New Year’s Eve From Above (Part 1)

The Times Square ball drop is one of the biggest events in the world on New Year’s Eve, and the ball that drops is practically right outside my office window on a year-round basis.  This New Year’s Eve, over the option of staying home to play video games with myself, I chose to commute into the city and exercise a privilege that many would dream to have, by staring at the silly ball from the comfort and warmth of my office.

As you might remember from my post last year, Times Square on NYE is all about police work.  A pretty large chunk of the city around the ball is barricaded at every street intersection.  Very few, such as guests with proof of staying at a hotel within the area, can cross the police line and all their belongings have to be searched.  Hundreds of others stay on this side of the police line staring hopelessly into the distance.  Cops get tired explaining all day how, in theory as if there’s still space available, to detour into Times Square.

I’m not a fan of that Times Square ball, but always love the lights on Sixth Avenue:

Sixth Avenue from above:

The ball (the dot of light) from 42nd floor:

The ball (note how it changes colors) from the 34th floor:

Times Square at 46th Street.  Those ant-sized dots underneath the American Eagle ad are crazy tourists who had probably been standing there since noon.

Had McDonald’s for dinner.  For some reason, they think by printing blue lizzard people on my food would enhance my appetite.

Here’s the nearby McDonald’s with some crazy crowd of customers.  Note the security guard that restricts access to the upstairs seating area.  Hey, this is New York.  Even a McDonald’s has to have heavy security!

While waiting for the moment to take this picture, someone who I assumed to be a student-tourist from Taiwan, pointed to my cup and asked whether I had seen the movie Avatar.  We then exchanged some mildly excited thoughts on the movie, and the fact that he saw it in IMAX 3D (which I pointed out must be at Lincoln Center).  The Eve is one of the few occassions when it’s appropriate for a New York person to respond to a random and pointless inquiry and actually carry out a conversation that lasts over 5 seconds.