Our friend Lisa Marie is perhaps one of our favorite travelers. Whether she is headed half way around the world to Africa or to the local outlet mall; every trip is an adventure to be experienced to it's fullest! Last year, she decided to fulfill a bucket list trip to spend New Years Eve in Times Square with some of her favorite travel companions from New Mexico. After she posted some photos, I asked Lisa if she would answer some of our burning questions about this iconic celebration, so that I could post them this New Years!
Wishing you all a Happy New Year and our hope for all of you is that you can travel like our friend Lisa does this year...whether down the street or across the continents...with wonder and excitement about every new adventure!
GSIT asked: So why New Years Eve in Times Square? Lisa explained that this had always been a "bucket list" trip for her. Her regular travel companions from New Mexico made the trip east and they all headed to Times Square around 4:00 PM and worked their way through the security. They were admitted to a "pen" on Broadway and 47th Street (a fenced area designed to segregate the crowd into manageable sized groups.) She told us that the police were friendly, upbeat and very professional. She felt safe and that the police did a great job managing the crowd! She and her companions endured 28 degree weather in the pen for more than 7 hours before the official "ball drop". Some of her New Mexico based companions had to bail before midnight due to the cold, but Lisa stuck it out with her new found "pen mates".
Some of these folks were veterans of New Years Eve in Times Square, and they can answer the burning questions we all have...what can you eat? can you drink, and the one question we all want to know... where do you pee? Well, first off, forget any ideas of a "party" party...no alcohol allowed in the pens, which also means you can't bring in your own water bottles or other containers that could be filled with alcohol! Secondly, there is not food available unless your pen happens to be near a vendor or restaurant. Lisa told us there was a Sbarro Pizza near their pen, and they could purchase a pizza for $20!! (which is not sounding like much more than the cost of a pizza in Times Square anytime!) and a cup of cocoa was $5. As for that last question...if you made a minimum purchase at the Sbarro Pizza ($15), you were allowed to use their rest rooms, so long as you didn't mind a grueling wait for one toilet! Most of the experienced pen dwellers explained to Lisa that they wore adult diapers or (eek!) catheters. If you left the pen to find a bathroom, you might not be admitted back to the pen you secured early and could end up much farther away from the action.
So was it fun? Lisa told us she had a blast...met people from all over the country, the environment was fun and festive, and in 2014...COLD! I asked Lisa if she would do it again? She told me today that she was looking forward to ringing in the New Year from a comfy cozy living room with easy access to a bathroom! She wasn't sorry she spent NYE in Times Square...it was a once in a life time opportunity, but she did say she won't be back unless she has a friend wealthy enough to rent one of those 10 K per night hotel rooms overlooking Times Square!
Thank you Lisa for sharing your experiences with GoSeeItTravel...and we wish you and all our readers many happy travels in 2016!