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Times Square is almost like the heart of the city: The flashing lights, heart of the media world, the crowds, the tourist traps. But on the flipside, some New Yorkers avoid Times Square if they can because it's simply too crowded and stressful to navigate. The Times looks at the problem of the gridlock in Times Square, which can be traced to the high numbers of vendors on highly trafficked streets, plus smokers outside of office buildings and those concrete planters on the sidewalks to ward off bombers. And you can't forget the TRL crowds: Times Square Business Improvement District president Tim Thompson says, "I think having 10,000 teeny-boppers is great, but when you also have 500 vendors taking up 30 percent of the sidewalk, something has to give." Gothamist would like to add "tourists who stand still in the middle of the sidewalks (if you need to look at your map or want to take pictures, stand near a building or the edge of the sidewalk; it's about the perimeters, people!)" to the list of impediments to actual pedestrians. But even they can't keep us away from the ferris wheel at Toys R Us or the oh–so–ugly–but–oh–so–convenient movie megaplexes in Times Square.

The Cricket in Times Square is a great book about the heart of the city. And The Colossus of New York has a chapter about Times Square.