So I decided to be an über tourist and do New Years Eve in Times Square. I felt it was something I had to do at least once in my life and since I was in New York anyway it just seemed like the right thing to do. I did a bit of research and decided to arrive at 2:00pm. I got a bit of food and then at around 2:30, made my way to the street. I purposely didn’t want to try and get super close to the main area for two reasons, a) I thought viewing would be better a bit further back and b) because I thought it would be a shit show getting out of there; wrong and wrong.
I found my spot in the middle of 49th Street and planted myself in the crowd. I was soon surrounded by people and couldn’t move if I wanted to. The good thing about this was that I wasn’t cold at all. Cut to nothing happening until around 3:30 when they moved us from the staging area to the final area where we would be for the next 8 and a half hours!
After going through a security check I then just stood and waited… in the cold… forever. I knew this is what the case was going to be (see 4 hour wait for the Harry Potter ride) but it ended up being worse than I thought. Apart from listening to some music, it was just boring, and painful (on my back and feet), and cold (the crowd was no longer as tight as it had been).
After 6 and a half hours of standing, and a little bit of sitting on the ground, I got to talking with the people who had been around me the whole night. This was cool as they were really nice and made the last couple hours move by a bit faster. Before we knew it the hour was upon us and it was time for the ball to drop.
10 hours of standing in the cold for a 60 second underwhelming experience. To top it off, the video I thought I was taking of the ball dropping ended up just being a picture. I sort of knew the experience was going to suck but I wanted to do it anyway and am, sort of, glad I did.
Advice for anyone deciding to go in the coming years. 1) wear more layers than you think you need; maybe even bring a blanket. 2) get there early, like 11:30 or noon. You’re only gonna want to do this once so you’re gonna want to have a good spot to view things. Plus, I think the energy of the performances right in front of you will keep you engaged. Lastly, check this website: Times Square Alliance; it’s the reference that helped me the most.