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New York Series: New Year’s Eve

new york series new years eve

My first week living in New York City just so happened to coincide with New Year’s Eve. And so, naturally, I figured that was where I needed to ring in the new year. I hadn’t even received my moving boxes yet, but I was wide-eyed and excited, and there was really no other option in my mind. Where else would someone spend New Year’s Eve in New York?

As luck would have it, two former colleagues were also in the city for the holidays, and so we decided to go for it. As we made our way to 42nd street, the energy outside was contagious. Thousands of people had already claimed their spots, and even several hours before the ball dropping, we had to pass barricade after barricade before we were finally let in around 51st street. And then, there we were. Seven hours to go.

Seven hours might seem like a long time to stand without food or beverages in near-freezing temperatures to some, and it was. But as time passed, more and more people filed in, and the later it got, the more excited the crowd became. People were cheering, climbing on each other’s shoulders for a better view, chatting and laughing and taking pictures in crazy hats and goofy 2012 glasses. Occasionally, the police would open one of the barricades and the crowd would rush forward, eager for a better spot. I don’t really know how the seven hours passed; all I know is that, eventually, they did. Time moved faster the closer it got to midnight, and before we knew it, music started and we could see helicopters overhead and vaguely make out singers and announcers on the big screens.

And then, there were just 10 seconds left. And in unison, the crowd started chanting that famous countdown:

10…

9…

8…

7…

6…

5…

4…

3…

2…

1!

The ball dropped, confetti started flying, Jay-Z’s New York started blasting from speakers of the buildings all around us, and people were ecstatic. It was a new year, and there was no place I would’ve rather been — no way I would’ve rather begun.

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