Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

We can now be counted among the insane people who have been "in" Times Square for New Year's Eve. I say "in" because with one million revelers and a whole lot of security, the closest we could get was 7th Ave. and 57th Street. (The ball drops at 7th and 43rd). We weren't crazy enough to camp out in the freezing weather all afternoon for a decent spot. I wanted to see the ball drop, but not bad enough to have to amputate my frostbitten toes at the end of the night.

It was snowing and blowing all day, but did clear up for the festivities, although the temperature with windchill was about one degree. However, you can actually stay quite warm when your body is smushed sardine-style against someone you don't even know. Somehow I felt proper introductions were in order. (Hello, my name is Bonnie, and it's my face crammed in your armpit...) Although I have to say I much prefer cold strangers to the hot, sweaty ones of the Fourth of July on the National Mall.

By the time we had been patted down by the police and got into position, we only had an hour to wait. We had a great, if far-away, view of the ball. We spent the time getting emphysema from all the cigarette and cigar smoke around us and trying not to get too annoyed by the load of twenty-somethings pushing their way through the crowd saying "I'm just trying to get to my friends." It was a no-alcohol-allowed event, but the German girls behind us managed to sneak in some champagne. And everyone would cheer and act like lunatics when the news helicopters flew overhead.

In the end, the ball drop was somewhat anti-climactic. But it was fun, and I'm really glad we went. It's definitely not worth repeating, but it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences we just couldn't miss.

We stayed for about one minute of the fireworks and then booked it out of there and made it home in about forty minutes. Not bad!

Here is some video of the countdown. It starts at about 60 seconds before midnight, and ends with some of the fireworks. It really doesn't do it justice, but hey, it's proof we were there. Or at least someone with our camera was.

Happy New Year, one and all!

New Year's Eve on Vimeo.

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