I Experienced New Year's in Times Square

“I DID IT!” I said as I watched the ball drop from 45th Street before my eyes. It was my dream to go and see the ball drop in Times Square and I made that dream into a reality. What many don’t know is how I ended up going or the process.

December is the month not only for Christmas, but my anniversary with my boyfriend as well. This year, I wanted experience rather than a gift, so I said “I want to go to New York City for New Years.” He said no many times before I finally got him to say yes! Around Thanksgiving, I booked the Airbnb and couldn’t wait to go because as many people do, I thrive in the city! What happened next was something I didn’t see coming or didn’t expect. 

(My boyfriend, Sean and I in front of the tree in Bryant Park)

We received so much negativity around it. Literally everyone we talked to had something negative to say about going and tried stopping us. The remarks we were receiving were not only from family, but friends as well. To be honest, it was a little off-putting. I was so excited to go and the more negative things I heard, the less excited I became. I think there were only a few people who were encouraging and reassuring about the trip. Despite the negativity, I tried my best to remain positive. I did not want others’ negative vibes to get in the way of me pursuing my dream.

Next, I did plenty and plenty of research about what to expect anywhere from food to drinks, bathrooms, transportation, the crowd, anything you can think of I researched. I highly recommend looking into all of this before you go because it helped me out tremendously. 

We got there on Friday night and woke up early Saturday morning to explore the city. We went ice skating in Bryant Park which was gorgeous and amazing. Later that evening, we celebrated our anniversary with a nice dinner at a fantastic place called Raclette which was recommended to us by a lovely friend of mine named Brooklynn. We finished the night with a trip to Rockefeller, one of my favorite spots in New York City. 

Sunday, the day, New Years Eve! We slept in and relaxed until late afternoon. We got layered up (I wore seven layers!) and headed to the train station to make it to New York City (our Airbnb was located in New Jersey). We arrived in New York City around 3:45 PM. The city was madness. Streets were closed then you saw the military, police officers, SWAT, FBI, helicopters and anti-terrorism folks. 

We passed a line of people and I eventually asked them what they were waiting in line for and if it was for free. Many lines were for hotels or other places were you paid in advance to have food, drinks, a better view, etc. The individuals in line said we are waiting to see the ball drop from 49th street and it was free! We eagerly got in line and was prepared to wait for a long time. To our amazement, the couple in front of us and behind us were both in college and around our age. We were happy about that and ended up talking and hanging out with them the rest of the night. We went through several different checkpoints but on our last checkpoint as we were about to go wait with the other large group, an officer escorted us to a spot right beside the stage where all the performances take place! Literally, how did that even happen? Who gets that lucky?!

We locked in our spot and waited for eight hours. That might sound like a long time but honestly it flew by. There were performances and when that wasn’t going on, music was playing. We were dancing, playing fun games with our new friends and just thoroughly enjoying ourselves!

Seeing the ball drop was one of the most exciting things I have done! It was on my bucket list and it was a dream come true. It really was; I did not leave disappointed. However, what you see on TV is not what you get. The television makes the experience seem way better than it actually is. I thought I would share that because I had no warning prior to going. Despite that, I do encourage people to go see the ball drop. It definitely is remarkable!

(Times Square when the ball had just dropped)

Some tips: 

- Layer up! It was -7 degrees on New Years Eve in Times Square! The third coldest in New York record! I wore seven layers, two pairs of pants, two pairs of gloves, two scarves, six pairs of socks, a hat and a longer coat. I did not think it was that bad because you are so close to people for a long time. Just make sure you bring hand/toe warmers and keep moving! 

- It is cheaper to buy the Metro pass for seven days rather than buying a new ticket each time you take the subway! 

- If you are coming from New Jersey, like we did, round-trip trains tickets are cheaper!

- Lastly, I will repeat, make sure you do your research especially when it comes to transportation!