Things are, I'm glad to say, not that dreary. If you follow a few simple rules. Like many others, we were understandably anxious about whether we could actually get in to our pre-booked party in Times Square, given the entire area starts shutting down from around 4 pm in preparation of one of the world's greatest New Year's Eve parties.
Leaving early is always a good thing. Let's say your party starts around 9 pm. Follow the simple rules to make sure you make it:
- Listen to the local NYC news on the morning of the 31st, or search online for all information on local transit closures and times. This will form the basis of your journey plan.
- Leave as early as you can - around 7 if you're staying in Midtown, earlier the further away you are.
- Don't forget to take your tickets and any associated receipts, and keep them handy! This is what you'll need to show to the police.
- Get as close to your venue as possible, and then locate the police, and ask them (very nicely) about how to get to your venue. Show them your tickets.
- If you're lucky, you'll be personally escorted as close to your venue as possible. If he or she's a grouch, excuse yourself politely and locate another officer. Especially one who looks like they're having a good time!
- Even if you get to your party well ahead of time, line up. If you're with a group of friends, take turns to keep your places in the line, as it might be pretty cold at the time. Speaking of which, wrap up as warmly as you can!
We left early enough and were extremely lucky to have several police escorts walk us to our venue. We were really overcome with their friendliness, and could not believe it when they actually walked us right in front of the ball drop. There were hardly any people congregating there at the time, and we saw the TV and live band crews setting up frantically. The crystal ball was there right at the top of those billboards, glowing brightly. It was surreal.
Though this advice may be a little late, I hope it will come in handy for all those planning to visit the Big Apple next year. I spent quite some time online looking for similar information last week, but was disappointed. And so I hope this helps someone.....