First, a picture of Times Square as 1956 was about to arrive:
And then, another view of Times Square, circa 1969, as things were going to seed:
You have to love the giant cigarette. I got both of these images from the very interesting blog The Bowery Boys, which has a lot of cool images of New York and some interesting history, too. Definitely worth your time.
Finally, a hopeful 2012 prediction from the always excellent Jay Reding:
On December 21, 2012, the universe will end when the Mayan god Kukulkan descends from the heavens and decrees an end to all existence. Unfortunately for Kukulkan, he arrives in the middle of a Lady Gaga concert, where a blood-soaked feathered serpent would attract little notice. Disgusted by everything, he figures that non-existence would actually be better than what we have, so he ascends back up into the heaven and has a few too many glasses of wine with Zeus and Thor as they complain that no one actually believes in them any more.
So maybe we've got that going for us. Hope you have a great New Year's Eve and we'll see you next year.