The Lesser-Known Sounds of Times Square

The Lesser-Known Sounds of Times Square by Nina Katchadourian & Andrew Zarou

Times Square is a place that most New Yorkers, given the chance, usually avoid. The dense crowds of tourists, the bright artificial light of video billboards and relentless LED marquees (not to mention cash-counting mascot characters) cause a compression and over-stimulation that many people experience as essentially claustrophobic. As with many tourist attractions, what may be a central attraction on the map for the visitor is a blank zone for the local: a place to be side-stepped, and most often discounted or disparaged. You might live here, but what do you really know about Times Square?

Because Times Square is so overwhelming both visually and acoustically, it may seem like the worst place to try to practice listening. For this very reason, we'd like to take you to some lesser-known sounds of Times Square. On some historical sites, we may try to reinsert sound to animate it again; at other sites, we might provide the vocal musical accompaniment. We hope to introduce you to sounds you might never have noticed or understood. Come willing to listen, talk, and even sing along.

This walk holds 12 people.

Click here to see photos from "The Lesser-Known Sounds of Times Square."