of this happened for the TKTS outlet and found a clue here.

The TKTS outlet is a highly stylized structure, with ampitheater/bleachers designed above it.
What an ingenious idea.  People walk up, sit down and take in the action around them. We sat here mesmerized for thirty minutes just watching the gigantic screens and the people.

I brought Sam again to Times Square the very next day, but this time to watch Evita (Ricky Martin as Che!)--her very first show on Broadway. She loved it. In her eyes, Times Square transformed into a goldmine of exciting shows instead of just crowded place with gawking tourists.

I suspect the TKTS booth is going to be one of her favorite destinations in NYC, just like it is for her ninang Lita.

TKTS Discount Booth

47th St and Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 912-9770


Carla Aston said...

Wow! Didn't know about this. Not to mention, it is a glorious architectural and graphic design.

Robert Gore said...

Great post! On behalf of TDF, thank you for making the TKTS Booth a part of your visit to NYC! I'm glad to hear that you like it more than the trailer. :) We are very proud that it has become a place for visitors to sit and enjoy the Times Square atmosphere.

I want to also thank you for sharing this post with us. I hope that you will visit again real soon.


Robert Gore
Program Outreach Coordinator

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