Old-school bowling alleys were in many ways microcosms of old-school Times Square -- both had a reputation for being seedy, both were brimming with weird people, and even a slight slip could end with your balls in the gutter. For a more pleasing way to bowl through NYC history, hit Bowlmor Times Square.
Dwarfing its sibling with over 90,000, multiple-floored square feet, and boasting 50 lanes, a nightclub, and a private event space, each of the newest Bowlmor's seven distinct lane "lounges" is themed around time periods/hoods from its host city, from a Prohibition speakeasy, to a graffiti'd subway station, thankfully free of homeless people asking if you can spare a dime. More lane madness:
The Pop New York Room: A comparatively stark space, replete with white cinder block walls and columns (contrasted by black lanes and ceiling), chandeliers that look like a bubble bath, and mod white egg chairs -- gloat too much, and someone's sure to flip you over easy.
The Chinatown Room: Decked with red & gold pagodas, Chinatown highlights include a gigantic, wall-mounted gold dragon, a glowing red back-lit gong bowlers are encouraged to hit when they get a strike, and fake storefronts, though if things are going right you'll be hanging turkeys, not ducks.
The Central Park Room: Fronted by a bar area outfitted with open fireplaces and a window peering into the adjacent Tribeca Loft event space (for bands, burlesque, etc...), the CPR's lanes're surrounded by rock walls and a trestled ceiling, and're lined with rows of grass, which usually require a different kind of bowl-ing.
Those looking for sustenance can hit the Stadium Grill, whose 80ft bar'll feature a real-time sports ticker, endless TVs, and David Burke-helmed menus boasting sausage & shrimp mac, and a bacon/Hollandaise/fried egg/filet mignon grilled cheese known as the Jersey Boy, something that Times Square and bowling alleys sadly both still have a lot of.