Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy (almost) New Year!

This was the scene as I left work today. In the distance, you can see One Times Square (aka 1475 Broadway), where the ball's gonna drop tonight. In the foreground is a gaggle of cops getting briefed on their orders for the night. A few minutes later, they'd be moving the barricades that were stacked along the street into position, setting up the little "pens" that the crowd is going to be packed into tonight.

It's snowing in New York right now, and it's projected to be about 15 degrees F tonight, so I feel sorry for anyone who's planning on standing out there all night.

I did it once. Once is all you need. Actually more than you need. It's one of those things that people tell you they've done and you're all impressed, but actually doing it is kind of ridiculous. You literally just stand there in these little hog pens for like six hours. Alcohol is not allowed, and yes, the cops enforce that. You cannot move around because of the crowd and the barricades. Need to go to the bathroom? Ask a cop. It's like being in kindergarten. Then the big 30 seconds comes and the ball drops and it's over.

I actually can't think of a worse place to be on New Year's Eve than outside, in the freezing cold, in a hog pen surrounded by cops, in the most crowded place in the world.

Not to be a party pooper! I'm happy 2008 is over. It was a good year in some ways (the election) but not in others (the economy). So I'll be ringing in 2009 with hope for a brighter future. But I'll be doing it at home, with my wife and a bottle of champagne, in comfort and in private. There's nowhere else I'd rather be.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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