Times Square on New Year's Eve
The most famous place to bring in the New Year is without a doubt Times Square. This is where the famous ball descends along its path on a flagpole atop number One Times Square at exactly 11:59pm, taking 60 seconds to make its way to the bottom, when the New Year officially begins on the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Billions of people can watch this event on television or over the internet worldwide, but those who are lucky enough to be in New York for New Year’s Eve will have a real treat this year. Beginning at 4pm the usually bustling Times Square ‘bow-tie’ intersection is closed to traffic, and people begin arriving. The revelers are placed into viewing areas by the police officers, and as one area becomes full, another section begins to fill with revelers.
From 6pm until 6:03pm there is a ceremony to light and raise the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball into place. The organizers of the event, Tim Tompkins and Jeffrey Straus, together with a few representatives of the Philips Lighting Company will flip the huge switch to light the Ball and begin its rise to the top of the pole to the accompaniment of some cool pyrotechnic effects.
The rest of the evening is filled with exciting surprises and entertainment, including the distribution of tens of thousands of hats, balloons, and lip balm in preparation for the famous midnight kiss. As midnight approaches wishes are read from the “confetti wishes” which are thrown up at the arrival of the new year, while there is a constant flow of singers, dancers, speakers and pyrotechnics to make sure the crowd of revelers is having the absolutely best time possible.
At 11pm Lady Gaga will perform, and from 11:53 pm until 11:59 there will be a special performance of the song “Imagine” by an as yet unannounced performer.
At 11:59pm New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will have the honor of pressing the button which brings the New Year’s Eve Ball down the 70 foot pole in its world famous 60 second descent. As it arrive at the bottom, the ball’s lights go dark and the numerals 2012 blaze on, signaling the moment of the beginning of the New Year.
Ring Design by Dara Ettinger
Dara Ettinger is a New York City jewelry designer, and she is cutting her prices for the entire month of December for much of her inventory. For example, rose-gold stone necklaces are $25 instead of the retail $84. Brooklyn Heights at 214 Hicks Street, 718-875-3272; Mon–Sat 11am–7pm, Sun noon–6pm.
Fred Flare pop-up is a great place to hunt for that perfect gift on-line, and get free shipping, too. Or if you prefer go in the flesh to their outlet in the Chelsea Market during the holiday shopping season. Where else can you get a Nice Jewish Guys calendar for $18. 75 Ninth Ave at 16th Street. Thu 15–Sat 17 10:30am–7pm; Sun 18 10:30am–6pm; Mon 19–Fri 23 10:30am–7pm.
Seletti is the place for great household products, and now is the time to get some great deals. How about Pantone chairs for $20 instead of $91; and porcelain dining room tableware in the shape of the Palace Hotel are $30 instead of the retail price of $188; and dressers with three drawers are priced down from $1600 to $400. That’s a lot of savings for some really fantastic products. 18 Bridge St at John St, Dumbo, Brooklyn, 347-499-2871.
A Bit of Medieval Europe in New York
In upper Manhattan there is a less well-known branch of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, called The Cloisters. This fascinating building is dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, and the structure itself is an example of that, as it was assembled from both the domestic and religious elements that date back to the twelfth through fifteenth centuries.
The Cloisters and its surrounding gardens are located in Fort Tryon Park, in the northernmost end of Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River on the west. A visit there is like visiting a medieval European monastery, but without the monks. In place of the monks you will find about three thousand artworks dating from as long ago as the ninth century, and no more recent than the sixteenth century.
The Cloisters is easy to get to by bus, car or subway, and from April through October the Trie Café offers light meals and snacks which are served outdoors in the French medieval Trie Cloister. If you visit now until April 22 you will be treated to a unique exhibit of what are most likely the most famous chess pieces in the world, the Lewis Chessmen. These carved ivory chessmen were discovered in 1831 on the Isle of
12th Century Lewis Chessmen
Lewis off the coast of Scotland, and date from the twelfth century. The chessmen rarely leave their home in the British Museum, but for this exhibit over thirty of the chessmen are on display, representing the largest assembly of these unique objects outside of the United Kingdom.
What helped to make these chessmen so famous is that replicas of them were used in the famous “Chess Game” scene in one of the Harry Potter movies, only enlarged to the size of people.
Check out The Cloisters and the Lewis Chessmen; It’s like a visit it Europe of the Middle Ages.
Lobby of the Carlton Hotel
The Carlton was first opened in 1904, immediately before the opening of the New York City subway. Originally called the Seville, it is a wonderful example of the Beaux-Arts style which was all the rage in New York at the time. Harry Allen Jacobs designed and completed the elegant hotel, which helped to turn the area into one of New York’s swankiest destinations.
Recently the hotel has undergone a face-lift of unusual proportions, bringing the Carlton into the 21st century without sacrificing any of the old world class, or its unique, luxurious style. Designer David Rockwell executed the remake, successfully maintaining the historic hotel as one of New York’s grandest.
Come visit and view what the hoteliers believe is the pinnacle of the Carlton’s new look: the two-story modern waterfall flowing in the lobby which reveals a large, vintage black and white photo of the Seville Hotel as it was in 1924.