It’s official: We’re going back to our normal routine this New Year’s Eve. The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball lifted from the ground on Saturday, giving us all a chance to experience the Ball’s new home. Of course, as they say, “Welcome to the Big Apple, where the night is never the same.”
Pffft. This feels weird. Who reads a metro.life story announcing the return of the familiar faces of the Christmas Parade, or that the city’s parks will be painted with the iconic LED lights that illuminate the holidays and New Year’s Eve? I thought you went to church, and your artwork was stained by the ink and glue on display Christmas morning. I thought you cleaned off your faces with the gloves you got at the newsstand before Christmas Day, the bright crimson red flowers on your blue plaid suit, the green shamrock atop your head, the lantern balanced on your chest — not to mention any mountains of crushed snow; we all fell into the frozen pool like a swarm of neurons.
The Times Square Ball has changed (and it’s exciting) https://t.co/Ma0i9eAzbE pic.twitter.com/O9hQ0ocVq9 — Gothamist (@Gothamist) August 11, 2018
But the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball has changed, and I’m excited to welcome it back.
After decades away (given its fragile position atop the Times Square ball), the New Year’s Eve tradition will be under new management on Dec. 31. The return of the simple celebration has led some to complain about unnecessary treasured dusting of glitter, but let’s remember that glitter gets everywhere. If glittering, it’ll get covered in the ball gantry material that gets the ball into position, and blow dust into the revelers’ faces (though maybe not bad luck?).
But what’s just as important as new management is that, on New Year’s Eve, there will be the same nine men and two women under 70 (i.e. the older, traditional-looking versions of the tradition) who are charged with making sure all 57,000 pounds of glitter doesn’t come off the ball during its ride through Times Square. Gurtening-T will be gone, replaced by KYU video crew to dry off the ball for its journey down Seventh Avenue and Fifth Avenue.
You don’t have to agree with the newest state-of-the-art regulations for Times Square to support the fans’ enthusiasm, but even if you do, you have to admit it’s an excellent idea.
This article was first published in New York Post, August 11. 2019.