Hello fellow Travelers!
I thought I should offer a few hints, a few do’s, a few don’ts for making a trip to Times Square for the big party an enjoyable one.
First let me say…. EVERYONE walking upright in this big beautiful world of ours should spend at least one New Year’s Eve in Times Square. I mean, really…. can you legitimately go to meet your maker having not checked this one off your bucket list? I almost think that angel at the gate just doesn’t let you pass until………
World Traveling Joe’s Time Square NEW YEARS EVE Adventure and Survival Guide.
In general I am not a guy that stays up really late unless in Barcelona. I am the kind of guy that likes to plan things out to get the most of every experience. This is a story of a GREAT PLAN going BAD fast. Hopefully you can learn and will be RICHLY rewarded with a WONDERFUL Times Square experience.
Dinner at Tao at 6PM: This was a GREAT DECISION. Food was incredible and the people watching SUPERB. Lots of celebs LOVE this $70 million revenue restaurant.
Broadway Play: OK, I was thinking, go to a play keep awake until things start heating up in Times Square. Probably time for dessert and after dinner drinks before heading into the zoo (oops meant Times Square). This initially was a GREAT decision, that is until walking out after the play. A cabbie informed us that all the streets had already been closed off and no reason for a cab. We started walking just the few blocks to Times Square but found that those streets were closed to pedestrian traffic too, even to people dressed in REALLY NICE in theatre clothes. We arrived WAY below times square after a 2 hour jigsaw puzzle of walking about 2.5 miles. The wifey was clearly not excited about my grandiose plan for the evening when she just walked over 2 miles in high heels! GOOD PLAN GONE REALLY BAD.
Ball Drop: A policeman was nice enough to move a few feet so that we could squeeze by and get a rocking back and forth view of the ball drop. It was extraordinary in all its’ splendor. VERY GOOD DECISION even though we were SUPER tired of walking.
HEADING TO THE HOTEL: This proved to be one of the worst experiences of my life. I am claustrophobic (don’t like to be in tight places). We started toward our hotel and the crowd PUSHED us almost two blocks away with absolutely no choice on our part. You see, when 2-3 million people want to go one way and you want to go the other it really doesn’t matter, you are “going with the flow” or getting trampled. I am thankful I am tall so I could hold my above others or not sure what I would have done. It is the only time I have actually had thoughts of fearing for my life. We finally got behind a large column and just stayed there until the majority of the crowd dissipated (high heels off in 28 degree weather at that point). We finally arrived at our hotel at approximately 3AM.
Hint’s: (Oh heck these are MANDATORY!)
The streets will start closing at noon. Plan your evening and route accordingly. Plan your return route. If you are taking a cab into the city – get there before 3PM to save the first stage of walking. Wear denim and COMFORTABLE shoes. Dress warm and bring pocket warmers. Bring a raincoat or other liquid resistant outwear. If it doesn’t rain you will CERTAINLY be doused by all sorts of beverages and that is 100% guaranteed. Bring snacks. Nearby restaurants will start closing by 3PM. Mentally get psyched for NO BATHROOM. I don’t have a good tip for this but I think there are 2 million people trying to get into 2 porta potties – ain’t happening. Find a spot to stand that has some vertical cover in case of a crowd rush, preferably far enough away to have at least 1ft x 1ft of standing space. Do not have loose items: Example if you drop your cell phone there is some risk of not being able to pick it up. As it grows closer to midnight the crowd starts pushing harder and harder toward the ball drop. EXPECT super crowded conditions.
WOW! I hope I didn’t scare you. You do have to experience it yourself. Just be prepared. Just Like Gilligan thought he was out for a 3 hour tour! And see what happened to him!