This year, you can welcome 2013 in Times Square with live performances by Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, Psy, Train, and Cassadee Pope. But be warned, New Year's Eve in Times Square is chaotic, crowded, and out of control Before you go, read our tips on how to enjoy the festivities with minimum hassle.
Tips for Enjoying New Year’s Eve in Times Square
- Get There Early. If you want a good view of the famous ball dropping, you’d better get there early. Revelers begin to gather in the afternoon and the prime viewing areas fill up very quickly. The best viewing spots are along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue, up to 59th Street.
Get there by 6 p.m. to see the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball raised to the top of the 77-foot flagpole at One Times Square and lit. At exactly 11:59 p.m. EST, the Ball will make its 60-second descent down the flagpole to signal the start of the New Year.
- Use Public Transportation. The best way to get to Times Square is via public transportation. The 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, Q, R, S, and W trains all stop at 42nd Street.
However, according to the MTA, some subway entrances and exits in Times Square may be closed and/or bypassed as crowd conditions require. The MTA recommends using nearby stations at 34th Street and Rockefeller Center if possible. Get up-to-the-minute information about New Year's Eve subway and bus service.
- Hit the Bathroom Before You Leave. There will be no portable public restrooms available, although there is the Charmin public bathroom in Times Square (prepare for the longest bathroom line of your life). Unless you're comfortable peeing on the street in December (and risking a fine and an embarrassing encounter with New York's finest), you are probably going to have to hold it for a while.
- Drink Up Before You Go. Let's face it. A quick shot of booze before you set off for Times Square can fortify you for fighting your way through the mob. But New York City prohibits public drinking once you’re in Times Square. Police will confiscate alcohol if they see it. So, you will either have to be sneaky with that flask or wait until you get to your next party stop to replenish your buzz.
- Travel Light. No bags or backpacks are permitted. The New York Police Department will control all access points to Times Square. Emergency Service squads, drug and bomb sniffing canine units and counter-terrorism personnel will be present in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Be prepared to be searched and to wait at security checkpoints.
- Dress Warmly. Remember that you could be spending an extended period outdoors in below-freezing conditions. Make sure you're well insulated. Wear lots of layers and don’t forget your hat.
- Be Aware of Street Closings. In order to get around New York efficiently (or at all) on New Year's Eve, you will need to be aware of the many street closings that will cut off access to parts of the city. The New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway and moving north as revelers arrive.
These blocks will be closed to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. It is likely that Broadway and Seventh Avenue will close to vehicle traffic by approximately 4:00 p.m. Vehicles will have difficulty traveling across town after 6:00 p.m. from 42nd to 59th Street.
Times Square Trivia:
Every year, more than 2,000 pounds (1 ton) of confetti is dropped on Times Square.
(Source: Times Square Alliance)
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