Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

Confession time: as much as I complain about working right near Times Square, I *kind of* enjoy being so close to the action. After all, isn’t Times Square considered the crossroads of the world? And in just a few short days, all eyes will be on this part of the city as we ring in the New Year. I have never celebrated NYE in Times Square – it’s one of those things that native New Yorkers just don’t do. Standing for hours, in a giant crowd, without use of the bathroom? Big pass for me. But hey, people have been gathering here since 1907 to celebrate!

Last week, I had the chance to do something I had never done before – I got to see the New Year’s Eve ball up close and personal. In the week before it takes its place atop One Times Square, the ball, along with the numeral ‘2’ (to replace the 1 in 2011) are on display at the Times Square Visitor’s Center. The theme of this year’s ball is “Let There Be Friendship” and the crystals, designed and crafted by Waterford artisans, feature a pattern that represents friends holding hands around the world. It’s amazing to see how fancy the ball has gotten over the years.

I still have vivid memories of being a kid, watching the giant apple descend, counting down the last minute of the year. And even though I usually wax nostalgic every.single.year for that damn apple, looking back on this video, I realize how lame it actually was. And maybe just teeny bit too New York-centric.  (Was the ball/apple ever properly timed??)

In addition to the ball, there was an area set aside in the Visitor’s Center to write down your wishes for the New Year on little pieces of confetti. These pieces are then dropped onto the crowd below once the clock strikes midnight. Due to a bit of a line, I didn’t get a chance to write my own 2012 wishes, but it was fun to see that so many people had!

As an extra bonus, I got to see this really cool old cop car on the walk up Broadway. Pretty sweet that it pulled up right next to a new NYPD van. You just never know what you’ll see in New York!

For an awesome history of the New Year's Eve ball, visit this site.

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