Things I Learned About NYC

Happy 2012! I hope that everyone had a wonderful time ringing in yet another new year. Can you even believe that it’s already 2012?

I spent my New Years Eve celebration in the great Times Square: New York City. I know, I know, I am crazy.

To be honest, most of my previous new years celebrations have been pretty lame. I think New Years Eve is one of those overhyped holidays (kind of like Halloween) where every year, we expect it to be something epic and it just doesn’t live up to the hype. Regardless, I went into this trip with high expectations, but no real plan. Last year, my friend Brook and I had tried to plan a trip to NYC for New Years Eve but it fell through at the last minute. We resolved to be there for the 2012 celebrations.

I’ve been trying to think of a way to do this night justice in blog-form. But, I’ve been finding a hard time expressing the insanity that is Times Square on NYE. That’s when I realized, my most used phrase of the night (besides: “WHAT! How did you get THERE?” and “I understand officer, but…”) was “Well, hey, at least now we know for next time.”

I’d say that overall, NYE in Times Square was a learning experience. Here are some lessons I learned…and hopefully some silly stories that explain a little bit about my night.

You cannot fit more than 5 people into a NYC hotel room.

Hotel rooms in NYC are really, really small. Which wasn’t a problem when we first booked our room. Because when we first booked it, it was just me and Brook. It did become an issue when, somehow, our little group of 2, turned into a big party of 5 (Anyone else remember that show?).

Fitting 5 people into a 125 square foot room is like trying to play a game of Tetris. We stayed at The Thompson Hotel on at Six Columbus. The hotel itself was pretty nice. It had a very modern, young appeal to it. We had just the most beautiful view from our room.

Yes, that is our actual view. The rooms were way too small. Most of the space was occupied by a queen size bed. There was barely enough room for all of us, plus our bags. Had we had tried to fit a sixth person in there, someone would have had to sleep in the shower. But, the hotel did have an awesome rooftop patio where we started our night afternoon out right.

Smart water does not make you smarter.

Some might even argue that it makes you dumber.

Taking the subway one stop will not bring you closer to the big ball.

We are impatient people. Right when we hit Times Square, there was a massive mob of people. We weren’t sure if they were waiting to get past a security check point or if that was where we would be standing for the remainder of our night. What we did know is that we weren’t nearly close enough to the center of the action. Every road was closed, but we heard somewhere that if we took the subway just one stop, it’d put us where we needed to go.

We ended up at 50th street. 10 blocks from where we actually wanted to be. SUBWAY FAIL.

You can’t cross times square during NYE. You just can’t.

Somewhere along the way, our group found ourselves separated. Somehow, Brook, Pera, and Aaron had landed themselves at O’Briens Pub, a bar on 46th in Times Square (with a phone conversation that ended with “WHAT! How did you get THERE?”) and Jim and I found ourselves wondering lost, trying to find our way over to them. Unfortunately, we were on the other side of Times Square, which was completely blocked off from public crossing. Every time we would approach a check point, we would be turned away and told to head up a few more blocks to get across. We tried every excuse in the book (“But, my family is up there and we are just trying to ring in the New Year with them.” to “My father actually owns O’Briens Pub. Please let us through.”) but nothing seemed to work.

Which leads me to my next lesson.

The NYPD are people too.

As I said before, we spent many, many hours trying to finagle our way through police blockades to cross Times Square. We tried every play in the book, some of which brought about a few shared laughs between us and the NYPD (I mean come on, Jim told one of them that his father owned O’Briens Pub. Obviously not true). Most of them had sympathy for us and realized how frustrated we were and that we had exhausted all of our options. But, the NYPD did a great job keeping everyone safe during the biggest event of the year.

You can’t get anywhere with an invitation, but you can get everywhere with a reservation.

Learn the jargon. We kept using the wrong term, telling the police that we had an “invitation” to O’Briens pub, to which they would look at us like we had 10 heads. Once we figured out that they used the term “reservation” and we had one that Brook had downloaded and sent to me, we were FINALLY able to make some headway.

To put this into perspective. We all got separated around 5:30pm. We weren’t able to reunite until 11:15pm! But we made it before midnight, we made it.

Lady Gaga does not wave.

Once we finally made it to the bar, we found out that Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were in the hotel next door. Pera and Brook apparently saw the Biebs while I was hanging with the NYPD…BUT, I did catch a glimpse of Lady Gaga as she was heading out to perform for New Years Rockin’ Eve.

Here is a picture of her van. She’s in there somewhere, I swear. Brook was angry though, because Lady Gaga didn’t wave to any of us. I think Brook is now boycotting her music.

It doesn’t matter where you are at midnight, what matters is who you’re with.

We ended up one block away from the action in Times Square for midnight. Although, the experience was not at all what I had planned for the night and I didn’t get to see the big ball drop, I ended up having an epic night anyway. And I realized it’s mainly because of who I was with. I got to spend my first moments of 2012 with a group of wonderful people who I consider to be truly crazy awesome! It’s true what they say, life happens while you’re busy making other plans.

So again, Happy New Year! Here’s to hoping 2012 is filled with fun, adventure, love, friendship, and lots and lots of confetti!

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  1. Happy 1 Year! « Cait Strides

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