New York for New Year’s – Day 2
As I mentioned in my last post (“New York for New Year’s – Day 1“), I went to New York to celebrate New Year’s. On New Year’s Eve, we finished up our last bit of sightseeing and then were off to Times Square to prepare for the ball drop.
On New Year’s Eve, we got up bright and early and headed into the city once more, but this time we found that the hotel had a shuttle that would take us directly into downtown instead of having to catch a train.
We started off the morning by heading to Central Park. We only walked a small portion of the park, but it was enough to appreciate the serenity of the park despite being in the middle of a huge city. We even climbed up on some of the bigger rocks, allowing us to look out over the park.
Eventually we made our way back to Times Square and got lunch at Mama Sbarro’s. We definitely made sure to take our time eating and rest as much as possible. Then at about 1:30, we headed out to find our position for the ball drop.
Getting through security was a pain because there was no line. It was basically just a crowd of people all pushing and trying to get through. At first, I was worried that this was how the next 11 hours were going to be. However, once we made it through security, we had all the space in the world.
There are a few things to note about security and preparations. First of all, book bag sized bags were not allowed. However, I was able to bring in my drawstring back that had my camera and snacks. Also, if you leave, you lose your spot. There are no porta potties and none of the nearby restaurants have public restrooms. Basically, once you get into your spot, don’t expect to use the restroom until the event is over. In anticipation for this, my boyfriend and I cut off all liquids at midnight the night before. You also can’t leave to get food, so bring plenty of snacks. I also invested in a good portable battery that would be able to charge my phone an extra 5 or 6 times, that way I could play games on my phone and not have to worry about it dying. Lastly, wear lots of layers, because you’re going to be outside for 11 hours in December.
Once we made it through security, we made our way as close to the front as we could and then got ready for the long haul. Thankfully, we were able to sit on the ground, and if we were lucky, we could even stretch our legs out. The ground was a little cold, but bearable.
Obviously, the long wait was the part that sucked the most, but at 6pm they started the New Year’s Eve show, so that gave us a bit of entertainment to make the time go by. At every hour, they had a countdown, so they had a 10 second countdown till 6pm, a 10 second countdown till 7pm, and so on. At the end of the countdown, it would say how many hours we had left to go. Plus they had some small concerts and even though we really couldn’t see the stage, we could at least hear the music. Unfortunately, despite all of the big screens in New York, the only screen that showed any of the New Year’s Eve stuff was the small one at the top of the tower.
Watching the ball drop was pretty awesome, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see it as well as I would have liked simply because I’m just so short. Everybody else towers over me, but I still got to see it and to me, it’s the experience that counts. Of course after the ball drops, over 1 ton of confetti is dropped on Times Square, which seems like a lot. When you watch it on TV, the confetti looks so thick that you can’t event breath. However, by the time it reaches the ground, it’s spread out quite a bit, so it really doesnt seem like that much. I was still able to catch a few pieces to keep as souvenirs though.
Getting out of Times Square after everything was over wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. A majority of the streets were closed, which made it relatively easy for people to get out. Eventually we found the spot where the shuttle would pick us up and we made our way back to the hotel.
Overall, I thought being in New York for New Year’s was an intense experience.
I fell asleep against my boyfriend’s leg while waiting for the ball drop.
Before the ball drop, Rachel Platten sang “Image,” originally by John Lennon, and I decided to sing along
Counting down to 2017
They played “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra as the confetti rained down on Times Square