Look in the photograph above. What do you see? Do you see a square? No, you see a triangle. There’s nothing square about Times Square. Times Square is a triangle!
Thanks to a plan put in place by the City in 1811, all of the avenues in mid-town Manhattan run parallel in the north-south direction, with one exception. That exception is Broadway.
Broadway is the original avenue in New York. It follows an old Indian trail that runs the entire length of the island. In mid-town Manhattan, it doesn’t run parallel as the other avenues do, but at an angle. Every time Broadway crosses at an angle a straight running north-south avenue, it creates a triangle. The most famous of which is Times Triangle. Here, Broadway crosses 7th Avenue.
Just above Times Square on Broadway is Duffy Square. Duffy Square is a triangle. Just below Times Square on Broadway is Herald Square. Herald Square is a triangle. Below Herald Square on Broadway is Greeley Square. You guessed it, Greeley Square is a triangle.
So, why in New York to do we call triangles squares? Are we geometrically challenged? Is it a mere scheme that helps provide job security and another story for tour guides to tell? Well as a former neighbor of mine in the Bronx would say, “go figure.”
It is one thing to "see" New York and quite another thing to know and understand what you are seeing - the back story / the story behind the story. Don't just visit it New York - understand it, by taking one our New York City sightseeing tours.