The last day of 2014 for ‘StreetTrotter’ ended just the way I wanted it to, attending the BALL DROP 2015 at Times Square, New York. Finding a permanent place in most Travelers Bucket list, the event is certainly one of a kind, with the media raving about it for years. I have seen people from all over the world travel to witness this one single event, and standing for hours in their spot, just to see the crystal ball rise at 6:00 PM and drop at 12:00 AM.
Following the rules, in my attempt to reach the square as early as possible to get a good place, I finally reached at 3:00 PM. To my surprise – even this was too late as thousands of people had occupied the square already. The killing cold had already started to make my body go numb, with still 9 more hours to go…
After almost an hour of running around, asking proactive questions to cops securing the lanes, and making my way through the maddening crowd – I finally got to a good space to see the legendary ball drop. At 5:59, I was curious for the ball to rise, and see what the fuss was about. At 6:00 – I was hugely disappointed, like many others. Nonetheless, I DO NOT regret it!
To those of you, who have contemplated to make this trip over the coming few New Year Eve’s, I will leave the choice up to you. All I can give are honest facts which may help you decide, and make your evening go easier…
For the Pessimistic You – Why you should NOT DO IT?
- The fact is – The Ball itself is way TOO small and is nothing like they show on TV or in YouTube videos. It’s like a tiny dot in the air, which does nothing but change colors for 6 hours.
- The following concert is way better if you watch it on TV, or if you are right in front of the stage on the 42nd Street. Anything between the 45th and 52nd street is a waste as you will hardly be able to even hear it.
- The dropping temperature and the chilling cold will almost freeze you.
- Once you secure your spot (anytime between 10 AM to 3 PM) – You will be literally stuck in one place among a zillion people, with no space to move.
- You cannot go to use the restroom, as once you leave your place and make your way to a restaurant, crossing over the barricades, there is NO way you can enter the area back.
- There is nothing else to do for 10 hours, except seeing the people around you and waiting for the ball to drop.
For the Optimistic You – Why you should DO IT?
- Because to be a part of millions of people, from almost 100 different countries, all gathering together on a single day to witness a single moment – is legendary in itself.
- The freezing cold will test your will and commitment in a way that will make you feel proud for the rest of your life.
- Better do it once and regret it, than never doing it at all!
- You will be surprised to see how disciplined millions of people in one place can be, with no stampedes and deliberate pushing around.
- This is your chance to be a part of something big for once, than attending yet another party like every year.
- Simply because, New York can never feel more alive, hyper and energetic than this day! So visit it in style!
Still planning to go ahead with it? Check through these USEFUL TIPS BY EXPERIENCE:
- Where should you be standing? – Anywhere between the 6th Avenue, across the 7th avenue to the 8th Avenue. 42nd Street is where the Ball and the stage is, so anything from 36th Street up to the 49th Street is good.
- Do not carry big bags, or Backpacks – you wont be allowed to enter.
- A small bag with snacks to pass your time and water helps! You wont be able to step outside to get food.
- Standing on empty cardboard and pizza boxes is way better than standing directly on the road – your feet will freeze!
- Carry extra foot and hand warmers, to keep you sane.
- Standing in the middle of the crowd will keep you warmer than being on the windy sides.
- Go in big groups if possible, and if otherwise, try to make conversation with people around. It’s a healthy way to kill time and distract yourself from the cold.
- Wear boots, two pairs of socks, gloves, caps, enough warm jackets and coats, and if you can – carry an extra stole.
- Embarrassing but true – Wear diapers, if you wish!
- Carry cash as you might come across some food vendors on the streets, if you are starving.
- Be proactive! The nicer the spot, the better the experience.
- For more official FAQ’s – Visit – http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/new-years-eve/nye-faq
On an ending note, I wish you all the best for next year, and a very Happy New Year!