HERALD SQUARE — A suspicious package that turned out to be an empty drink cooler prompted police to temporarily shut down Herald Square outside of Macy’s on Thursday morning.
Police were alerted to the cooler some time after 10 a.m., authorities said. Broadway and Sixth Avenue were closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic between 34th and 35th streets as a bomb squad unit was brought in to investigate.
With a crowd looking on from behind police tape, an officer in a full-body bomb suit inspected the large, white cooler at the Broadway pedestrian plaza next to Macy’s. Police gave the all clear at about 10:50 a.m., taking down the caution tape that closed traffic.
"Everywhere we go, we can't get to where we want to go," said Hayley Greenhill, an English woman visiting New York from Manchester with her mother, Anne.
They were trying to get to Macy's from Sixth Avenue this morning, and yesterday they found their path blocked twice: by a stabbing at a bar and in Central Park and when police swarmed the pond when a boat overturned.
The Greenhills never see such large police displays in Manchester, they said.
"It's nice that they're so attentive," the mom said, calling it "amazing."
Thakur Tilhoo, who works in the area, said he was impressed by the police response.
"To be able to cordon off such a busy part of town is phenomenal," he said.