Sunday, January 02, 2005

Happy 2005. It pays to be a girl.

A few weeks ago, Shannon planted a seed... She said she's never been to NYC for New Year's Eve and since she is temporarily living near Boston now, she was thinking of going. I went there 10 years ago and had a great time despite miserable freezing rain, so I was due to go back.

She picked me up from work and we sped down to New Haven, CT to catch the train to NYC. Everything went well...that is, until we got to NYC. Once in Manhattan, it became increasingly obvious that it was going to be tough to get a good viewing spot. 42nd Street was gridlocked with pedestrians starting before 6th Ave. We fought our way thru the crowds up 6th Ave. towards 45th Street. Every street heading to Times Square was completely closed. I asked a cop where we can go to get into where the action is and he said to go up to 59th Street and they'd let us in there. We hustled our way up 14 more blocks only to find that we had become fenced in at Central Park. Completely trapped! They had successfully corralled us -- like a herd of cattle into a holding pen, and there was no way out except to go back where we came from.

By this point it was less than 15 minutes till midnight so it wasn't looking very good. We backtracked down 6th Ave., looking for spots where we might be able to sneak past the police barricades. Nothing. NYPD did a damn good job of keeping everything blocked off so no one can get thru. With about six minutes left before the ball dropped, Shannon went up to one of the cops as a last-ditch effort. Next thing I know, I see her inside of the barricade and running towards Broadway! She managed to pull-off a, "Hi, I'm a tourist from Ohio...please let me in?", and they did!! So now it was MY turn... I went up to the same cop and said, "I'm with that girl from Ohio who you just let in". He took one look at me and said, "get out!". I said, "no, really...that girl from Ohio who you just let in...we're together". He again told me to get out. I tried again..."officer, you don't seem to understand...I am with that girl from Ohio...we came here together...if I can't get in, we'll be separated and won't find each other afterwards". He didn't wanna hear anything from me. Just didn't care.

We wound up finding each other around 12:30 and by that point, they had opened up some of the barricades so I was finally able to get into Times Square. We thought about trying to get into some of the pubs and bars but we were mindful of the time and the train schedule so we headed back down to Grand Central Station instead.

On the way home from the New Haven train station, we stopped off at Mohegan Sun, thinking we can get a bite to eat somewhere in there. But those dumb-asses only had ONE restaurant open! The line waiting to get in was about 20 minutes long. You'd think that (A) being a weekend, they might have more than just one place open at like 5AM, and (B) it's a popular holiday for night-owls and drunks who may want to eat!! But nooooooo...only that one place open. Figures.

When I woke up New Year's Day, I watched the festivities on TV (recorded from the night before). A million people because it was the 100th anniversary of the whole ball-dropping thing and the weather was nice. Maybe I'll try again in 10 more years.

Here are the pics...they're not very good because they were taken with my cell phone.

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