(CNN) – It's not every day you hear an ex-president discuss his memories of a hooker.
But that's what Bill Clinton did Wednesday at a press conference in New York during which he praised the redevelopment that city's famed Times Square has undergone in the last two decades.
Appearing alongside New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to announce that the two leaders are joining forces to combat climate change, the former president beat back suggestions Times Square has lost the unique character it once had and reflected on his own memories of the famous junction at Broadway and Seventh Avenue when he first made a visit there more than 45 years ago.
"When I was 18 years-old in November of 1964, a freshman at Georgetown, I first went to Times Square. I bought a steak at Tad's Steakhouse. I heard a guy ream his mother out, poor working woman, because she'd given him a hi-fi instead of a stereo speaker. I remember everything about it. I saw a hooker approach a man in a gray flannel suit. Pretty heavy stuff for a guy from Arkansas," Clinton said.
A hot bed of crime and nefarious activities during most of the 20th century, Times Square first began its renovation under former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the mid 1990's, resulting in what has now become a major tourist attraction that some have, not kindly, likened to Disney World.
Indeed, some argue all the chain restaurants, retail stores, and television studious that now typify the Times Square has washed away its former one-of-a-kind personality.
Not so, says Clinton.
"My view is, its way better now," he continued. "You have to look at the overall numbers. Yes, I still have vivid memories of it – romantic, fascinating."
"It was dangerous from the point of view of crime and it was unhealthy from the point of view of public health," he added.