I went to New York City last Thursday so I could see some of the holiday windows and just be in the city (one of my top two favorite places in the world to visit). However, I went with one caveat in mind-- get there and get out before New Years Eve.
Now, Times Square is generally a very crowded place anyway, but no night moreso than New Year's Eve. Most people, save a million or so, had the good sense to stay out of Times Square that night... my friend Brad was not one of them.
Since I had been in the city the day before, I offered suggestions on how to get into the city, where to go once he got there, etc. etc. We communicated via text and phone for most of the day, so I got more of the "Times Square New Year's Eve" experience than I usually do, but it's about as much as I ever want.
What was genuinely interesting, however, was the excitement and anticipation that just exuded out of that experience for Brad. He arrived in Times Square around 12:24 (that's what time he sent a text saying he was there, anyway); he and his friends were among the first to gather for the 11 1/2 hour wait. As time ticked along, there were countdowns to celebrations for the New Year all around the world (beginning in Hong Kong) all the way until midnight in New York.
Cynicism Alert: I don't get excited about much, and replacing a 0 with a 1 in the year really doesn't thrill me.
I think to myself sometimes, what if the church had even 1/10 of the excitement that is contained in Times Square on December 31st for the algebraic expression x+1? We seem to have a lot more to celebrate... maybe we should.
But it appears that Brad and company had fun anyway: