An aerial view of Time's Square on New Year's Eve is that iconic image that everyone thinks of when someone mentions New Year's Eve. Most people sit at home and watch the ant-like dots huddle together from the comfort of their own living rooms. Being the adventurers that we are (and having met on New Year's Eve), my wife an I decided that going to Time's Square, braving the cold, and standing in what is essentially cattle fencing just to be part of the loudest countdown since right before God said "let there be light" was appealing to us. This is a story of our long NYE weekend.
Truth being told, we got really lucky and it was not really all that cold (for the actual ball drop). The part that no one tells you (you have to read it on the Internet) is that to get up close to the stage (or within ear shot of the stage) you have to have tickets. Everyone else gets herded into cattle fencing about 8-9 hours before midnight. Luckily our hotel was just around the corner from the square or else we would have been back at 57th Street (which means nothing to you if you have not been to NYC, but you get it if you have). If you leave your area before midnight, you may not get back in, so I rationed my wife's water consumption that day. We were also lucky enough to get in the Southwest corner of our quarantined area, in which we were able to obtain an unobstructed view of a sliver of the ball. This also meant that we were the lucky recipients of 8 hours of pushing and shoving from everyone else trying to work their way to our corner of the fenced in area where everyone was already standing shoulder to shoulder. We passed time by making friends and talking about how slow time was going. No one we talked to said that they had been there before, and everyone agreed it was one of those once in a lifetime deals. The countdown came, as did midnight and the confetti drop, and it was all over. It was an amazing experience, one that can only really be truly understood by others that have experienced the same thing. We were part of a record setting crowd of over 2M people! But after the new year hit, it was time for the real fun to begin.
After being on our feat for over 8 hours, we were quite hungry. Since it was our first time in New York and neither of us had ever had falafel before, we made a falafel cart our first stop. We waited in a line that was probably 15 minutes long, full of other crazies that had waited in Time's Square just to shout "Happy New Year!". We get to the front, grab two drinks out of the cooler, and order two falafel sandwiches (served on pita). They plop a few pre-cooked falafel balls on the griddle and start smashing them as they reheat them. When it is all on the sandwich, the man asked if we wanted "sauce", to which I thought "sure, why not?". As he drizzled the awesomeness of what I would later find out was a spicy tahini sauce over the falafel, I knew I was in for a treat. I have had many falafel since this one, and none will measure up, this had not been frozen and thawed and frozen and thawed. The tahini sauce was amazing, it was the perfect mix of creamy and spicy and added just the kick that the falafel and pita needed.
Next stop was the Red Hook Lobster food truck where I was able to warm up with a delicious Connecticut style lobster roll. I am usually not a huge fan of lobster, as it is very easy to overcook, but this lobster off of a food truck was full of buttery goodness. The Connecticut style is warm lobster meat, dipped in butter sauce, on a buttered and grilled grocery store hot dog bun. This was honestly the second best lobster I had ever had in my life, second only to the green lobster in the seafood paella in Mexico, it was incredible! Mallory was scared of eating lobster off of a truck, so she got the shrimp roll. The shrimp roll was equally awesome, but was served cold, she was not rewarded with warmth for her fear, haha. The lobster roll meal came with thick kettle style chips and a bottled orange soda from Maine.
Before leaving New York: we grabbed a couple slices of pizza at the Original Ray's on Broadway (which is not the best slice in New York, but sure beats the crap out of a Sbarro's), had some more falafel sandwiches, and stopped in to see Rupert at the Hello Deli. We had to go get our pictures taken with Rupert before sitting front row at the Letterman show (no joke). Rupert was one of the most friendly individuals you will ever meet (although his face may not show it), he just loves being a celebrity!