Watch Times Square Transform From Trash to Tourist Treasure

Times Square is synonymous with everything squeaky clean and American. Souvenirs! Flashing lights! Gigantic candy stores! But it wasn't always that way. It's taken 30 years to convert the landmark, a fascinating progression the New York Times has captured perfectly.

The packed stretch of Manhattan's iconic 42nd street is barely recognizable in its 1989 form—an urban center smashed apart and repackaged in popping colors and sheen, now notably missing all of the drug addicts and hookers. I was a little baby when the original photos were snapped, but the NYT's interactive panorama makes this now unimaginably foreign scene come alive. [New York Times]