TIMES SQUARE IS A MICROCOSM of New York, and New York is a microcosm of the modern world: the highest culture and trashiest entertainment compete on streets lined with neonlit buildings, which serve as nothing more than giant billboards. In the frenzied throng of daytime, superrich traders, tourists and destitute immigrants find a compromise of sorts in mutual indifference. In the city that never sleeps, day crosses imperceptibly into night as a new fauna takes to the streets.
These photographs were taken at Times Square—between 41st and 44th streets on 7th Avenue—during the abandoned hours between night and day, the no-man’s-land between 4:30 am and 6:30 am. The buildings still flicker, but as the street comes to a standstill they sweat out the remnants of the night: bars close, strippers wrap up, drunks look for sausages to soak up the alcohol and sailors go home. Night workers come to the end of their shift and a random dog on a leash takes a first leak. Travellers take to the road for long journeys, and those on overnight rides begin to arrive. It’s the transit time before dawn.