The crowds in New York grew as New Years Eve approached. On the 30th of December we went to the top of the Rockefeller Center (nice and early before all the sleepy people woke up). There was a line and security as we have come to expect of every attraction or transportation in America, but it wasn’t too bad. It was a clear day so the view was pretty great.
The architecture of New York is very cool. It pretty much epitomises a metropolitan city. There are just so many buildings filled with so many people. Mum said it was surprising the island of Manhattan didn’t sink. I’m not really sure if that’s the case, but it is amazing think of how much life and activity go on in the relatively small area. I mean the population of Manhattan is about 1.6 million, and that doesn’t include the multitude of tourists who had travelled in for New Years. We headed into the bustling Times Square and happened to see a rehearsal of the ball dropping. It was remarkably uneventful. A very small ball slowly slid down a pole. It was weird.
We bought some tickets to a comedy club from a guy in Times Square, and were excited, but a little concerned the listed venue might be an empty alley. We headed on over and found that is was a legitimate New York Comedy Club, but our $20 tickets came with a 2 drink minimum, and the drinks were about $13 each (before tax and tip).
The drinks were very stong – probably to encourage laughter. Even Mark, a self-proclaimed heavy weight, was tipsy after his very manly watermelon-tini. Mum was giggling away after a white Russian, and even though he only had Sprite, David was laughing loudly at jokes he didn’t quite understand. The comedy funny, but not quite long enough. We wandered out tipsily and had some real New York pizza. It was good.
We woke the next morning to New Years Eve. To start the day we went on a tour around New York under the guidance of an eccentric man named Stefan. We saw the Law and Order courthouse, the place where the Twin Towers once stood, the Statue of Liberty and all the New York neighbourhoods.
For the afternoon we headed in Central Park. It is such a lovely refuge from te city, but still has a great engery. Also, it’s huge.
We spent the afternoon ice-skating in Central Park with many other people. It was really beautiful. Two girls got proposed to on the ice, which was absolutely lovely. I had so much fun, and as the night crept in the city lit up. It was like it was coming alive while we glided around on white stuff.
Night was upon us and we walked toward Times Square. There were people everywhere, being barricaded in by police to prevent them being squashed. It was crazy. The strangest thing was that we were about 5 blocks from where any action was. We accidentally got barricaded in, shoulder to shoulder in a crowd of people, but could see nothing. We squeezed through the crowd and jumped the barricade to go get dinner. We went to an Italian restaurant so authentic the menu and waiters spoke Italian.
After dinner we tried to get near Times Square again, but it was so busy. The atmosphere was very exciting though. Everyone was buzzing.
We went to a crowd of policemen t find a recommendation for some good New York cheesecake. Their accents were so entertaining, I’m familiar with the New York accent from TV, but it was so cool. The crowds were getting bigger and we decided to go back to our hotel. We managed to hail a cab, and our driver got up to about 80 miles an hour. I think he was trying to get as many customers as possible before the congestion really set in, but it was an experience for us. Mark and I went out to find a bar to ring in the New Year. We stumbled across a little place full of balloons and met some great German people. The brought us some shots of Jagermeister to celebrate a “Frohes Neues Jahr!”
We saw Times Square on a big screen, and it looked crowded. It was great to watch it in New York, with some friendly Germans in the comfort of our little booth. After a bit more celebrating Mark and I headed back to our hotel room for our last night before he went back to Australia.