Tonight will see 2012′s enormous New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, New York City.
Many people want to be there. Indeed, on average, about a million people are there every 31 December. And I’m sure that many, many more would be there if they could.
Times Square constitutes a really good dividing line between two types of people. Maybe a significant one. Maybe not. Because there are probably lots and lots of other people — I’m absolutely one of them — who would rather be almost anyplace else on New Year’s Eve than at Times Square. Not because of a dislike for New York — even though, truth be told, I’m not a particularly enthusiastic booster of the city. (On the east coast, I much prefer Boston and Washington DC.) It’s because of the noise and the crowd.
I’m not a big fan of parties, and the bigger and noisier and more hectic they are, the less I like them.
I spent the night of 31 December on Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard once while I was in high school, waiting for the Rose Parade. (It runs just a few miles from the house in which I grew up.) Being there wasn’t my idea. Some friends wanted to do it. We never slept. Loud revelers (some of them undoubtedly drunk) kept driving by all night, just a few feet from my head. By the time the parade came, I was really too tired to enjoy it. It’s better on television . . . and, although my family always watched in pajamas over a late breakfast, I never cared all that much about it on television. (We did usually go to look at the floats afterwards.)
Tonight, my wife and I will spend New Year’s Eve, as we’ve done for years, at a nice restaurant with a group of friends and neighbors. Then we’ll probably play games with a subgroup of them at one of our homes until it’s actually 2013.
Nice and quiet. No hangover tomorrow. A perfect way to begin the new year.