So Jared and I decided that since we are foot loose and fancy free (aka childless) we should attend the New Year's Eve festivities on Times Square. Here we are at the beginning of the day, calm, clean, naive, sheltered from the harsh realities we were about to come face to face with:
Little did we know by the end of the night, we would be in this condition:
(despite appearances he is not intoxicated).
So I decided to write a guide in case any of you decide to attend this celebration; A Times Square Partying for Dummies, if you will.
1. Arriving at Times Square: Despite what we were told, you do NOT have to arrive in NYC at 11am. I would venture to say don't go until 2 maybe even 3 pm. Otherwise you will wonder aimlessly around for a couple of hours(having police officers yelling at you to keep moving). And when you arrive, do not attempt to ask the police where to go because they will intentionally mislead you and tell you the wrong thing. We asked about 10 police officers where to go, and got 10 different answers. We finally stopped at 43rd and Broadway and waited, which turned out to be the perfect spot to be.
2. I call this section The Human Corral: Once they opened up the gate, which was on the corner we were standing on (take note of the specific corner- very important!) we were herded like cows into the security area. This is not an appropriate undertaking for the clasterphobic. Here you get frisked for...I dunno, weapons of mass destruction? We had to open our coats, and you can't take any bags into the gated area. I am not sure what they thought we were smuggling in, but they were plenty thorough in their search!
Once you are in the gate, you can't go in and out... keep this in mind while partaking of food and beverages. Many people did not take this into consideration, and we ALL paid the price toward the end of the evening. Lets just say some people were more willing to give up their dignity than their veiw of the ball dropping...use your imagination, enough said! We had beef jerky, trail mix and water (which we swished around our mouths by the capfulls every couple of hours). You definitely need the food and water, just take into consideration that you may be reconsidering your decision to NOT wear a Depends by midnight!
3. Try to stand as close as you can to the gate, that is where all the action is. We got tons of free stuff since we were in the 2nd row. Check out this sweet balloon (also note Jared's stylish hat above).
Also, the closer you are to the fence, the more celebrities you will see. We saw Kid Rock, Damien from TRL (such a nice guy, he was so interactive with us), Wyclef Jean, and my personal favorite Ryan Seacrest (I LOVE THAT LITTLE GUY!!!!). We also had Carrie Underwood walk right by us 5 times, but she is a quick (not to mention tiny) gal so we never got a picture. Another little hint, if an entourage of burly men approaching on the other side of the fence, get your camera ready, because someone really important is about to walk by. Sometimes easier said than done when you have been standing in the cold for 10 hours! Did I mention I am a huge Ryan Seacrest fan?
4. Find the humor in everything around you. We could have been cold, grumpy, and totally grossed out by the germiness of our surroundings. Instead, we laughed about everything and it made it soooo fun. Instead of freaking out about the creative ways people were avoiding the discomfort of a full bladder, we laughed about this situation we willingly put ourselves in. HAVE FUN OR YOU WILL BE MISERABLE!!!!!!!! Also, this is a prime place for one of our favorite pastimes, people watching. Times Square on New Year's Eve brings a whole new meaning to the expression "the melting pot". I have never encountered so many different types of people, we were like kids in a candy store! Make the most of it, because while it is such a unique experience that I highly recommend, I feel safe saying it is something you will only do once.
Here are a few other pictures and a video of our adventure.