World / Reporter's Journal

Crossroads of World at crossroadiest: Times Square on New Year's Eve

By William Hennelly (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-12-31 12:31

Crossroads of World at crossroadiest: Times Square on New Year's Eve

View from China Daily USA's offices in Times Square on New Year's Eve 2014. William Hennelly / China Daily

New Year's Eve is a heady time in New York City, as anyone who has watched the ball drop can attest, even if it is experienced vicariously on TV going back to the 1970s days of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.

At China Daily USA, it's a particularly vivid experience, as our glassy offices are about eye level with One Times Square, the building from which the kaleidoscopic ball descends. That ball is a geodesic sphere 12 feet in diameter that weighs 11,875 pounds and is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles, according to

The event that draws a million spectators (who can accurately count that many?) caps a frantic season in Midtown Manhattan, which absorbs an intense surge of visitors from Thanksgiving on.

Crossroads of World at crossroadiest: Times Square on New Year's Eve

A weekday venture up Sixth Avenue around 6 pm during the holiday season will thrust you into something resembling a human pinball machine. People bounce left and right like running backs looking for an opening, many heading for train and bus stations. But just as many are on a wide-eyed Big Apple vacation, thinking it's perfectly fine to stroll languidly during rush hour - stirring rage in the office workers whose brisk strides they disrupt.

In all the years I've lived in and near the city, I never made the pilgrimage to Times Square until last year, when I had to for work. I can attest that it seemed a lot more pleasant watching from high up than being herded between iron barriers for as far as the eye can see.

In 2014, we got to hear Taylor Swift belt out her hits to revelers who came starting in the early afternoon, waiting for hours in untold feats of bladder capacity.

China is no stranger to the bright lights of Times Square on New Year's Eve.

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