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Old 1st January 2019, 08:45 AM   #1
newyorkguy
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New Year's Eve in Times Square

This is definitely a current event, the passing of the old year into the new. Today is one-one-twenty nineteen. Maybe it's because I live in New York that I think this, but the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration -- the ball drop -- has always seemed like the biggest and best known to me.

Last night's celebration was a wet one, apparently one of the wettest in the history of the Times Square celebration, which began over one hundred years ago. A history of the event says revelers began celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, and the ball drop debuted -- from a flagpole atop One Times Square (back then it was the New York Times Building) -- three years later on New Year's Eve 1907. The first ball weighed 700 pounds, was five feet in diameter and was lit by 100 25 watt bulbs. A Times Square New Year's Eve history blog says:
Quote:
As part of the 1907-1908 festivities, waiters in the fabled "lobster palaces" and other deluxe eateries in hotels surrounding Times Square were supplied with battery-powered top hats emblazoned with the numbers "1908" fashioned of tiny light bulbs. At the stroke of midnight, they all "flipped their lids" and the year on their foreheads lit up in conjunction with the numbers "1908" on the parapet of the Times Tower lighting up to signal the arrival of the new year. Link

I've never attended the actual event, joining the hundreds of thousands who jam the Square in anticipation of Midnight, though I know many people who have. One sentiment they all seem to have in common is: They would never, ever do it again. Why? To get anywhere close to the ball drop you have to get there by, at the latest, six PM. If you want to get really close, you need to arrive around four-thirty. The problem is, by four-thirty or fiveish the NYPD begin arriving in large numbers and start setting up barricades. They warn those within the controlled zone, if they decide to stay within the barricaded area they will not be allowed to leave. Otherwise, it would be complete chaos. Last night it was wet but most New Year's Eves it's cold. Sometimes very cold. and there's nothing to do for hours except...stand and wait. The novelty wears off real fast, people who've done it have told me.

Below is Ryan Seacrest at last night's celebration. He's soaked!

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Old 1st January 2019, 09:55 AM   #2
wasapi
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I thought that this year was Anderson Cooper hosting?
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Old 1st January 2019, 10:18 AM   #3
alfaniner
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(duplicated from the My "Annual" I Hate New Year's Eve Thread )

As I approach my senior years, and watching the reporting from New York's Times Square, I can honestly say that attending the celebration there has never been or will be on my bucket list.

Last year it was freezing cold (as it often is), but this year it will be 45 degrees F, and raining steadily. Aside from that being my least favorite type of weather ever, I just don't see the appeal.

Stuck in a pen for 8+ hours -- standing only
No access to a rest room
If you leave the pen you lose your spot
No backpacks
No coolers
No large bags
No umbrellas

No thanks. I'm actually surprised that there haven't been reports of any deaths or even lawsuits due to the requirements that are getting stricter every year.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if Kathy Griffin makes a "special appearance". I think the last year has proven that yeah, what she did wasn't so bad.

(eta) As far as I know, she didn't. At least, on CNN.

Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I thought that this year was Anderson Cooper hosting?
Every network has their own presentation/hosts. CNN's is more about the hosts and their banter than the performers doing their songs.

Definitely a highlight of my life -- watching Keith Urban and Peter Frampton trade fours on their guitars.
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Last edited by alfaniner; 1st January 2019 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 1st January 2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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I only went into the city on New Year's Eve once, around 1974. We went to see Blue Oyster Cult at the old Academy of Music on 14th Street. The show ended around 3:00 AM, and it had been snowing that night. I remember as we drove out we must have seen at least 5 cars that had plowed into parking meters and had their front wheels off the ground.
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Old 1st January 2019, 10:55 AM   #5
newyorkguy
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My closest brush with the Times Square New Year's Eve revelry was in 2001. I actually had to work that day in Midtown Manhattan. Late. (Actually, I didn't mind, it was a project I was very focused on and I was on a tight deadline. Might have needed to have it ready the first working day of 2002, I don't really remember.) Around six-thirty the building security came around. They wanted to close the building. I grabbed a quick bite (probably Taco Bell), and then went to an Internet cafe on W. 42 Street, a block west of Times Square. They had super fast computers -- mine was an IBM Thinkpad with Win98SE, s-l-o-w -- and I knew they'd be open 24/7 like they always were. I still had tons of stuff to do. Around 8:45 pm I was finished. Now to get the subway and go home. Except all the subway stations were closed. The entrances barricaded off. Huh?

This was barely four months after 9/11 and security was tight. There were cops everywhere so I asked one little group, how do I get into the subway? One of the cops told me: "You don't."

A woman cop standing with the others said to me, "Take a look around, sir, it's New Year's Eve in Times Square." She was actually pretty cool, though. I told her I have to go home. To my family. She informed me that, even if I managed to slip unnoticed down a staircase (she read my mind) the trains weren't stopping at any of the Times Square area stations anyway. Okay, so what was the closest station I could board a train? That would be 49th Street and 8th Avenue, she informed me. I replied, "I have to go to 49th Street?" She said, yeah, that's the closest. I got home, anyway, and well before the ball drop.

The other thing that sticks in my mind about 12-31-01 were the New Year's Eve glasses everyone -- at least in the Times Square area -- were wearing. Street vendors were selling them everywhere. I even bought a bunch too, to take home. They were so...symmetrical.

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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:40 PM   #6
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I assume it appeals to the kind of person who brings a sign to stand outside the Today Show taping and hope they get on camera. Happy birthday, Sharon!

My favorite thing now is seeing the novelty glasses vendors try desperately to recapture the glory of 2001-2009.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 06:04 PM   #7
newyorkguy
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
I assume it appeals to the kind of person who brings a sign to stand outside the Today Show taping and hope they get on camera. Happy birthday, Sharon!...
The Today Show encourages and enables it.
Quote:
When to arrive-
The live show starts at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Join the line before 6:30 a.m. for a better chance to meet the hosts and be seen on TV. Weekdays we film outside until 9 a.m., and then move the show into Studio 1A. Watch from the window and still be seen on camera. Today Show link
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