Well, Times Square is safe...primarily because a huge tourist spot. Granted, millions of New Yorkers work there, but it's primarily a big tourist destination. It's very well patrolled by police, and as long as you don't do anything silly like walk around with fistfuls of cash, you shouldn't have any problems talking a walk. A note: I find the pace of the crowd at Times Square, especially at night, to be maddingly slow. There are restaurants there - but they're generic chain restaurants, and not a very good value for the money. Not too much in the way of shopping directly in Times Square - a few chain stores, but you're not that far away from Fifth Avenue. All the Broadway theatres are located there...so if you're planning on going to a show or two, you'll get your share of Times Square. If you wanted more of a feel of NYC than neon lights, I know there's hotels on the Upper West (you'd be in very close proximity to Central Park), or in Union Square (great restaurants, the very fun Union Square Park)...I believe there is a W Hotel in Union Square, and a friend of mine always recommends the Beacon Hotel on the Upper West Side to her friends.