Not For Tourists, God bless ‘em, buy tickets!
*Photo by Jon Taylor Photography

Not For Tourists, God bless ‘em, buy tickets!

Bette’s hacks for navigating around the visitors

Ah, Times Square. If you just moved here from your hometown or college, it might be a place filled with wondrous things like the Naked Cowboy, Elmo, or Broadway theaters. It has a sparkle of it’s own and you feel lighter than air walking through it with a giant toothy grin that you finally moved here and plan to conquer the city in a week. #I’llbeElphababynextTuesday. Let me know how that works out for you. I do know this one girl…

If you’ve lived here for a while though…it’s a place you’ll very likely do anything to avoid walking through. And I have only one word to describe it…TOURISTS. (God bless ‘em, buy tickets…and then please stay in your hotel room from 4-6:30pm, and TIP.)

Sometimes, it’s unavoidable, and you must walk through the teeming crowds waiting for Harry Potter to finish his show, or the Lotteries to be done. I have a few alternate routes to getting to the places you want to go that are Times Square adjacent, without actually having to walk by the giant Forever 21, or the creepy Elmo.

Bette’s walking route to get from 42nd St. and 6th Ave to get to the Actors Equity Building on 46th St.:

1.     About the middle of the block, between Broadway and 6th Ave there is a pass through walkway next to Aureole the restaurant, and the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (43rd St.)

2.     To the left of Heartland Brewery is a parking garage, which has a tiny pedestrian walkway on the left side…walk through here. (44th St.)

3.     Walk through the lobby of the Millennium Broadway Hotel (45th St.)

4.     Go somewhat to the left of the Lyceum Theatre and there is an indoor pass through walkway. (46th St.)

5.     You have now arrived across the street from the Equity Building.

(I also recommend walking up 6th Ave rather than up Broadway/7th Ave if you can help it or are coming from Bryant Park. It’s mostly business people here and they walk faster.)

Also…if its winter and you are freezing, and you happen to be the lucky owner of a monthly unlimited Metrocard, you can use your card to walk through the subway platforms to get to the other side of the station and avoid the frostbite. Ex: You are at Pearl Studios and you want to get to somewhere south of Penn Station…walk through the A/C/E platform all the way and then walk through Penn to avoid the elements. Same goes for the tunnel from Port Authority to Times Square, and from Bryant Park 7train at 6th Ave to 5th Ave. Since subway platforms are about four to five blocks long, you can get pretty far underground, not even on the actual train. I have not yet figured out how to completely avoid the sidewalk apart from cars, but when I do, you’ll be the first to know!

The other thing to remember is that while the tourists might be in your way in the morning when you are trying to get to your rehearsal or audition…they are often the very same people who are buying the tickets to see your show that night. So in order for you to get your paycheck, they have to come here and spend theirs. And they are THRILLED to be here seeing your beautiful work. So no matter where they come from, or how in your way they might be, just remember…our industry runs a big part on tourism. Which is why I say: “God bless ‘em, buy tickets!” Just something to calm you down when you want to shove that tour group out of the way with your dance bag. ;) Don’t worry, when you are Elphaba next week… you’ll just fly over all of us.

Bulletproof Bette shares her wisdom in the first ever Showgirl’s Guide to surviving and thriving in a city and industry that wants to eat you for lunch. Get exclusive content when you sign up below!