I’m from the Mayor’s office, and I’m here to tell you: New Year’s has been cancelled! Go home! Don’t come back until next year!

By | July 27, 2018

A few nice new years celebration images I found:

I’m from the Mayor’s office, and I’m here to tell you: New Year’s has been cancelled! Go home! Don’t come back until next year!
new years celebration
Image by Ed Yourdon
Note: this photo was published in a Mar 27, 2012 Time to Drink photos blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page.


New Yorkers will tell you that nobody in his or her right mind goes to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Well, anyway, nobody from Manhattan — you can never tell what those crazy folks in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, or the Bronx might do (and we won’t even try to imagine what those crazy folks in New Jersey might do). Actually, even residents of Manhattan have been known to experience the New Year’s Eve count-down once in their lives, just so they can tell everyone else that they know what they’re talking about. In my case, I think it was back in 1969; at this point, I can’t even remember for sure which year it was …

Why do New Yorkers do their best to stay away from Times Square on New Year’s Eve? Well, have you ever looked at the television screen in the midst of all that mayhem? There are a gazillion other people out there, jammed against each other, shoulder to shoulder — and they’re all drunk, and they’re all screaming at the top of their lungs. You can’t just drive to a nearby corner and park your car, with a plan of getting back in your car and fleeing after you’ve seen what a crazy idea it was. And you can’t take a taxi right to the middle of Times Square — at least, not after mid-afternoon on New Year’s Eve. Even worse, there are no public bathrooms anywhere to be found, so you’re in trouble if you drink too much beer … except that the cops do their best, quite understandably, to make sure nobody in the Times Square area (which is broadly defined to cover an area of several square blocks) is drinking or doing anything that might look dangerous.

Consequently, it often seems that most of the crowd has chosen to get roaring drunk before they arrive on the scene. All of which might be great fun if the weather is clear, and the temperature is somewhere above the freezing mark. But if it’s 30 degrees or lower, and it’s drizzling or raining or snowing, this is not a place where you want to spend six or eight hours standing around with two million of your best (drunken) friends…

Thus, it should not surprise you to hear that I was not in Times Square to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve of 2009 (or, for that matter, any other year going back to 1969). However, I had a business meeting in mid-town Manhattan, in the late morning of Dec 31st; and on the chance that something interesting might be going on, I brought my camera with me. To reach my meeting, I took a subway to Times Square, and it was snowing heavily when I came out of the station; thus, I was hoping for some dramatic scenery when my meeting ended and I had a little free time before heading back uptown to my office.

Alas, the snow had pretty much been replaced by a combination of drizzle and occasional raindrops when I finished my meeting and walked over to Times Square. Hence you won’t see any dramatic blizzard-like shots in this Flickr set; no views of frozen revelers with zillions of snowflakes falling all around them. But there were some interesting people wandering around, and it was interesting to see how many foreign tourists had arrived to spend all afternoon, all evening, and potentially all night in what has become the most well-known site of New Year’s celebrations in the U.S., if not the world. It was also interesting to see that the cleaning crews were already beginning to assemble, and that other workers were dragging along large bundles of balloons, hats, and other novelties to be distributed to the crowds later on…

… and later on, after a very pleasant dinner in Greenwich Village with several family members, I ended up back at home, watching the revelry on television as the countdown came to an end. The TV coverage was obviously far more extensive than what I could accomplish with just one DSLR camera; and it was also infinitely more sophisticated, with high-end TV cameras located on strategic vantage points all around the square. On the other hand, the TV images appear, and then disappear, often leaving no lasting impression. By contrast, these still images will hopefully be interesting to look at months, if not years, from now. For better or worse, they’ll be here whenever you’d like to see them…

New Year’s Celebration with my dear friends Jan 2014
new years celebration
Image by Erick )

Lunar New Year 2011 (Year of the Tiger)
new years celebration
Image by n.trigue

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