I started off 2020 in Time’s Square wearing a diaper and it was INSANE
I have memories from when I was little and would watch the New Years Eve ball drop in Times Square on TV with my family wishing I could one day attend and be part of the enthused and overly energetic crowd. Looking back at it after being in their shoes this year, I have no effing clue how the people on the screens looked so joyful because I know for a fact that they had been standing in the cold for over 12 hours without access to a bathroom or food/water. However the 30 second reward might be worth waiting patiently (and at times painfully) for in the New York winter. Plus the fact that over a million people come from all over the world every year to gather in one place and celebrate this act of ball lowering is both baffling and extraordinary and I am so grateful I was able to be part of it. Humans are so adorable sometimes(when we aren’t destroying the planet)!
Despite the “slight” inconveniences one has to endure in order to secure a prime spot in the crowd, I think it is worth experiencing the NYE ball drop at least once in your life and I will recall my own experience in case anyone is crazy enough to try it in the near future. To be completely transparent, my patience wore thin about 2 hours into waiting and I debated going home where it was warm and there was access to a bathroom but luckily the vodka that I snuck in kept me rallying(also your girl could not get past the crowds and was stuck so that was a significant factor as well). Complaints aside I have a couple tips and tricks to make the wait more bearable and to score a good spot where you can be up close and personal with the famous Times Square disco ball. I am happy that I stuck it out because boy oh boy did my patience improve after this; if you’re looking to work on your patience…ball drop 2021. You heard it here first.
There are couple things that come to mind now that I am writing this and one of these things is that when I first arrived in midtown, I realized that the police had blocked off most of the streets and since I am directionally challenged I had no idea how to get to the viewing area. I noticed that you could still get through if you can provide documentation of why you belong in a certain area–whether it be a restaurant reservation, if you were staying in a hotel close by, worked in the area or lived on a certain street–as long as you have physical evidence. This was the only way you could get past the barricades and the flock of police officers on every single street from 38th-59th(I believe, I could be wrong). They really do check to see if every person who was allowed past the barricades has proof that they belonged there, trust me I devised a plan to sneak in with a group of people but failed. Secondly, it was so crowded that if you were planning on meeting up with friends, you would not be able to find them. It’s a good idea to meet further away and to go into the frontlines of the battle together instead of meeting up in Times Square. The entrance areas are on 7th/8th avenue and a couple streets(39th, 42nd, 48th and 52nd) at the time which change as the spots fill up so be sure to ask a police officer when you arrive where you can enter without needing to provide documentation.
TIP: Of course, if you do not feel like waiting for over 10 hours in the cold and don’t like crowds, you could always rent a hotel room with a view(which will cost you upwards of $1000 for the night of the 31st) or make a reservation at restaurant that has a view or access to a viewing area(according to the dude in front of me, it will cost around 300-400 per person for a mediocre place). In my opinion, if you have a larger group I would totally do the hotel thing and turn it into a NYE ball viewing party! The ball is at One Times Square, which is on 42nd street and 7th Avenue and so the areas where you can see it most clearly are between 39th and 52nd. Anything behind 42nd is the back of the building and you won’t be able to see the concert and the count down screen but you have the opportunity to be closer to the ball itself. I learned this the hard way LOL but it’s fine, everything is fine. As you can already guess I entered on the wrong side and was on 39th but since my only goal was to see the actual ball itself and not the concert, I was content settling in at the back of the stage. Plus I came two hours later(2 pm) than I had planned and all the good areas in front of the stage were filled anyway. I think if I were to redo this, I would arrive at 11 am in my diaper(make fun all you want but a couple people near me lost their spots because they had to go to the bathroom around 8 pm, imagine waiting all that time for nothing!) and have snacks ready. I would also try to enter on the correct side LOL.
This was the line to get into the viewing area on 7th Avenue. It was as long as the entire street!
They started the sporadic fireworks and raised the ball at 6 pm.
There she is!
I got to sit on the metal barricade thing so that was a perk of getting there early, although my butt hurt the entire week after.