Thursday, January 1, 2009
New Years Eve: New York Style!!
Happy New Year to all! For our first New Year's Eve in New York, I think Alex and I did pretty well for ourselves. I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out fun things for us to do, but in the end we just kind of played things by ear, and it worked out beautifully.
We had both said we wanted to see the ball drop in Times Square just once while we lived out here, so we finally decided to brave the crowds and just see what it would be like...despite the fact that everyone had told us it was NOT a good idea. Oh well. We set out with the intention just to see what it was like, and then go from there. We got to 42nd street around 5:30pm or so, saw the crazy crowds, and decided we better stop for a quick bite before we took the plunge. Afterwards, we ended up having to walk all the way down to 52nd before we could even be let into the Times Square area. We got in line and were promptly smooshed like sardines, no turning back now! They mash everyone into a barricaded pen and then you have to be searched before they let you out the other side. Once we made it through it was probably about 6pm. We forged ahead.
The view after we broke through the first barricade.
Little did we know this would be the first of many sardine experiences. After we walked about two blocks and actually got onto the avenue where you could see the ball, we took a few pictures, and then again got pushed into another holding pen. We waited patiently to be mooshed out the other side...until the back part of the crowd decided there would be no more waiting. A huge surge forced everyone through at once. Slightly terrifying to say the least. I now fully understand how people get trampled on black friday at Walmart. We had one more of these surge experiences before we were let into our final waiting pen. We were actually really close, and could see the ball clearly, though not quite close enough to see the performances. So, this is it we thought?
I for one was slightly dissapointed. For some reason I had pictured the Times Square ball to be huge. It's not. In fact, it's quite small, and falls a very small distance as well. Hmm. 10 million people for this?
The ball. Much smaller then originally anticipated.
Alex and I waited a bit, stomped our feet to keep warm, and finally watched the screen count down... 10, 9, 8...3,2,1! 5 HOURS TO GO!! That was about all we could handle. Alex later said he could handle the hunger, the thirst, the cold, the no bathrooms, but the boredom? That was the kicker. We opted not to stand in one place and freeze for 5 more hours. We'd had our fill, and can now officially say we've seen Times Square at New Years.
Did I mention there were lots of people??
After making our way back through the crowds, we headed off to watch the Gopher bowl game. Did you know there's a Gopher Alumni bar in New York? Who knew?? Anyhow, we found it, and had some great pizza, beer, and watched our beloved Gophers get handily beaten. Boo.
Alex enjoying a very manly drink during the Gopher game.
After the game, we headed off to a bar called Xicala. A very awesome little tiny tapas bar in the Village, or maybe SoHo? I still don't really know the difference. But, it was fabulous. Tiny and warm with delicious wine, food and wonderful music. We couldn't have asked for more and will definitely be back!
Toasting with some Spanish Cava!
Happy New Year's to all!