The Night Before and the Day After
December 23, 2009
The focus of New Year's Eve in New York-- at least for non New Yorkers -- is Times Square, and this year will be no exception. People will begin arriving in the late afternoon, and much of the area will be closed to traffic by 4 p.m. Festivities begin with the raising of the ball at 6 p.m. followed by an hourly countdown and musical performances until midnight.
That's the big moment when the ball drops, ushering in 2010. For the next 15 minutes, the "crossroads of the world" will be awash in confetti and ablaze with fireworks. Then -- for many -- it's time to hit the bars and parties. For a full schedule go to Times Square Alliance.
Brooklyn's Prospect Park also presents it fireworks display at midnight.
The city offers a number of alternatives for a physically fit start to the year. Timeís Up's 10th annual New Yearís Eve bike ride begins at 10:30pm in Washington Square Park and end at Central Parkís Belvedere Castle in time for the fireworks. In Central Park, runners will take off for the New Year's Eve Midnight run at the very first second of the new year. For something a bit less strenuous, there's Walk Into The New Year across the Brooklyn Bridge. Admission is $60; advance $50.
New Year's Day typically is a lazy time in New York but not for the polar bears, who will dive into the surf at Coney Island (near Stillwell Avenue) at 1 p.m. While the event attracts regulars, anyone can join in. Bring a towel, surf boots or old sneakers to and a warm set of clothes. People who donate to Camp Sunshine, the beneficiary of the icy dips, get free breakfast and admission to the New York Aquarium.
Those in a more cerebral state of mind can attend, Broken Light: The 16th Annual Alternative New Yearís Day Spoken Word, featuring 10 hours of poetry by more than 150 performers. At the event, Books Through Bars will collect paperbacks for prisoners, and Urban Pathways will be gathering canned food for the homeless. Its begins at 2 p.m. at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery between Bleecker and East Houston.
In similar vein, the 36th Annual New Yearís Day Marathon Benefit Reading presents 140 nonconformist poets and performers at St. Markís Church in-the-Bowery, 131 E. 10th St. Admission is $18, $15 for seniors and students, and $10 for members.