Thursday, January 1, 2009

Faces in the Crowd

We toyed with the idea of ringing in the New Year at Times Square, but that was a few days ago when the forecast called for mild temperatures and light winds.

As the days and hours ticked off and the forecast changed from mild to brutal, the notion of a quiet New Year's Eve at home became more and more appealing.

Besides, with the kids planning their own acivities, staying close to the phone and not trapped in a Bloomberg pen seemed more prudent.

Then, early yesterday L'il Angel developed a cough, sore throat and congestion so it was off to the doctor. No strep. That was good news and the doctor said that going out with her friends was not prohibited. I think he's as scared of her as I am. But when the time came, she said that she wanted to spend New Year's Eve with her family. What a crock. So Matt invited his friends over to our house and we all celebrated the coming of 2009 in front of the TV. First it was the Twilight Zone Marathon, then the celebration from Times Square.

Did I say celebration?

We've been to New Year's Eve at Times Square prior to the Bloomberg restructuring of the iconic celebration. It was quintessential New York--a raucous, spontaneous and chaotic affair. You could be a child again. No rules. Total anonymity. Anarchy... PRICELESS!

But now? You have to get to the venue by the appointed time.

You must stand in the designated place.

Once there, you cannot move about or wander past the barricades.

Participants in this atrocity are given party favors, told when to cheer and invited to sing along with Lionel Richie. I know it was Lionel Richie because they told me. After multiple plastic surgeries you have to take their word for it.

"Wave your blue balloons. Jump in place. Sing along."

It's not New Year's Eve, it's a Bar Mitzvah.

And worst of all, in this Brave New World the stars of the show aren't the anonymous revelers drawn to the Hub of the World from every nation on Earth.

No, our senses and sensibilities are assaulted by the giants of American culture... Carson Daly, Kellie Pickler... The Pussycat Dolls!

Spare me.

Happy New Year.

Now let's switch back to The Twilight Zone.

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