New Year’s Eve in Times Square: Have you always wanted to go?

This is a revised version of a post that originally appeared on New Year’s Eve 2016.

When I was a kid I used to watch the New Year’s ball drop in Times Square on TV. Dick Clark was the host. Man, he was old, but I guess remembering him makes me old now, too. It’s a bit odd that the show is still called “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” even though Ryan Seacrest took over in 2006, when Clark stepped aside, and at least now Seacrest has his name added to the title. (Note: It’s very easy to make fun of Seacrest, but he was a riot in “Knocked Up” and clearly doesn’t take himself too seriously.)

When I watched Dick Clark’s show, I remember thinking how much fun all the people there were having, at least from the looks of it. I have a sense now that maybe, just maybe, the folks in the production truck might have been making sure not to show images of people huddling, shivering, not being able to go to the bathroom (you could tell because they were doing the pee-pee dance, or, well, let’s not discuss the alternative), and muttering that they’d rather be home on their couches, like I was on mine.

I’ve been living in New York City since the end of the last century. Times Square is just a subway ride away. Yet even before I had kids, I never went. I definitely thought about it, but I never did it. And COVID-19 certainly changed the equation, at least for the past couple of years, and maybe longer.

I’ve been living in New York City since the end of the last century. Times Square is just a subway ride away. Yet even before I had kids, I never went. I definitely thought about it, but I never did it. And COVID-19 certainly changed the equation, at least for the past couple of years, and maybe longer.

I won’t say I’ll never go, but I have a feeling the chances of me going in the future have, shall we say, dwindled. Let’s get real. I haven’t even made it to midnight with my eyes open the last number of years. The party we usually go to (hopefully, the invite is on its way) winds down not too far beyond the other side of 10 PM. I’m certain that my kids are far more likely than I am to make it to midnight and ring in 2024.

This year, again, I’ll just have to live with seeing the spectacle virtually. How about all of you? Have you ever done New Year’s Eve in Times Square? Have you ever wanted to? Does it sound like the worst possible idea in the world? Or just maybe the best? Come on in and share your thoughts, and let’s celebrate together. Happy New Year!

And in that spirit, here’s a great photo to enjoy from what I hope, for all of you, is a warm, comfortable spot.

Ian Reifowitz is the author of The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh’s Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (Foreword by Markos Moulitsas)

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