Tonight, millions of revelers will pack into Times Square in New York City to ring in the New Year. It’s said to be an event that everyone should experience at least once during their life. We beg to differ. In fact, everything we’ve learned about New Year’s Eve in Times Square leads us to believe that it’s literally the last place we want to be when the clock strikes midnight. Here’s why…
5. You Have to Show Up Way Too Early
If you’ve ever watched a Times Square celebration on television, you’ll recall that at some point they always interview that “wacky” couple who showed up at noon to get a prime spot to view the festivities from. Usually, it’s some frumpy couple decked out in party hats and those glasses everyone wears to remind them what year they’re supposed to be welcoming in who flew all the way from Australia just to be there and have been standing around for hours so they don’t miss a single moment. Sounds like a great story, problem is, those interview subjects aren’t nearly as crazy as the interviewer would have you believe. In fact, they’re just following the accepted protocol.
According to a timeline of last year’s Times Square celebration posted on the event’s official website, the best viewing spots are completely full by 5:30 pm. That means you have six and a half hours of standing in the same goddamn place just to get the worst spot in the best viewing areas. Add a few hours if you want to be anywhere near the stage where all the “action” happens. Arrive any later, and the best you can hope for is to get a spot near one of the viewing screens set up in the area, an experience you could easily recreate by moving your television outdoors and watching a few hours of shitty MTV programming in the cold.
Seriously, we don’t get the attraction at all. And hey, speaking of MTV, that brings us to our next concern.
4. The Entertainment Sucks
Have you watched MTV or listened to the radio lately? If so, you already know that popular music is a mess right now. Sure, there are great bands and albums out there, but the chances of seeing Arcade Fire or some shit on the “Nivea Countdown Stage” are slim to none. A quick perusal of this year’s event schedule revealed these gems:
- 6:57 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Hourly Countdown with Carson Daly
- 7:48 p.m. to 7:55 p.m. – Musical Performance by Broadway Cast of “American Idiot”
- 10:37 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. – Musical Performance by Ke$ha
- 11:38 p.m. to 11:46 p.m. – Musical Performance by Backstreet Boys & NKOTB
To summarize, that’s less than half an hour of “entertainment” headlined by two boy bands whose members are all rapidly approaching legal retirement age. And all you have to do to be a part of it is stand in inclement weather for seven hours. Sounds like a blast! Any chance someone could bash us in the skull and steal our wallet for an encore? If so, we’re totally there.
But hey, what’s the big deal? If the entertainment gets dull, you can always wander off and find something else to do and return to your prime viewing spot later, right? Nope. In fact…
3. You Can’t Move
As organized as the chaos of New Year’s Eve in Times Square may seem, there is no system in place that allows a person to reserve their place in the fray. Show up at noon if you want, but you damn well better stay put when you get there, because that spot will not be waiting for you when you get back. As jam packed as the area is, even having friends there to “save” your spot won’t help. If you move, you move for good. So, if you’re envisioning a joyous evening wandering around Times Square sampling the offerings from the various food vendors (by the way, there aren’t any) and meeting hundreds of new friends, you’re fucking dreaming.
The reality is more akin to “standing in the cold for seven miserable hours waiting for starvation to finally end your misery while a medley of boy band tunes blare in the background.” If for some reason this still sounds appealing, at least do yourself a favor and bring some water and snacks along. But leave the backpacks at home. Because…
2. Security Is Extremely Tight
Shockingly, millions of New Yorkers jam packed into a few city blocks worth of space makes for quite the tantalizing target for the terrorists of the world. On the bright side, the security is top notch, so the chances of Al Qaeda getting a dirty bomb anywhere near the vicinity of Ryan Seacrest are almost nonexistent. That’s great! As much as we may secretly hope for the fall of the Seacrest empire, we certainly don’t want it to involve an abundance of collateral damage. But that tight security also means you won’t be lugging a backpack full of meatball subs and energy drinks in either. That is strictly forbidden.
Speaking of forbidden, that brings us to the most horrifying aspect of New Year’s Eve in Times Square…
1. No Booze
If you’re expecting that all of these nuisances will be rendered acceptable by hours of cold weather booze pounding, we have some horrible news for you. Alcohol is absolutely not allowed inside the Times Square celebration. Even if you resort to lubing up a half pint of Jack and concealing it inside your rectal cavity (which is a completely disgusting idea by the way), the cops will almost assuredly confiscate it before a single drop of warming and wonderful alcohol hits your lips. They don’t stop watching people once they’re inside. If anything, you should expect that a good number of your fellow revelers are undercover law enforcement just itching for someone to act up so they can add a little adventure to their night by slamming someone to the concrete and slapping a pair of handcuffs on them. That just gives them an excuse to haul your candy ass off to the warmth and relative comfort of an NYC holding tank.
So to summarize, New Year’s Eve in Times Square amounts to standing in cold weather for hours on end, snacking on whatever granola bar-like treat you can fit in your pocket and jamming to the likes of Ke$ha and the cast of a Broadway musical based on a fucking Green Day album. All of this while hoping the bottle of water you’ll be nursing all night was somehow contaminated with vodka at some point during the bottling process.
We’ll take a night at our local dive bar and a cheap cab ride home over that horse shit any day, thanks.