Entries in Times Square (8)


Estimated 1 Million Ring in 2013 at Ball Drop in New York City

Monika Graff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An estimated 1 million people crammed into New York City's Times Square to ring in 2013.  With fireworks and confetti in the air, the crowd, many wearing plastic "2013" glasses, cheered and snapped photos as they watched the ball drop.

The ball, which was covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and illuminated by more than 32,000 LED color lights, was engraved with the name of longtime host, Dick Clark, who died in April, reports ABC News affiliate WABC in New York. It was the first New Year's Eve celebration without Clark, who had hosted his "New Year's Rockin' Eve" television special for nearly 40 years.

Ryan Seacrest hosted this year's celebration again with cohost Jenny McCarthy.

With the countdown to 2013 complete, the wishes of visitors from all over the world were thrown in Times Square at midnight. People in New York City could fill out their wishes for 2013 at the Times Square Museum prior to the celebration.

One sailor, stationed in Italy, was in Times Square for the celebration on New Year's Eve.  He recalled some of the challenges Americans had faced in 2012, but looked forward to the new year with optimism.

"All Americans are getting together to watch the ball drop, bring in the new year -- new experiences, you know. Closing out a year. You know we've had some hard times … Newtown, Connecticut … the fiscal cliff crisis … everything else," he said. "Hopefully beginning a new year, new experiences and just great times for America, I hope."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Maserati Owner Tricked By Thieves

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A Maserati owner who just moved to New York City got an unwelcome greeting to the Big Apple.

Chadwick Lange, 43, who moved to the city from Florida, left his Maserati idling in Times Square around 5 a.m. Sunday while he exited his car to talk with a friend, police said.

As Lange was chatting, two men approached him and asked if they could take pictures of the 2008 Gran Turismo. Lange agreed.

After snapping a few photos, one of the men hopped into the driver’s seat and sped away, stopping a block away to pick up his partner in crime, according to police.

The $150,000 car has not been recovered.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Book Names Iconic Times Square Kissing Couple From World War II

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two authors claim they have figured out the identities of the sailor and nurse seen kissing in the iconic 1945 LIFE magazine photograph from the end of World War II.

In The Kissing Sailor, co-authors George Galdorisi of Coronada, Calif., and Lawrence Verria of Bristol, R.I., tell what they call the story of the real man and woman in the picture.

On Aug. 14, 1945, LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt took the photo in New York City’s Times Square. He took four dozen photographs, including four of the unknown couple kissing.  He had lost track of his reporter in the crowd, and the two who kissed moved on without telling each other -- or Eisenstaedt -- their names.

LIFE did a retrospective in 1980 about the picture, asking the real sailor and nurse to come forward.  The problem was, more than two people did.

“Those people who looked at the picture and after the fact said, ‘I was kissing someone that day; it was probably me,’” co-author Galdorisi told ABC News.

Galdorisi met Verria through a mutual friend and said they agreed to track down the story of the photograph together.

Galdorisi said Verria first heard of the identity of the sailor, George Mendonsa, from a student in one of his classes.  Soon after, he saw the famous picture in a Rhode Island restaurant next to a photo of a sailor in his navy blues.  He was told the sailor was a local celebrity, claiming he was the one in the picture. Verria interviewed Mendonsa and was taken by his story, feeling he had proved his identity as the sailor.

The co-authors identify the nurse in the picture as Greta Zimmer Friedman, who lives in Maryland.  Both involved in the kiss are now 89 years old.

The book revolves around the picture itself, Times Square, where the photo was taken, the publication of LIFE magazine and the people involved in the story.

“People who have absolutely fascinating lives,” said Galdorisi.  “The three of them shouldn’t have been there, they should’ve been dead.”

Galdorisi said he and Verria prove the identities of the kissing couple by forensic analysis, photographic interpretation and other technical means.

There have been multiple people identified in the past as the sailor and nurse.  One of the best known of the women was Edith Shane.  She came forward in 1979, saying she had not told her story before because she was a proper woman, and proper women don’t kiss in Times Square.

In 2007, a man named Glen McDuffie claimed he was the sailor in the photo, even taking lie detector tests to prove his story.

The famous photograph has made headlines recently for other reasons. Singer Katy Perry reenacted the photo with a sailor she pulled onto the stage at a recent concert.

And last week, a car on Florida’s Gulf Coast hit a 26-foot tall sculpture recreating the photograph, according to ABC affiliate WWSB. There is a similar statue in San Diego.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Najibullah Zazi's Father Sentenced for Role in Attempted NYC Bombing

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The father of an admitted terrorist was sentenced Friday for his role in an alleged plot to blow up the New York City subway.

Mohammed Zazi was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for obstructing authorities investigating his son.  In February 2010, Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty to planning to blow up the New York City subway with homemade explosives he learned to make in Pakistan.  Investigators said his father tried to cover up the crime by destroying evidence and lying to detectives.  

The son had practiced making bombs in the Denver area before he drove to New York where he learned he was being watched by the FBI.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wishes for 2012 to Fall on Times Square

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- The wishes of thousands of people will flutter down from New York City’s buildings and descend on Times Square when the iconic ball drops Saturday night.

For the fifth year in a row, the Times Square Alliance has collected wishes, which are hand-written on confetti, from visitors. Revelers who can’t be in New York City are able to submit their aspirations for the new year online.

Even celebrities are throwing in their wishes for the new year.

“I hope everybody does well -- all of us. The whole country, everybody. More jobs, everything,” actor Robert DeNiro wrote.

“My wish for New York is that we continue to be the safest big city in the country, with the strongest and most innovative economy,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote.

Others were more simple.

“Peace,” actor Matthew Broderick wrote.

More than 3,000 wishes were collected online from people in 55 countries, according to the Times Square Alliance. Close to 10,000 wishes were received in person.

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rapping Pole Climber Paralyzes Times Square

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A section of New York City's Times Square was paralyzed for much of Tuesday morning after a man climbed atop a light pole and remained there for nearly two hours, despite an all-out effort by New York City Police Department to coax him down.

The man, who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, clambered up a traffic light pole at the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 44th Street around 9:30 a.m.

NYPD officers quickly surrounded the pole and shut down traffic in the areas surrounding the intersection after receiving a call that an emotionally disturbed man had scaled a light pole.

Nearly two hours later, the man was still on top of the pole, despite repeated attempts by police to coax him down. Wearing a red shirt, grey shorts and a black cap, the man waved his hands at passersby who looked up and, at one point, he began to rap from atop the pole.

Officers stood on top of an NYPD emergency vehicle to talk to the man, while emergency workers inflated a yellow airbag under the light pole, which stood about 20 feet in the air, just in case.

Meanwhile, a crowd of onlookers in the busy tourist and business district gathered below to watch as the man refused to come down.

Later accounts of the incident identified the man as an aspiring rapper who had climbed onto the light pole to promote his CDs.

He eventually climbed down a ladder to the top of the police vehicle around 11:15 a.m. He was put in handcuffs and taken into police custody.

ABC News' New York City affiliate WABC-7 reports the man was transported to New York's Bellevue Hospital for evaluation.

Charges against him are pending.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New Year's Cleanup Underway

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- They started cleaning up from the New Year's celebration in New York City's Times Square almost before all the revelers had left the space.  The same story was playing out Saturday morning in public spaces the world over.

More than one million people showed up at the so-called "crossroads of the world" to watch the ball drop at midnight.  Fireworks went off at midnight from every corner of the world, marking the beginning of 2011.  Then the cleanup began.

In New York, 175 sanitation workers were in position, ready to go the minute Times Square cleared out.  They were expected to tackle nearly 40 tons of confetti, party favors and trash dropped by the departing partygoers.  They were armed with 23 mechanical sweepers, 21 collection trucks and 36 leaf blowers.  Last year's Times Square cleanup cost a reported $53,000. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Times Square Security Tightened Ahead of New Year's Celebration

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As hundreds of thousands of people prepare to gather in Times Square for the annual revelry at the "Crossroads of the World," New York City officials completed their preparation process: removing street furniture from the area (trash cans, mailboxes, newspaper racks); sealing 27-inch diameter, 197-pound manhole covers into their 395 pound frames; checking live camera feeds; and furnishing their command posts both on the scene and at police headquarters. They're also completing final duty rosters for the thousands of officers who will be on hand to keep revelers safe.

Federal and local intelligence and counter terror officials meanwhile told ABC News that there was no credible, specific terror threat timed to the celebration.

"We have no specific threats against the city on New Year's Eve," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "Anytime large numbers of people come together we put in our counter terrorism overlay. We have other events going on: we have a four mile run in Central Park at midnight; a fireworks display at Prospect Park in Brooklyn; fireworks by the Statue of Liberty; … So it's not just Times Square. But I can assure you we looked at all of these events closely. We will have several thousand police officers deployed. … We have every indication that it will be a safe and happy event. "

On Thursday, the New York City Police Dept. was putting the finishing touches on the "ring of steel" it uses to protect revelers: a security screen consisting of 17-plus miles of barricades; entrance point searches; video feeds; and uniformed officers spaced every few yards. There will also be numerous security measures not quite so apparent to the untrained eye that include chemical sniffers, biological sensors and handheld radiation wands and pagers.

Outside of Times Square, special roving units will have citywide duty, ready to move to any other location deemed in need of a critical response. And inside of the frozen zone there will also be "flying squads" of detectives and specialists ready to swoop in on any suspected terrorist, nutcase, or common criminal.

On Thursday, bulldozers and sanitation crews were removing the final tons of snow from the areas where penned-in revelers will wait for hours for the famed ball to drop.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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