New Years Eve in New York City
by David J. Cox
Entering New York City is always a pleasure, whether for the first time or the 50th, and this would be the kids’ first visit and the first time in a city with skyscrapers. New York is so filled with energy that the ambiance pulls you right in and you can sometimes get lost in the shuffle!
For guidance, we turned to NYC & Company, a destination marketing firm who provide support for the tourist industry in and around New York. A great contact that knows where to go and what to see for visitors of all ages, and whose website is a resource offering all levels of tourist with passes, discounts and Q&As, to mention just a few of their excellent online offerings. We arrived a day before the turn of the year, and this great company sent us an extensive itinerary we could choose from.
Eve of New Years Eve
We decided to check out some of the best walking areas the city has to offer. We started with Central Park and regardless of season, the Park is one of New York’s signature locations made famous in movies and TV shows. Joggers and tourists and cyclists were out in full force and the horse riding police were a sight and wow, does this Park have features! Personally, I was really excited to see the Wollman Rink, where folks have been skating since 1949 and has been featured in many of my favorite movies!
The Bow Bridge and Bethesda Fountain are wonderful iconic areas that really reflect what you imagine the park is and are a must visit!
New York’s Chinatown
We had a quick jaunt through the area and we focused on a visit for the kids at the Aji Ichiban Candy Store. Even though it has a Japanese name, this Chinese chain of candy stores sells thousands of candies and dried fruits, nuts, jerky and all things gummy! We ate more candy than we should have , as there were small sample dishes next to most items and left with enough candy to keep us going as we toured SoHo.
This leg of our journey was mainly for my wife and daughter, though I will admit that the Hugo Boss store was filled with dream suits. The trendy, upscale boutiques and international designers around the area offer endless window shopping opportunities and often a fleeting sight of a famous actor or actress! DKNY, Longchamp Paris, and so many more. My tastes lay a bit further north on Bleeker Street, where vintage clothing, hand-made crafts, and new designers can be found and explored!
New Years Eve
Our New Years Eve was an exciting affair, and we were busy from morning to night. The city is in full gear with millions of people heading into town to watch the famous ball drop, but before that, we were out to explore!
Statue of Liberty
Our first stop was a morning boat ride to the Statue of Liberty. Majestic and melancholy, the island is fully stocked for tourists, with a singing restaurant host and a pretty modest priced restaurant and gift shop. It is really striking to see the symbol of the states up close!
‘Two Towers Tour’ of the tallest towers in NYC
Empire State Building
Our first stop was the Empire State Building just after lunch. A well-oiled machine, we were in the elevator and enjoying the view from the 86th floor within 20 minutes. It is an amazing vantage point, and the small museum on the floor is a jaunt through NYC’s history with pictures, short films and knowledgeable staff eager to answer questions.
Top of the Rock
That afternoon, before we headed to Times Square, we took and evening ride to the Top of the Rock. Quite different from the Empire State experience. Top of the Rock offers probably the best place to see New York. The very top has no glass barriers if you want to take some pictures and as we arrived after sunset, the spectacular effect of the setting sun was extraordinary!
The Ball Drop!
As night fell, we made our way into the immense crowd gathered for the night. Music and noise and people and lights – awe-inspiring and incredible! The kids stayed close as the crowd was hard to navigate without locking arms. Luckily we had someone waiting for us or we would have had to spend the day waiting for the events of the evening. I would still have waited if I had had too – a ‘bucket list’ event indeed!
Midnight came and the family exploded with the other million or so folks and there were many hugs and kisses.
New Years Eve in New York was a once in a lifetime event for us, and I would recommend it to any World Traveler!
Click on cover to view published article