Last year my fiancé and I were in New York City for New Years Eve. It was on our bucket list to experience a NYE Ball Drop first hand. It was a cold cold day and we knew we would have to get there early so we bundled up and headed downtown for noon.
The lines had already begun! Hundreds of people were already there getting in position for the big moment. They had each block gated off making pens of sorts and were filling them with people. Once one area was full they would open the one behind it and shuffle people into that one.
I looked around for somewhere to get food or a port-a-potty if needed and to my surprise there wasn’t one in sight. We asked the nearby police officer who was directing traffic and he informed us there wasn’t anything like that around. Basically once you were in you couldn’t leave. He then told us the people that had lined up already were wearing diapers so they didn’t have to leave! My fiancé and I looked at each other and immediately decided it wasn’t worth it. I love Taylor Swift like the best of them but I didn’t think she was worth sitting in my own filth all day! We decided to do something else for the day and come back at a later time.
Around 10pm we wandered back to Time Square and stopped in at a small french restaurant where we each grabbed a sandwich and bottle of water to tie us over for the evening. By this point the crowd of people had grown by thousands and we were really far from the central point of Time Square. Fortunately you could still see the ball and they were broadcasting everything on the huge screens that cover almost every inch of buildings in the area.
People were freezing and huddled together waiting and children were running around playing tag. Some people were hopping the barriers to go get food or use the washroom but if they got caught they were told off and occasionally not allowed back in.
We couldn’t hear what was happening as far back as we were so we kind of just shuffled around and debated whether or not we wanted to sit on the dirty streets of New York City as we waited. (We did!)
Finally it was time for the big event and the crown all counted down to the New Year in sync. We watched the ball slowly make its descent and cheered as it reached the bottom and confetti exploded all throughout the streets. Everyone was laughing and hugging and then just like that it was over and everyone started heading home.
This is what surprised me the most…I kind of expected it to turn into one big street party but the second the countdown was over everyone was ready to go home. After standing around in the freezing cold all day I kind of understood and we found ourselves shoved into the shuffle, making our way to the subway too.
All in all it was a pretty good experience and I’m glad we got to see what it’s like, but I did find it slightly overrated. I certainly wouldn’t want to do it again and understood why people would pay $400 for the parties at the Olive Garden or Applebees. At least there you are warm, fed and can use an actual washroom!
I hope wherever you are that you have a great New Years Eve and have the best year yet in 2016! See you next year! 😉