Perhaps the best indicator that New Yorkers and visitors refuse to live in fear after the events of 9/11 are the indescribably huge crowds of revelers that still flock to New York City’s Times Square to celebrate the end of the last year and the hopeful beginning of the next one. This photo was taken from our suite on the 42nd floor at the Doubletree Times Square, which is located inside the police barricades and next to the performance stage used for Ryan Seacrest’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcast. The crazy thing is that this photo was taken around 8 p.m. and the streets were already this packed! The tradition of the ball drop has been held here every year since December 31, 1907, except in 1942 and 1943 due to World War II blackouts. At least 1 million people come to view the festivities live each year. We’ve gone twice in 20 years. It is an overwhelming experience, to say the least. We can certainly attest to the fact that, since 9/11, the security precautions have increased exponentially. People don’t realize that you literally can’t walk into the center of the Times Square area without a pass by the afternoon, because the NYPD barricades off the entire area. Even with a pass, which we had because we had tickets to attend a party inside the barricades, you must wait to be personally escorted through each barricade by a police officer. A thankless job for NYPD, and a time-consuming endeavor for visitors. But it’s still a bucket list experience for sure!
(TRAVEL TIP: we scored our room, which would have cost at least $4,900, for free by using our free annual night perk from our Hilton credit card — and by booking 10 months in advance of course.) 🎉🎊
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Times Square New Years Ball Drop