A Manhattan Love Story | Day 7

Day 7 was New Years Eve - the catalyst for this trip.

I can remember being 8 years old and finally old enough to stay up and watch the ball drop at midnight in Times Square. While everyone celebrated under the confetti dropping from the sky, I watched in awe and thought about how amazing it would be to be there in person some day. From that day on each New Years that passed fueled my dream of being there.  And even now it's hard for to believe that it actually happened.

I was really excited, but since our plans didn't really start until 11pm (more on that later) I decided to explore a few areas of town to pass the time.  We started out in Harlem and walked the historic 125th street, home to the legendary Apollo Theater.  Outside were many names of celebrities who played there, and it was neat to see how many big names started out on this same stage.

One of my favorite things to do while exploring the city was hop on the Subway and get off at a random stop and explore.  So that's what we did.  We ended up around 6th and 55th and stumbled upon Carnegie Hall.  One of the coolest parts about exploring the city was stumbling upon these truly legendary and iconic places.  They're just nestled among the city and you'd miss them if you don't keep your eyes open.

Right around the corner we stumbled into another fun discovery...

There had to be at least 100 NYPD cops on this corner!  It appeared they were going over the plan for the evening's festivities.  As we passed I asked a few if I could take a selfie with them, and they were more than happy to oblige.  The cutie Puerto Rican behind me gave me a hug and I wished them a Happy New Year as I skipped away.  It was a fun and unexpected highlight of the day.

I knew about this statue and knew we were in the right area to see it, but it was still really exciting to see it in person.  If you know anything about me, you know that "love" is my thing.  It's my favorite word, my favorite emotion and my favorite subject to talk about.  So I was more than happy to stand in a short line and wait patiently for my turn to have a photograph with this giant declaration of Love.

It was a full and amazing day, and it was time to head toward Times Square to find a coffee shop or pub and wait until we needed to meet our contact at 11:00 for our personal escort into the center of the party for New Years Eve.

Yes, you heard that right.
A personal escort.

Annette had the hookup and was gracious enough to include Hannah and I so that we could experience New Years right.  Most people had been waiting in Times Square since 1 or 2 in the afternoon in order to be in the confetti zone, but we were able to enjoy dinner and drinks at a nearby pub until about 10:45.  Then we headed out to meet a police sergeant at the corner of 6th and 45th at 11pm.

He met us and quickly walked us into the heart of Times Square.  We were surrounded by thousands of people and instantly joined the party with singing, dancing and general merriment.

Here's a little video I put together of the experience:

It was amazing, surreal and an experience I'll not soon forget.

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