Happy New Year

Bringing In the New Year

My daughter and I went to New York City a couple of weeks ago.  What a marvelous time and perfect way to spend quality time with each other.  We enjoyed doing many of the typical touristy things and also found some exciting out of the way places to explore. 

The best was enjoying a Starbucks coffee (did you know there are some 190 or so in Manhattan alone?) and walking around Times Square.  For those of you who have been there, you understand the magnitude of the lights, the sounds, the smells.  For those of you who haven’t been there, words cannot describe it.  Spectacular to say the least, but not like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or other natural wonders of the world.  It was interesting to sit and watch the people, the billboards, the activity and know that in less than two weeks, millions would be on that very spot bringing in the New Year. 

I’m not sure what the allure is about making a pilgrimage to Times Square on New Year’s Eve but perhaps it is similar to the people who feel compelled to shop on Black Friday.  Pilgrimages to Mecca I get. Going to Times Square for New Year’s, I don’t.  Some might say it’s the crowd, the feeling of confinement or the fact there probably aren’t many bathrooms available.  Whatever it is, let’s just say I was most content being there when we were. 

So bringing in the New Year means resolutions.  Many have resolved not to have any resolutions.  According the Wikipedia “A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more lasting personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. This goal must be reached by the Next New Year. Keep in mind that this is a goal, not a wish and should be something that you as a person could strive for.”  I think everyone should resolve to do something productive.  Most resolve to lose weight, spend more time with family and friends, quit smoking or drinking, reduce debt, go back to school or things like that.  Why people think it is easier at the beginning of the year than oh let’s say June 1st I don’t know.  Each day is a new beginning really. 

What are you resolving to do?  For me, it is taking each new day with a fresh perspective.  To continue doing nice things for people who will never find out it was me, to be more forgiving of myself, to appreciate those who genuinely care for me, and to ignore all the negative energy that people try to put off on me.   These are habits I could get used to and certainly goals that can be achieved by Next New Year. 

So, I’m off to watch a little of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve party (just not the same as it used to be) and as I sit there, I’m sure there will be moments of “we were there, right there…and, and, and.”  Bring on 2012, I’m ready.  Are you?

And, here are some facts about Times Square thanks to the UK Telegraph Publication

1. Formerly named Longacre Square, it was renamed in April 1904 after the New York Times moved its headquarters to the Times Building, now called One Times Square.

2. Nicknames include ‘The Crossroads of the World’ and ‘The Great White Way’, and reportedly ‘The Tenderloin’ because it was supposedly the most desirable location in Manhattan in the 1920s.

3. The 1929 stock market crash took its toll on the area, with many businesses moving out of the area to be replace with seedier forms of entertainment, including pornographic “peep shows”.

4. New York City began a slow but steady push to clean up Times Square in the 1990s led by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – the process was referred to as the ‘Disneyfication’.

5. On New Year’s Eve, close to a million people congregate to celebrate the ‘Dropping of the Ball’.

6. The ball was replaced by an energy efficient ball in 2008.

7. In 1972, Dick Clark began hosting the half-hour special Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

8. The location has been used in numerous films, including Vanilla Sky when it is depicted as eerily quiet, and a post-apocalyptic version in I Am Legend.

9. Famous for its electric, neon and illuminated signs including Coca-Cola, Toshiba and the curved NASDAQ sign.

10. In February of 2011, Times Square became smoke free.