Monday, January 2, 2012

Gettin' all American

So I've just spent my first New Year's Eve in Times Square.  Here's what I wasn't expecting:  the crowds were very controlled, very penned-in, actually, quite sedate.  Not the crazy, boisterous enviroment I was expecting, acknowledging of course that we had the most anesthesized of experiences.  No waiting in lines, no true mingling with the masses.  Even so, the effect when we stepped out to catch Lady Gaga's performance (a peak, supposedly) was so contained, I couldn't help but think most parties I attended in youth were wilder than the "Times Square experience."  In earlier, less cautious times, I know things were different.

But at midnight, something shifted.  The countdown began and the confetti rained.  And everyone started singing.  "New York, New York" followed by "America the Beautiful," and then Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Over the Rainbow."  You know the one, with the distinctly Hawaiian sound, all ukelele and crooning voice.  Listen here.

All of it feeling like a smorgasbord, but an American smorgasbord, confetti falling, shiny and bright, the crowd softened like warm butter, everyone suddenly polite and helpful and grinning.  The sky a blackness obscured by bits of color, fluttering and twinkling to the pavement.  And at that moment, there was nowhere better to be than New York City, in the United States of America.  Really, the patriotism caught me quite by surprise (not something I'm particularly prone to), but it was a nice feeling.  What a spectacular city, I thought, what a wonderful place we call home. 

Happy 2012 to all; may you be happier this year more often than you're not.


  1. I was at home with a strained ankle, but this is what happened in London ...

    Happy New Year to you :0

  2. Stunning! And I'd bet everyone there was thinking how it was the best place to be. For my bucket list: New Year's in London. Happy 2012!


"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka