Tagged: Times Square

If the Ball Drop…Stopped

timessquareballdropI’m not one for looking back at the outgoing year and not naïve enough to think I can predict what will happen in the incoming trip around the sun. What I do spend a lot of time thinking about is that 60 second period between the Times Square ball starting its descent and the moment it hits bottom marking the new year. It’s the purgatory of time. I call it New Years Eve-entually. Yeah, sure, the old year is in its final seconds but let’s face it, you said sayonara to that after seeing the first promo for Kathy and Anderson’s Obnoxin’ Eve. The new year isn’t quite there but that’s where your head is.  So what thoughts do you cram into those 60 seconds as the old year dies and the new one’s head is popping through?

Here’s my list:

1-I know New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is pre-recorded which makes it more horrifying that someone at the network could view it first and still air the program.

2-If Donald Trump is elected President I’m glad he’s still not married to Marla Maples because that’s an OK name for a Sesame Street character or someone from Vermont, but not for a First Lady

3-Is the guy standing next to me smoking a joint or do his clothes naturally smell like a decomposing stoat?

4-Why don’t they ever make the Times Square ball look like a butt so when it reaches bottom it looks like it’s sitting down?

5-I would like to begin all staff meetings with 3 minutes of thumb wrestling

6-What if the Earth became bored with orbiting the Sun and spent 2016 making the circuit of Bed, Bath and Beyonds? I’d like that because I have about 50 of those 20 percent off coupons.

6a-Will a certain singer take over store chain listed above and change the name to Bed, Bath and Beyonce?

7-If you hug Eminem too tightly, would he melt in your hands?

8-Scientists reveal the syndrome known as “affluenza” is really a strain of “assholyness.”

9-It would be more fun if hurricanes were named after farm animals. Wouldn’t you love to see the headline, “Hurricane Hog Slops Across East Coast.”? “Hurricane Chicken Gooses Bahamas.” ?

10-Time’s almost up. How fun would it be if the ball got stuck an inch from the bottom leaving us temporarily parked between the past and the future meaning we’d live in the “now”, enjoying the “moment,” savoring it, without regrets about what we’ve already done or frets about what’s to come?  That’s the way to start a happy new year!

Happy New Year to all of you!

The Night They Killed the 60’s

timessquareI have to admit I’ve given no thought at all about how to celebrate turning the calendar to another cold month. There was a time when this was important to me, but even then I had no capacity to plan for it because there’s never a surprise involved. December, and therefore the current year, ends and January, and a new year begins.
The surprise comes with a certain degree of spontaneity, such as what happened to me and a few of my friends when we were home from college for the holidays.
It was December 31, 1969. We couldn’t bear the fact that the swingin’ 60’s were about to come to an end.
We were mainly 11 and 12 years old when the Beatles led the British Invasion, a year or two later our voices changed, the girls we knew grew things the boys, um, noticed, and we graduated high school vowing to make an impact on whatever college campuses were lucky enough to welcome us.
In my case, it was whatever college was desperate enough to let me in since I spent most of high school screwing off, majoring in hanging out at Lorenzo’s pizza on Union Turnpike in Queens.
So it was hard to let go of the 60’s, but we HAD to do something.
There it was, 11p.m. that New Year’s Eve and six of us were feeding our pimply faces with Chicken Delight, a Long Island delicacy. I forget who piped up, “this sucks, let’s go to Times Square!”
We immediately licked our fingers, got in my ’63 Rambler my father had bought for $35 and beelined it for the subway and grabbed the E train bound for 42nd Street. Halfway to Times Square all the lights went out in our car and we were sure we’d made a bad mistake and we’d end up on the front page of the New York Daily News with the headline, “New Year’s Shivved!”
Didn’t happen. We got to Times Square by 11:45 and were immediately sucked into the crowd. There was no security back then, just a few dozen NYPD blues unfortunate to get stuck with that duty.
Our bodies moved on the wave of the crowd as we circumvented the famous crossroads. A guy said he was Puerto Rican stuck a joint in my mouth, smiled and wished me the happiest of new year. Good start! Then he yanked it out and gave it to someone else. You don’t bogart even on New Years Eve!
Someone else poured beer down our throats and another just laughed at us.
Then a million heads tilted up at the Allied Tower, as it was known back then. The ball slowly descended until the giant “1970” lit up. 60 seconds to kill the 60’s.
The crowd got quiet. There was nothing left to do but descend into the subway and take the E train home knowing there was no turning back. It was time to grow up. Ha! Not a chance.