Could we as a group take in the 911 conspiracy thread for shredding
I'm interested to see what the $250.00 winner will bring in.
Central Park is actually really nice on NY's Eve, in fact it is where we normally go. We usually get there around 11 PM or so.. they are just finishing up a 1/2 marathon at that time. There is usually a band playing in the bandstand area, and a fireworks display.
It is relatively subdued compared to Time Square, not overly crowded and generally sane. Nice without a lot of splash.
December 31, 2007
To Mark 100 New Years, a Much Brighter Ball
James Estrin/The New York Times
Tests of the New Year’s ball, loaded with
Waterford crystal, were conducted on Sunday.
By ROBERT D. McFADDEN
It was not always a midnight kaleidoscope of roaring multitudes and a 1,200-pound sphere clad in Waterford crystal, with 30,000 watts of light-emitting diodes to dazzle America. A century ago Monday, the first New Year’s ball descended in Times Square and a tradition was born, with modest crowds cheering a five-foot iron globe studded with 216 electric lamps.
There were years when the occasion and its globular star had to be subdued. In 1917, the square was blacked out for a wartime coal shortage, and while the ball was dropped, The New York Times reported: “The New Year slunk in with rubber shoes on, coming upon a lightless, noiseless and frigid Broadway.”
In 1943 and 1944, World War II laid a melancholy hand on the celebrations. There were no glowing balls. Instead, plane-spotter beams crisscrossed the sky, and the crowds, after midnight cheers, silently remembered Americans overseas. In 2001 the specter of Sept. 11 hovered over the proceedings.
But for millions of New Yorkers and visitors to the city, and in the television age for most Americans and audiences abroad, the ball-dropping has been a euphoric occasion in nearly all of the 100 years since the first globe was created by Walter F. Palmer, the chief electrician for The Times, at the behest of the publisher, Adolph S. Ochs, who wanted a spectacular midnight show in the square.
There were antecedents of a sort. Since the early 1800s, mariners could set ships’ clocks by the lowering of iron balls in ports at noon daily. But in 1907, three years after Longacre Square had been renamed, the idea was celebratory and promotional, with crowds eddying around the 26-story Times Tower to watch the ball descend on its 70-foot flagpole at midnight to mark the new year.
While The Times occupied the trapezoidal tower from 1905 to 1913, when it moved to a larger “annex” on West 43rd Street, the ball-dropping tradition continued, even after the building was sold years later.
The balls were made of iron and then wood until 1955, when aluminum was used for a third version. For several years in the 1980s, the aluminum was shaped like an apple. In 1995, it was given a flashier look with rhinestones. Until then, the ball had been lowered by a half-dozen men, but in recent years cables controlled by computers have been used.
The ball that will descend Monday atop 1 Times Square is a new, $1.1 million high-tech creation, with a skeleton of aluminum and a skin composed of 672 Waterford crystal panels and additional pyramid-shaped mirrors to best reflect the light of 9,576 diodes generating 625,033 lumens. That is more than double the dazzle-power of last year’s ball, which looked like a porcupine with 600 halogen-quill bulbs.
Security, a major concern in the age of terrorism, was taking shape on Sunday. For blocks around the square, metal barriers were in place to funnel crowds, and blue wooden sawhorses were stacked on their sides, in reserve, along the curbs of Broadway. Undercover officers in plain clothes will be in the crowds, along with thousands of uniformed officers. Others will be posted atop buildings overlooking the scene.
Alcohol and backpacks are forbidden in the area. Traffic will be blocked off Monday afternoon and parking is banned on most streets. Video surveillance cameras will be used to monitor the activity. Devices to detect airborne chemical or radiological elements are set up, and a helicopter with sophisticated communications equipment will hover overhead.
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Sunday that security for the celebration has been increased, even as crowds have become better behaved. “The nature of the crowd is more of a tourist crowd than 10 years ago,” he said in an interview. “It is an entertainment event from 8 o’clock on, as opposed to years ago, when it was a lot of waiting and a lot of drinking.”
By midafternoon on Sunday, Times Square was already swelling with people in a celebratory mood, watched over by officers and cajoled by entrepreneurs hawking tours and souvenirs, knockoff perfumes and New Year’s Eve glasses with the big zeros in “2008” for eye holes. Crews were setting up spotlights, speakers on lampposts and sound stages for a lengthy roster of entertainers.
The ball was not yet visible from the street.
But a little boy perched on a man’s shoulder glimpsed something. “I think I see it, Daddy,” he said.
Other people pointed toward the sky — was it a bird? a plane? Superman? — and gestured with circled fingertips, as if guiding the great ball in its agonizingly slow descent: 77 feet in 60 seconds, starting at 11:59 p.m.
Trymaine Lee, Toby Lyles and Michael Wilson contributed reporting.
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
That new LED ball was absolutely spectacular. I tuned in specifically to see it and it was definitely impressive.
The kind of high-tech light display/flashes/images/colors it was able to show off is a vast improvement over the past balls, which wasn't able to do much other than "light up."
New Times Square ball to hang around for Halloween
By JIM FITZGERALD, Associated Press Writer Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press Writer – Mon Nov 10, 7:54 pm ET
AP – Doug Lehman helps to attach the last pieces of Waterford crystal to the 2008 New Year's Eve ball in Yonkers.
YONKERS, N.Y. – Next month, it'll be the famous New Year's Eve ball. Next year, it could be the Great Pumpkin.
A bigger, brighter Waterford crystal ball will usher in 2009 above Times Square, then remain in place all year to celebrate other holidays including Valentine's Day, the Fourth of July and Halloween, organizers said Monday.
"You won't have to be here on Dec. 31 anymore to see the Times Square ball," said Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment. "You can come any time now and it will be up there like a jewel, every day. And we expect to have special programming for special days."
The new ball, which was being assembled Monday at a studio in Yonkers, is 12 feet in diameter and weighs nearly 6 tons. Last year's ball was 6 feet across and less than a ton.
The flagpole that was used for previous balls wasn't considered sturdy enough, so a new shaft was built, and steel bracing was added to the building beneath it, 1 Times Square.
"We pretty much had to redesign the top of the building," Straus said.
The ball is a geodesic dome built of 2,468 Waterford crystal triangles, each etched with a stylized starburst or a stylized angel, Waterford spokesman Peter Cheyney said.
The made-in-Ireland triangles, about 5 inches on a side and half an inch thick, combine to make a translucent ball that serves as a canvas for a computerized light show that will begin at about 6 p.m. New Year's Eve, six hours before the ball's minute-long descent marks the new year.
Inside, the ball is filled with electric cables, heat sinks and fans, but outside it seems fragile. At its highest, the ball will be 475 feet above Times Square.
"When we first got involved with the idea of a crystal New Year's ball in 1999, our lawyer said, `Are you crazy? What if it breaks?'" Cheyney said.
"But we've tested this ball for winds up to 140 mph, for temperatures ranging from minus 20 to 120. They're crystals, but they're tough."
Cheyney brought 50 spare triangles, just in case, and has needed one or two of them when workers screwed the crystals onto the aluminum frame a little too tightly.
Doug Lehman, of Teaneck, N.J., was screwing on crystals — carefully — Monday morning. Lehman, a worker for Hudson Scenic Studio, a theatrical construction company, said he'd been to several New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, "and it's great to get an up-close look like this."
"They say a billion people will see this," he said. "If I go this year it'll be something special."
Next to him, another worker was attaching cables — there seemed to be miles of cables — to the back of the crystals. Each triangle has 12 energy-efficient, long-lived LED lights behind it; three each of red, white, blue and green, which can be combined into 16 million colors.
On Monday, technicians were running through several of the programs that might be seen on New Year's Eve — stars, a rainbow, a waving American flag.
Brett Andersen, of Focus Lighting Inc., waxed poetic about how his computers could represent daybreak on the ball: "deep purples and blues, then trending toward violets and reds, then sunrise in amber and the brighter colors."
It's the seventh ball in the 101-year history of ball-dropping at Times Square. It's being paid for privately, said publicist Thomas Chiodo. Straus estimated the cost at several million dollars.
The New Year's Eve light program will run itself once it's turned on, Anderson said, but he'll be up on the roof anyway with all the computer equipment. A second server will back up the main server in case anything goes wrong, and a default program will kick in if the second server fails, he said.
"We have to be prepared," he said. "If there's a mistake, everybody will see it. I mean everybody."
Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
I'm travelling all the way from Australia to spend some time in NY for New Years, and obiviously getting really excited...
Just a question though, the Dick Clark Rockin Eve Party from Times Square - Is that Free or you have to purchase tickets to be in a good area???
I will fly from LAX to JFK and I will be in Times Square for New Year's celebration sometime next decade.
^ When you come, post some pictures.
We promise to be patient.
I've lived here most of my life but never been to TS for New Year's Eve. Something about being trapped behind barricades for hours on end in freezing weather, while having to piss in a bottle just doesn't seem appealing. But that's just me.
Not to mention that they don't let you drink there anymore...