Lame Adventure 340: Up On the Roof In Times Square

If there is one place in New York City where I guarantee I will never be found as long as I am breathing, it is Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  Being there at that time on that day has less appeal to me than playing slip and slide over hot coals while naked. There are certain situations that I feel so strongly negative about and this is one that scores sky high on my hole in the bucket list, right under how much I loathe clichés like bucket lists.

I am not a list-er and I prefer to blather about what I’ve done after I’ve done it.  Whenever people are compelled to yammer at me about what they intend to do – take a class, write a novel, throw a party, shoot an arrow, whack a mole, whatever it is that is so important at that moment, my eyes glaze over.  If you’re compelled to do something, I say:

Me:  Great.  Do it.  Tell me about it when it’s an actual thing and not air-infused pontification that is about as likely to happen as world peace by next Tuesday.

Earlier this week I happened to be in Times Square with my bud and fellow blogger, Natasia, who writes Hot Femme in the City.  Last month she had suffered a ferocious cold accompanied by one of those coughs that sounded similar to a phlegm-filled foghorn.  She was very bummed that her illness prevented her from attending an outdoor screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark in Bryant Park with her colleagues.  Factoid-on-feet-me told her that this film was going to open for a week in September in IMAX theaters in conjunction with its release on Blu-ray DVD.

When that week rolls around, Tas and I make a beeline for a screening after we left our respective grinds for the AMC 25, the IMAX theater in Times Square.  We were joining the minor masses i.e., it was not a horde of rabid theatergoers, eager to catch this classic popcorn flick first released in 1981.

We arrived an hour early.  We didn’t have enough time to head over to any of our preferred watering holes in the area. It was also premature to start stuffing ourselves with a trough of popcorn so heavily salted I am certain that I have fulfilled my sodium requirement for the remainder of the month or possibly the rest of my life since that infusion of salt could result in me succumbing to a massive stroke by the weekend.  So, what to do with forty minutes to kill?  We hightailed up to the roof.

This multiplex theater’s rooftop is not the most romantic in New York City so it is probably not a go-to place for a proposal unless the proposal is, “How long is the movie?  Should we hit the bathroom before hand or what?”

Couple on lower level AMC 25 rooftop, not exactly Hollywood romance surroundings.

Great place to propose bathroom break strategy.

Although this hidden rooftop oasis is essentially industrial strength viewing, it does offer a unique perspective on this world famous area that’s also tourist and crowd-free. Apparently it’s also a welcome place to eat sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seed detritus or possibly evidence of a visit from a Yankee or Met.

Check out the other sights.

Madame Tussaud’s mitt up close and personal.

Thomson Reuters headquarters building.

The Thomson Reuters building is also known as 3 Times Square.  As interesting as seeing Madame Tussaud’s well manicured hand, we were far more captivated seeing the Times Square Ball in the off-season.

The Times Square Ball mid-pole in September. The colors gradually change.

Times Square Ball changing to lighter color.

Times Square Ball closer.

Times Square Ball in bolder colors.

We were hypnotized as we watched the Times Square Ball, but then I started to bark like a seal and we regained our senses.

The Paramount Building.

The Paramount Building is also known as 1501 Broadway.  At the time we were looking at it, Tas guessed that it was Big Ben.

The view looking west down 42nd Street.

A ship sailing the Hudson with New Jersey in the background.

Hotel Carter.

The Hotel Carter, which opened in 1930, has a reputation for being ranked the dirtiest hotel in America for four years running.

The Westin Times Square.

For tourists that would like to avoid bedbugs, the Westin Times Square might be an infinitely more attractive alternative.

The Westin even has a pretty reflection.

One Astor Plaza.

One Astor Plaza is home to Viacom’s headquarters and MTV’s New York studios.

The Times Square Building and the former home of The New York Times.

“Hey Tas, let’s go back inside! Don’t bring the stranger!”

Dinner comprised of salt, popcorn and 37 napkins.

As for the film, it holds up well — if you ignore the boulder-sized hole in the plot of the Nazis being completely oblivious to Indy’s archaeological dig taking place right in front of their faces.

96 responses to “Lame Adventure 340: Up On the Roof In Times Square

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever had the urge to be in Times Square on New Years Eve. However, gotta love you pics of the city … which reminds me that it’s a city I have not visited enough. Meanwhile, I know you’ll attend my party!


  2. II always appreciate your “alternate” tours of NYC. Also, I agree with your philosophy on only talking about things after they have been completed, or are at least in process. The process is usually more interesting to hear about anyway!


  3. Glad the popcorn was fresh of a bit overly NaCl-y. I am quite impressed by your ability to identify so many buildings in the neighborhood. I wish I could have been of more help. Actually of any help.
    One question, though, Are you stalking my Bride? No, that wasn’t her on the roof wih some other guy, but that is her office building at 3 Times Square. I believe I can see her.


  4. what’s romantic about Times Square?


  5. The popcorn would have been better with more butter flavored topping.


  6. I want to punch all bucket lists in the face. Even those words are infuriating together: “bucket”, “list”. It’s great that people have aspirations but most of the time I feel like they share their bucket lists all over the place just to show off their knowledge that Vietnam is now a trendy tourist destination.

    Also, Hotel Carter looks like a medieval castle. You better be careful if you ever walk by because someone may pour boiling oil down on you.


  7. Thanks for the tour! Love the photos. So how was the movie?


    • It holds up well if you can ignore the crater-sized plot hole where the Nazi’s are completely oblivious to Indy’s archaeological dig for the ark taking place right in front of their faces. This prompted Tas to gesticulate wildly and to mumble an exasperated monosyllabic that made me laugh for most of the next ten minutes. Of course, had this happened in a crowded theater where we were surrounded by die-hard fans, that probably would have been enough to get us both killed.


  8. The Hotel Carter is haunted?? I had no idea. But it shouldn’t surprise me. Probably someone who died from disgust at the slovenly rooms.

    I have never been to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and I never will. Nope. Not doing it.


    • When I first heard it was haunted I immediately thought about you and riding your back to do something with that info since you’re such a ghost whisperer, but when I heard that it doubles as a den of bedbugs and vermin, I decided to pass. I don’t want my friends to be exposed to real life cooties, Weebs.

      What New Yorker (or, any of our Tri-state area frisnds) would ever be there on that night waiting for the ball to drop? I was very pleased to see it at 6:15 on a Tuesday evening in September.


  9. I love your tours, V. It’s a beautiful city. And looks like it was a beautiful day. And that’s always puzzled me too. How could Indy do all that digging out in the middle of nowhere and nobody noticed until he was down in the Well of Souls? I guess you just have to go with it…


    • Thanks Cathy! It was a lovely day.

      I must admit I completely missed that detail when I last saw that film, the weekend of its release a mere 31 years ago. This time around that sky-sized plot-hole hit me in the face with the velocity of a flying anvil, or maybe that was just Natasia gesticulating wildly and blathering fluent monosyllabic — essentially the same thing.


  10. You have more tours? This is amazing news. I will be visiting NYC in the not too terribly distant future and I am going to use your blog as a guide rather than the dubious ones online that recommend Times Square as a New Years’ Eve destination.


    • Will you be here before November 18th? Is so, you might want to check out this free site:

      It’s free but you need to book your tickets on line. Once it opens, I anticipate that it will sell out. It’s too cool an idea not to.


      • I am going to book tickets right now! And my husband is going to make me go look at that ball, I just know it. On the other hand, the roof o times square looks a lot more romantic than getting vomited on by 3 year olds, so we’re headed in the right direction.


        • Why not look at the ball from the industrial strength roof of the AMC 25? It’s a great view you’ll have basically all to yourselves and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get your pockets picked unless you encounter a super menacing pigeon, but we didn’t encounter any urban wildlife when we were there. It’s pretty much a no man’s land lookout.

          I am going to be all over that Columbus exhibit like a cheap suit.


  11. I never dreamed a place like this could exist! What a trip. Good to have a few hotel tips. We stayed at the Algonquin which has the Red Flame Diner next door. The breakfasts send me home pounds heavier but very happy. If I had known about the cinema I’d have gone: I’ll go next time.


    • The Algonquin is definitely an A-list place to crash when visiting the city that never sleeps, Kate, but it does seem to me that the Shrewsdays do things in style. As far as that sight-seeing spot goes, I doubt you’ll ever find it in a guide book. It’s more of a place where the theater workers might escape to on smoking breaks. It was all but deserted when Tas and I showed up, which is odd considering that below us the city was its usual hotbed of activity.


  12. I’ve been in NYC for New Years but never anywhere near Times Square. Great pics. Movie popcorn may be one of my top 10 favorite foods.


  13. And kateshrewsday…. LOVE the Algonquin. I stayed there a few times back in the 80s when some of the rooms only had twin beds in them. I hear it has been completely updates. Complete NYC loveliness.


  14. Fish Out of Water

    I don’t know what’s better, the post or the comments. You made me smile yet again.


  15. Great pics and great rooftop tour, LA! I love seeing places from different angles!


  16. Lame,
    I love your photo tours. I was raised on a farm and can find my way through the forest at night, but would get lost crossing a city street at high noon. Thanks to your photo tours I can visit Times Square without leaving the safety of my sanctum sanctorum.


    • Russell, I’m such a city-slicker, whenever I’m in the country my nasal allergies go wild and I suffer such difficulties breathing my fantasies are primarily focused on iron lungs. The hustle and bustle and soot-filled air of Gotham City is my oxygen. I’m glad you find my photo essays entertaining!


  17. I’m going to sound very touristy, but one of the very few reasons I’d take a trip to N.Y.C., with the exception of meeting you of course, is to see the ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve. Some of those other buildings looked pretty cool too though. 🙂


  18. I’m with you. I will NEVER, EVER be in Time Square on New Year’s Eve. However, for me the problem would have less to do with the crowd or cold and more to do with the implied need to stay up till midnight. Yeah, it’s an exciting life I lead! I enjoyed seeing photos of the ball during daylight, by the way. Hope you’re out doing something fun this evening. As you can see, I’m not.


    • Usually, midnight is when I start waking up. I am not a morning person AT ALL. Standing in the cold for hours amongst a massive crowd of humanity seems like yet another type of sheer hell to me. Hope you have a fun morning; I’ll be passed out until noon.


  19. Lame,
    I can’t repeat my Tim Gunn comment on this post, now, can I? They say duplicating content on social media platforms is a big no-no. But how is “they” anyway?
    Le Clown


  20. Snoring Dog Studio

    Oh, my. What a great place to live! Thank you!


  21. The Paramount building is beautiful. It looks like a movie set piece.


  22. YES! so, i’m thinking i should just do a keyword search on your blog before my next visit, right? get all the tips at once and see as much as i can or something like that, right? i’m just hoping i’ll get a lead on the next sax concer, sugart! xoxoxox


    • Or, just give me a head’s up when you’re making your next visit and I’ll prepare a list of Lame Adventures just for you Savannah. Greg and I have been talking about shooting another video, so hopefully there will be a new one sooner than later.


  23. Nancy, it sounds like your friend has the same nasty horrible cold-like thing I’ve been going through. I hate going NEAR Times Square but appreciate your tidbits about the surroundings. When we first got here, we thought we’d go see the ball drop, but then we say, Naaaaah, not doing it. No way.


    • I’d sooner go bungee jumping without a cord than go anywhere near Times Square on New Year’s Eve B. Also, call me V.


      • Have you thought about retiring the homage to Nancy Kulp? Cuz it seems like every few entries you’re having to politely dissuade a new reader from referring to as her. I understand it is not my place but that has never stopped me from pitting in 8 cents (adjusted for inflation) worth. BTW loved the nighttime shot of the Paramount you just added.


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