Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Annual predictions (2014)

So my anxiously awaited predictions for 2014.

My predictions for Janurary 1, 2014 made a year ago:

Dow $14000
S and P ($1500)
NASDAQ ($3300 and a comeback for Microsoft)
Unemployment (7.1%)
Fiscal Cliff Will be solved before the Inauguration. Taxes and milk prices will go up for everybody.
Middle East Gunfire but no war.
Philadelphia Eagles New head coach, new quarterback, no playoffs. 
Life in General Higher interest rates, higher prices, life will be the same muddle but there will be some decent movies released this year. The hip people will leave Brooklyn, get married and move back to the Suburbs. 

Reality for January 1, 2014:

Dow $16577
S and P $1848
NASDAQ $4177 and Microsoft did well
Unemployment 7%
Fiscal Cliff Solved til the next round. Prices a bit higher. 
Middle East Gunfire but no war.
Philadelphia Eagles New head coach, new quarterback, they are in the playoffs.
Life in General: Higher interest rates, higher prices, same muddle, good movies. Hip people are still moving to Brooklyn and having babies. 

In other words, I did  anticipate an increase in the market but it beat my expectations. For regular joes, not a great year but not a terrible year. 

Predictions for January 1, 2015:

Dow $17250
S and P $2000
NASDAQ $4600 and Microsoft will do well again. 
Fiscal Cliff: Not a problem.
Obamacare: People will complain about it but it will live another year. 
Middle East: Gunfire but no war. Iran and U.S. better relations. 
Philadelphia Eagles will lose in NFC Championship game. A lackluster 2014 season.  Vick will get traded and have a decent year in the AFC. 
Life in General: Slow improvement to economy. Democrats keep Senate, lose House. Philadelphia will become the next Brooklyn.  Bridgegate will still be in the news. In the economy, it will be an okay year. Baby boomers will finally start retiring, helped by rising housing prices and the stock market. This will open up some jobs for the Millennials.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pussy Riot is free

For lovers of liberty and good music across the globe, the big news this holiday season is that Pussy Riot is now free. The band that represents the new generations's music, idealism, and gumption is now free again to perform and enlighten us all with their thought provoking music. Looking forward to seeing them at the opening of the upcoming Olympics.

The kids are home for the holidays

One of the great pleasures of middle age is having kids who are normally miles away turn up for the holidays. Unfortunately, for the college and post college children, the expectations are different. The kids want to visit with their friends, go to a casino, do some post Christmas shopping and have Mom and Dad take them out to a few good restaurants. The parents are also supposed to give them  some cash for the next year.

Oftentimes parents have a different opinion on the matter. Parents want some help around the house, someone to wax the wooden floors and changed the tires for Dad. They also  want to show off the kids for the relatives and spend good family time with their grown offspring. Christmas Eve is often the first hurdle. The kids were planning on hitting the bars with their friends on Christmas Eve while Mom was hoping for good quality time decorating the tree.

Another expectation is that now, with the kids relaxed, parents can do a little harmless prying and see what the kids are really up to. Daughters, after a few molito's, will tell Mom all the ins and outs of  the new cute boyfriend they have been seeing. Daughters are often more revealing to their Mothers, although Mothers may sometimes wonder how their daughters maintain all these sex free relationships. She does watch daytime TV after all.

Sons, sadly are another matter. A son, suddenly on the sofa with a curious mother can resemble a politician involved in a scandal being investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"So you have a new girlfriend. Where did you meet her?"
"Uh, uh, at school."
"Did you meet her in class?"
"Uh, uh, yeah I met her in class."
"What subject were you taking?"
"Uh, uh, Spanish."
"Is she Spanish?"
"Uh, uh, no."
"How old is she?"
"Uh, uh, twenty I think."
"So she is a junior?"
"Uh, uh, no she is a sophomore..."

Soon the parents are tired and exasperated by their charges and looking forward to when the kids go back home. To their homes. Miles away.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas letters

Recently a friend asked me for advice in writing a Christmas letter. Truth to be told, a really effective author should have successful children and take exotic vacations. One should plan one's life in young adulthood with the goal of one day being able to write a Christmas letter. A well written letter goes...

Well, here it is, another year. Back from Hawaii we opened up the shutters and saw snow falling outside of the boathouse and decided to share with you the joys of the year. 

Calvin is a partner now in the firm of Menagerie and Finch and now has three children warming the cradle. His lovely wife Anna is now in her third year of grad school at Villanova and is working on her dissertation on plant molecular isotopes. Cathy is back from her stint in Africa at the Oprah school. She hopes to get her degree in obstetrics this year from NYU. Her husband is now an assistant producer on CNN and got to visit her in Africa. Jane is an intern in Washington. We hope the Senator gives here a good recommendation because she is planning to go to the Kennedy School of Public Affairs this spring........

Here is the Christmas letter I am working on. Prudence being the better part of valor, I have not sent it out.

Another year and another Christmas season. I don't get out much these days. Occasionally an old friend dies and I get to go to a wake, but that is about it. The repairman said my washing machine is too far along to be fixed, so I should get used to the noise it makes and plan on buying a new one when it finally peters out. I am up to four prescriptions now, the pharmacy will give me a free colonoscopy if I sign up for a fifth.

Feeling I might be lonely this holiday, my friend is lending me her fish, Ulysses, for keeping this holiday till she gets back from Tahiti. She promised it won't be too much trouble as long as I keep my finger out of the bowl. I had some nice plants but the flowers all fell off and probably won't come back til Spring. Except for the Christmas cactus that is blooming now.....

At any rate, Happy Kringles!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ugly Christmas sweaters

One term I keep hearing this December is "ugly Christmas sweaters". As far as I can remember someone, usually female, has shown up at work or at a holiday party wearing one of those things. Now, I have been told,  they are suddenly hip. In the Macon Georgia Baptist Woman's League they have Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. Do they  really have them in artsy hangouts in Brooklyn? Personally I think that if you came to an actual  hipster party wearing one of those you would be scorned upon. Probably they were hip last year but not now.

I wish I had an ugly Christmas sweater. Socks I have, ties I have, but not

Editor's note: I finally have an ugly Christmas sweater, well at least an ugly Christmas vest. There is a nice piece on the genre on Slate. 12/12/14

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Best states for education and business

Education Week has released it's annual guide to the best states in education. Earlier this year Forbes released its list for best states for business.

It's interesting to compare the two articles. States with low taxes, cheap labor and low teacher salaries are considered to be good for business and states with high teacher salaries are usually states that are bad for business.

Why?  Perhaps its because you are stuck in states with their infrastructure, energy costs, labor and environmental laws but you can always import workers from other states or abroad.

Christmas gets earlier this year

I notice Christmas came real early this year. Once Halloween was over, the Santa's and decorations came up in the stores. This weekend are the big Christmas parties and the tv stations are full of Christmas fare. I guess by December 15 it will all be over. By late December Christmas will be replaced by Valentine's Day decorations.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Other people's albums

Last night I came home from the bar (sounds so much better than I came home from work) and there, on my front doorstep, was a package from Texas. Since my birthday is coming up I figured it must be related to that event. I have always greeted packages from distant relatives with some trepidation because they don't really know what I need or my taste in things. For years I was punished with boxes of Hickory Farms meats for a remark I made to my brother many years before. I was simply passing along the comment Mother had made that Hickory Farms was bad for her blood pressure and after that he sent me Hickory Farms packages in the mail every year.

Now with my brother in the great engineering conference in Heaven, I have received some of his old albums. I guess I am the only one in the family who still can play those things. Some of them are not bad. I haven't heard "Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson" in forty years since I played my brother's copy of Shut Down Volume 2 when he was home from college.  You do wonder though about other people's taste. Why Ian an Sylvia? The From Russian with Love soundtrack? 18 Yellow Roses by Bobby Darin? What was he thinking?

Still I now have Peter Paul and Mary's Greatest hits and some classical things. You can tell by the amount of scratches in a record whether it was played or not.You can't say that about cd's. Now that it's almost December, it's time to sit around, crank up the old turntable, and play albums.

Editor's note: Speaking of turntables, I've found a new music related blog that isn't bad.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My insect friend

I attempt to grow something edible on my porch every summer and one of the unwelcome side effects of this hobby is that come fall, one of the tomato bugs always manages to sneak into the condo. When I first see my new roommate, I am always a bit startled, but I have learned to accept having a fall companion  for a few weeks. The insect seems to like some tv shows more than others. I know he always seems to appear when I am watching Turner Classic Movies.

As the days get colder he becomes slower and slower in his movements. Still, this year he did not die of natural causes. I guess I am not what you would call a morning person and he got me at the wrong time. I was in a hurry to get ready for work and was bolting down my coffee when I spotted him on my kitchen chair. I marched over to the bathroom and got some Green Works Natural bathroom cleaner and sprayed it on his backside.

The following Saturday I swept him up when I was cleaning the kitchen floor. He caught me when I was in a bad mood. Just goes to show you can't trust people.

Editor's note: Patti Smith on Lou Reed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Of apples and cider

Yesterday I ate the best apple I have eaten in twenty years. It was a Winesap apple that I bought at the Capital City Farmer's Market in beautiful downtown Trenton. Hard, crisp, a little sour. How about them apples.

It made me a little nostalgic for when the family would take its annual jaunt up to Tice Farms. We would get into the Ford, and drive through Upper Saddle River while Mother would gawk at all the houses she couldn't afford to live in. Then we'd get to Tice Farms. I remember you could buy a cup for a dime and drink all the cider you wanted. Some years me and my brother would share a cup, which was frowned upon. Then the old man would buy Winesap and Macintosh apples, more cider and maybe a pumpkin.

Tice Farms is now long gone, a victim of Bergen County real estate speculators. Upper Saddle River is still there and even more expensive today.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My summer job

Just reading Amy Poehler's article in the New Yorker on her summer job. Cute. It reminded me of my summer job. I got a job with the Board of Ed. I had the lowly job, that first summer, of scraping gum out of desks. It sucked, but the pay wasn't that bad ($2.50 an hour). It took a political connection to get me the job. 

For years a man we will call Dick lived behind us in Hackensack. He liked to cut through my parent's driveway on the way to O'Neals tavern and he often stopped by and visited with dear old Dad. Years later my father admitted he never cared much for Dick but he put up with him for the sake of my summer job. 
The things my father did for his children. 

7:30 AM was starting time. That was the most painful part of the job I think. I was assigned to the high school, the same place from which I had just graduated. When I arrived, they looked my skinny frame up and down. I would not be helping carry sheet rock for the construction crew. I would not be carrying the boards to repair the seats in the football field. I was assigned to the janitresses (lady custodians), given a putty knife, and told that my job was to scrape gum out of the bottom of desks for all the desks in the school. One of the teachers recognized me and wanted to hijack me. He wanted me to take his car for inspection. He was told where to get off. 

I got along with the janitresses. I didn't fib on them when they snuck into the girls rooms for smokes. I kept to myself and my gum. I scraped a lot of gum out of desks that summer. The last two weeks I got to clean desks, and as a reward, go to help put the liquid finish on them. By Labor Day the desks were ready for a new group of scholars. And I was ready for college. 

In the Senatorial debates, Lonegan talked about how he, unlike Cory Booker, worked when he went to college. I guess I can run for Senate, if that is the requirement. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Life without the federal government

Right now they are fighting the Second Civil War in Washington. The Republicans, led by the Tea Party, want to get rid of Obamacare and are willing to shut down the federal government to do it. Later in October they will try to block the debt ceiling so no American debts will be paid. They claim they want America to remain free while others want health insurance, food stamps,student aid, and other things a man should provide for himself.

It would be strange to imagine life without a federal government. Of course there would be state and municipal governments but they would lose federal funding so be able to do less things.

I do get a taste of life without government on the way to work every morning. Since Trenton can't afford police cars to monitor traffic, you do have a sense of freedom driving to work. You can drive whatever speed you like and go through red lights if that is your wish. What a burst of euphoria that creates.

Of course you can see a country where people plunder farms to eat and where justice comes at the hand of a gun. Free men, armed, walking around the streets, safe because of their skills with firearms. Churches happily feeding the poor. Doctors joyfully treating those with no money, like they did a hundred years ago. Oh to go back to those wonderful good olde days.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Girls season 2

Ray and Adam and dog

Thanks to Netflix, I have now season 2 of Girls. The seasons are only ten shows long, but that's modern TV I suppose. Some of you may remember when I reviewed Season 1. Season 2 is actually quite good. In an unexpected shift, the men, at least some of them, seem to have matured into real characters, while the women have shown themselves to be needy and problematic. I would definitely say this was the season of the men.

Ever since watching last season my self esteem has suffered. I have always defined life through television situation comedies and most of them lately seem to show men as being either weak or as assholes.  Today, according to Girls, it's okay to be a man again. I feel so much better about myself now.

Traditionally, in old movies, the solution to the problem of what do single girls do when they get to New York has always been solved by marriage to well heeled men. Ginger Rogers lived in a crappy room for most of the movie but married Prince Charming in the end. Such conclusions were played with in Season 2. All of the leads in one way or another got involved with older, richer men and seemed happy for a while but things fell through in the end. In classic movieland they would have married and lived happily ever after. It would be funny if in the series finale, Girls ends with marriage to men with good careers, suburbs, and babies.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Interstings

Similar in subject matter to Jonathon Franzen's Freedom but gentler and more fun, the Interestings is a book that describes a generation of privileged youngsters, slightly post boomer but pre Generation x that came of age in the 70's. It begins in a garden of Eden like summer camp and ends with the problems of middle age. It's a journey of forty years for a group of people who go through bohemianism, yuppie-ism, comparative poverty, parenthood, cult religion,  mental illness, disabled sons,  and disease. Sort of like us, but more privileged.  They lived in Manhattan while we lived in Hoboken and Denver. They had wealthy, hip parents who sent them to the artsy Camp in the Woods while we went to Boy Scout Camp. I can't imagine my parents sending me to the Camp in the Woods.

The characters in the novel also are touched by celebrity. Ethan becomes a famous animator and Jonah's mother is a famous folksinger (my guess is someone like Sandy Denny) and is given drugs by someone like Don MacLean.

As a friend once said about Thirty Something, "it's sort of true to life but the women are better looking." So many of us tried to join the interesting crowd when we were young and this is how one lady managed to get into and thrive amongst the interestings. This may well be the novel that people in centuries to come will use to teach students in Twentieth Century Culture about the lives of a certain class and generation of young, now middle aged Caucasians. Wonder what the movie will be like. 

Editor's note: When this blogger has nothing else to say, he may occasionally do a book review. We'll see how it goes. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Miss America

Yes, Sunday night, Miss America is back in dear old Atlantic City. I have many memories of watching this show on the old Philco as a kid. The different competitions were fascinating. We all had our favorites. My mother was always loyal to the girls from the South. "You know, Southern girls are prettier than those Northern girls."  The judges must have agreed with her.

I still remember the commercials where you got to see the contestants putting on Noxzema cold cream as they prepared. And at the end, the whole family would bawl as the lucky girl walked down the aisle with Bert Parr singing that same old song. It was one of the few times I saw my father cry. 

Now the major story is that one of the contestants has a tattoo. I know the younger generation love their tattoos. Mother would not have approved.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

So what is it with Linconlin?

A few years ago I got an email and was asked to join Linkedin. I was flattered, thinking that now I was being invited to join an in group. Parties at the Hamptons, gallery openings in Dumbo, dinners on Nassau Street soon would be coming my way. I was in Linkedin. 

Well, not surprisingly, none of that happened. Today, however,  I get almost daily updates from friends, former co-workers, people I met once at long ago library conferences. They endorse me for my many skills. Sometimes I wonder how they know I'm any good at what I do. One conversation over a danish in 1994 and they can definitely say I am excellent at collection development.

I also get important information. John Belosconi is now connected to Shirley Winkowski, the marketing manager of a small firm in Austin. So. What do I care? Perhaps old John is having an extra marital affair. Maybe that's what brings him to Austin.

I get it!  people are active in Linkedin because they are job hunting. Perhaps they want me to endorse them on their many skills. I was meandering around Linkedin yesterday and was presented with photographs of friends, old girl friends, a former boss, someone I met at a meeting (I think I thought she was cute). Is such and such knowledgeable in Wordpress? Is such and such an expert in data marketing analysis? 

It must be easy to find help nowadays. You just look up the candidates Linkedin account and find out what skills they possess and immediately hire the person with the most endorsements.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Family gossip

When our mothers leave us they leave with a trove of family stories and gossip.  They also make it hard to follow the trials and tribulations of one's extended family. While your mother is alive and able to use the telephone, male relatives are able to keep up with things through their mothers.
  • Your cousin is getting a divorce. Your cousin tells his mother. His mother tells your mother and she tells you. 
  • Your cousin got a DWI. Your cousin tells his mother. His mother tells your mother and she tells you.
  • Your niece dropped out of Bucknell. She tells her mother. Your sister-in law tells your mother and she tells you. 
  • Your cousin lost his job. He had to borrow money from your uncle. Your uncle told your aunt, she told your mother and your mother told you. 
One good thing about family gossip is that it often shows your parents how lucky they are to have you rather than the flotsam and jetsam of the extended family. However it is hard to keep up on things when mother passes away. Of course there's always Facebook. Unfortunately, Facebook posts tend to dwell on accomplishments, cute pictures of the kids and vacations. A keen eye may note a missing husband from vacation pictures, but mothers are a better source of what your cousins were really up to.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The trials of the lowly flip flop

I seems there has been assault lately on that emblem of summer and good times, the flip flop. Just last week I was getting ready for work. I put on my Hawaii shorts, my monkey t shirt and my flip flops. At work there was a memo on my desk. It read  "Shorts, flip-flops, beach shoes, strapless tops and other clothing are not appropriate for the workplace." It was a huge surprise for me to find this startling announcement. The poor flip flop was no longer the accepted footwear for work.

Flip flops bring back many summer memories. My mother bought them at Modell's and all summer I would wear them everywhere. At college they went on as soon as the snow was off the sidewalk. At work they went on the day after Easter and stayed on until Columbus Day. Now I have to wear regular shoes again. I wonder why they are called flip flops?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I passed two thousand motorcycles

As promised, here is the motorcycle story. I was driving on Route 17 in New York on an uneventful morning  when I say a herd of police cars. They were directing all the traffic to the left lane. On the right lane, there was a parade, two abreast, of motorcycles. They were men, women, young, old, I even saw Santa at one point. I started to pass them and over the next half hour I must have past two thousand motorcycles. At the head of the pack was a state police car, keeping them in line and under the speed limit.

I have no idea who they were or why they were there. I guess motorcycles like to travel in packs. Must be fun.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Baby registries

There are two worlds that a man is likely to encounter in life. There is the dark bizarre world of bachelorhood. A world of dank bars, movie houses, travel, museums, bachelorettes and take-out Chinese food. Then there is the main stream world of marriage, kids, family and two story colonials. Work is one of those places where these two worlds intersect.

So that is why I am browsing the Baby's R Us baby registry of a co-worker who has a cake in the oven. I guess there was the off chance that the $25 for the baby shower/luncheon/gift was insufficient to show one's affection for lady x so the memo also included a link to her baby registry. Her boss is also expecting, as much as a man can be expecting, and his baby registry is also featured. Personally I think it's un-manly to distribute a man's baby registry at work but that is a theme for another day.

The baby registry is fascinating. Until yesterday I never knew such things existed. Now I get to experience first hand the pleasures of birth, albeit vicariously. How neet! A giraffe teether! A daisy decorated changing table! Baby bouncers! Who knew such things existed! Well, time to put the dim sum in the microwave.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A road trip

Although a lot can be said for rail, air and even bus travel, there's nothing like an old fashioned car trip to see the real America. On the road you get to fill up your own tank, pass large trucks on the highway, stay in cheasy motels and re learn your vending machine skills, in case you have forgotten them. You also get familiar with ice buckets and motel ice vending machines.

Traveling with the family as a kid I was told to fill up the family cooler with the hotel ice machine. I also got to swim in motel swimming pools with motel towels. We never stole towels, just overused our ice privileges. Instead of eating at Howard Johnsons on the road, we ate sandwiches that Mother made and Dad was allowed a can of beer. We consumed our meals at those rest stops on wooden picnic tables.

As an adult I have thrown caution to the wind and become an aficionado of travel courts. What great places. My last trip an old man was traipsing up to the entrance rolling an oxygen tank. A travel court comedian yelled, "Don't worry, I left my iron lung in the car!" I met a Cub Scout pack that was selling coffee from a stand. They were impressed when I told them I once was part of Pack 19 in New Jersey. And of course there are those bargain motel books. I leafed through one last weekend and selected an Econolodge with $59 a night coupon. Sometimes I wonder if they add $5 to the price when someone walks into the lobby with one of those books.

Of course there are always the signs on the road. One read "take off your sunglasses" which I dutifully did and soon I was driving through a tunnel under part of the Pocono Mountains. After leaving another tunnel I saw a sign that said "are your lights on?"  and mine were. I put on my sunglasses too, although nobody told me too. I also passed a caravan of two thousand motorcycles. That was fun. Details in a future blog. Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

John McCain's war

One of my favorite political movies is Charley Wilson's War. It shows how a minor Texas Congressman took up the mantle of involving America in Afghanistan's war with Russia in the 90's. John McCain now has his own cause, his own war, and in history he will be remembered as the one person who fought Washington  to get America to fight for Syria.

Americans know that there are bad things happening in Syria but they are war weary and most of them are content to remain on the sidelines. But not John McCain.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plan B

It looks like thirteen year old girls will soon be able to buy a morning after pill. No prescription needed. It may be expensive though. Perhaps the guy can chip in. Well if you're going to legalize it you might as well go all the way.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Nectarines vs. Peaches

One of my pet peeves is the fact that the people at the check out lines in supermarkets rarely can identify fruits and vegetables. Yesterday a young man asked me if I was buying peaches or nectarines. I looked at one, it sort of looked like a peach so I said "peaches".  Later that night I went onto the Internet and found out that what I bought, having no fuzz at all, was a nectarine, not a peach. I checked the flyer for the supermercado and found out that, in fact, nectarines were $1.99 a pound and peaches were only $1.49 a pound. I had cheated at the market. 

I wonder if there is a place in Dante's Inferno for people who misidentify fruits at the store. No, they are probably in Purgatorio.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013


British television shows like Downton Abby and Mr. Selfridge allow us to see how Americans are perceived throughout the world. Being Americans we don't have that one thing, America, that people in other countries blame everything on.

In British novels or mini series, visiting Americans are often presented. They are the loud rude people who come in with their fancy cars and loud voices and their money and ruin things for the locals.

Europe before World War 2 and the influence of Americanization was a halcyon time. A man didn't have to listen to his wife for orders. He got his marching orders from his mother. His wife was content to stay at home, taking care of the children, and cooking family recipes, sewing curtains and otherwise maintaining traditions. The streets were full of small shops where you could visit and get the local news while buying your baguette.

Then Americanization came. Chain stores took over from the small shops. Women wanted to become Americans and work. Children stopped behaving and modeled themselves on Rusty Hammer in Make Room for Daddy. Coca-Cola. MacDonald's. Disney. Sky television. Shopping malls replacing the local markets.

Today in America, among the hip set, there is a desire to become more like an idealized Europe. We see farmers markets, craft fares, cooking classes, and even cute old world olive and cheese stores in the better districts of our cities. But Americanization continues as the croissant is being bastardized as the cronut. I wonder when they'll start eating cronuts in Marseilles.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A boss who comes in late

One of the problems millennials have in the workplace is that since, by and large, they have been raised by permissive parents, they are forced to learn late in life how to "sneak around". For example, take the adolescent home from college in the 70's. He is sitting in the good chair in the living room and drinking Dad's good Scotch. He sees Dad's car drive into the driveway. Now he knows it's a good thing to put the liquor away and tidy things up a bit.

As young adults babyboomers  learned not to enjoy that joint when we noticed the landlord's car is in the parking lot. As workers we learned not to carry on flirtatious calls with our lady friends when the director is in the room. We know we don't eat hot dogs and beer the night before a blood test. These are things baby boomers know that millennials have to learn in their twenties. Millennials also have to learn how to look busy.

Taking advantage of a  boss who arrives at work late is also something we baby boomers have learned.  It allows us to water the plants at home, have another cup of coffee, clean up those plates and still get to work before the boss. Then we scurry around and create the impression that we have been at our desks for half an hour when the boss strolls through the door, late as usual. May the wind be always at your back and may you have a boss who arrives after you do.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Now they've gone too far

We've gotten used to television, video games, computers, i pods,  smart phones and even tablets. But now they've gone too far. Nobody over fifty is going to buy a Google glass. Millennials, yes, but not us baby boomers. They've gone too far. I'd feel silly walking around with those things. I feel silly with ear buds. Some of us have our dignity.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother at breakfast

It may be hard to believe, but I was never the most fun person to be around in the morning. My mother worked until 11PM at the hospital and woke up the next morning to her two grumpy children needing breakfast and to go to school. I would sit there staring at dry cold cereal and it was then that I was treated to Mother's stories of growing up in East Texas during the depression. 

Once she surprised me when she told me, "You know, when I was a little girl I had a friend up the street and she had this old woman living with her family who had been a slave."
"Really, I said where did she sleep?"
"In the kitchen."

Then there were the stories of nursing school. Apparently they had some wild times in nursing school. Once they tried to call Eleanor Roosevelt on the phone. The next day the girls were visited by someone from the Secret Service. 

They drank bottles of Coke in the morning, trying to beef up for a long day at Charity Hospital. Charity Hospital was in Shreveport and didn't have air conditioning in those days. 

Of course making fun of Papa's family also came with the orange juice and frosted flakes. As an eight years old I knew what were the natural color's of all of my aunt's hair. 

So here's to all the mothers out their with their testy charges. Enjoy your presents. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dog breath

What a great commercial. I've yet to see it on the tv but it's on Youtube. Now I know why I don't have a dog.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


You should get a haircut every three weeks. That way you always look neatly shorn and nobody knows when you've gotten a haircut. I get a haircut three times a year. It's great because I go from a short haircut to looking like the drummer for Mott the Hoople. Then it's suddenly, unexpectedly back to a short haircut. Suddenly,  I'm Dobie Gillis.  It's a minor holiday at work. Wow! Mr. Mustache got a haircut!  After a few days, the excitement wears down and my haircut looks normal.

I go to an old fashioned barbershop. There's a barber pole, an all male staff. All male customers. Men talk about sports, their kids and their cars. Once a woman told me that men go to barbershops to discuss how many women they have slept with. Sorry, women are usually not discussed in barbershops, unless they're in the hospital. It's a good thing I travel so I have things to talk about at the barber shop.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The progress of a generation

Baby boomers have progressed since the sixties. In the sixties we grew our hair long, discovered fm radio, pot, and war demonstrations. In the 70's we discovered yoga, hiking,  and Saturday Night Live. In the 80's we moved from hippy to yuppie. We married, gentrified neighborhoods, and traveled the world in search of Hard Rock Cafes. The 90's and 00's we raised children. A little grayer, we were long on childhood gratification and short on discipline.

In the teens now we have discovered TED talks. TED talks represent the baby boomers aspirations today as we start thinking seriously of our lives, our world, and our retirements. TED, film festivals, Atovoristan  and podcasts. It's great being a baby boomer. 

In case you may be a little behind, here is the link to TED. They are also on public radio on weekends.

Editor's note: The writer has a certain sense of guilt in never fully exploring yoga or Hard Rock Cafes in every port.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

So what did I learn in Ireland

I always say that I travel so that I have things to talk about at parties. People with kids can stay home, because they can always talk about their kids. Childless people need to travel.  Here are ten things I learned on my trip to Ireland.

1) There's nothing like a  nice Irish breakfast. They serve them in bars and the white pudding (looks like a meat patty but is grey) is edible. The black pudding (a black patty) is definitely an acquired taste. 
2) Ireland wants to be seen as a cosmopolitan nation and for that reason tries to give the impression that it is bilingual. All the signs, railroad recordings, bus tickets, etc. are written in Irish and English. There is even a tv stations that broadcasts in Irish. I never heard anyone speaking in Irish. America speaks English and Spanish, Canada English and French, Ireland wants to be seen as speaking English and Irish. 
3) Irish bars are like traditional American bars except the beer taps are larger, they serve breakfast, and sometimes they have live traditional music at night. The beer sits a minute before the landlord gives it to the customer. They have the tv going during the day so it's difficult for tourists to eavesdrop. At night at local places, patrons really do burst into song. 
4) The best food in Dublin is Thai and Middle eastern. Had a nice falafael there.
5) Television features a lot of American shows, BBC channels, one channel in Irish and two Irish channels that have a lot of sports, talk shows, and a soap opera.
6)Young women wear leggings in Ireland.
7) There are panhandlers in Ireland.
8) There are bookie shops on Irish streets.
9) Ireland raises a lot of sheep with a few goats and cattle thrown in. Irish sweaters are expensive. I bought a cute pair of Irish made socks.
10) Irish women go into comic voices when telling a story.
Editor's note: Temple Bar in Dublin. Home of the backpack and guitar set.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A brief history of school prayer in America

Since the Supreme Court decision of 1962, school prayer has been banned in American schools. Thinking back to my childhood and those happy days at Fanny Hillers School, I can remember when we said the Lord's Prayer at the start of the school day. I remember it was the one time of the day when the three religions represented in the classroom, the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant religions attacked the prayer differently, much to the consternation of the teachers.

When we said the Lord's prayer, the five Jewish kids had to keep silent. As a Catholic I was obliged to say the Lord's prayer up to the last sentence then stay silent for the most poetic part of the prayer, "for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever" but could join in for the Amen at the end. Vatican II allowed for this extension to the Lord's prayer, but by that time it was banned in schools anyway. Looking back it must have seemed strange for half the voices to be cut out at the last sentence.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all the children in the classroom except for the two Jehovah's Witness kids who had to sit and keep quiet. As children mature the Pledge moves from the loud sing songey declarations of the early grades to the mumbled voices of high school.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Who would have thunk it

Just went onto the David Bowie website to find out about his new album. The album in CD costs $11 but if you want it in vinyl it's $26. Now back in the 90's I was told I should get rid of my albums and replace them with CD's. I was told the sound was so much better that soon all vinyl albums would be obsolete. Who would have thunk it. Now people are paying double to get the same songs in vinyl. If only I had kept my bell bottom blue jeans.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

That's the way to open a shopping mall!

This story caught my eye today. It took place in Leeds, in the U.K. Most of us know the town from the Who  Live at Leeds album. Well they have a new shopping mall and this is a  story with a video from opening day.
I wonder where she's going to wear that dress?

Editor's note: College memories.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Yahoo's edict on working at home

Most of us have been following the brouhaha concerning the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, and her edict that all the staff of Yahoo have to show up for work everyday. In the flesh. No more goofing off in your undies and logging unto the Internet in your kitchen. Being a woman and a mother, she is twice scolded for being against women working in a way amenable to  handling  family responsibilities. Now, even the Times has chimed in on the controversy.

In a previous job I worked from home, albeit without pay, just as a way to keep up with the things I couldn't fit in at work. To many of us, however, working at home perhaps seems more like the above picture. Here the babies are typing in the documents with Mom. Perhaps this picture is not as efficient as it could be in a time work continuum.

We are presented by Ms. Mayer an ideal of workers networking on tasks and coming up with creative ideas as they hang out in the coffee break room. My experience is that more bellyaching and gossiping takes place in such environments than light bulbs going off on top of people's heads, but perhaps that is just my own, largely civil service experience. If I was a betting man I would say more and more people are going to continue to work at home in the workplace.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

So it's March, the ordinary month

March is the ordinary month. The temperatures are higher than February but it's still windy and the trees are still bare. There are no legal holidays normally, except this year Easter is early so that makes Good Friday a holiday, at least in some states. March sort of is the month of continuations. Yes spring technically starts in March, but in reality spring comes in stages, and  then there is Saint Patrick's Day, which can be fun but for non Irishmen is no big deal.

One nice thing about March is, if you want to take a chance on the weather, it's a good time to travel. Sure everything isn't open in most tourist areas but the prices are lower, the kids are in school, and you get to see the locals living life as life is really lived, before the streets are cluttered with tourists with cameras. When I worked in a public library I always took my vacations in March partly because that is tax season,

Editor's note: Many states also celebrate Maple syrup weekends in March and Michigan has declared March maple syrup month. Ho hum.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Microsoft wants to be hip

The past week I have noticed an influx of  Microsoft Surface commercials on the tv. Everything we thought about Microsoft is now wrong, apparently. No longer the the realm of men who wear pocket protectors while using DOS, now it is attempting to appeal to young hip types. I don't know if it is working or not.
I guess the kid below looks happy, though. :

Sunday, February 24, 2013

So what do I think of Girls

Ever since it went on the air, the (hipster) media has been awash with stories about Girls. Being too cheap to get HBO I have become more and more curious about the show that has supposedly changed modern television. Recently I noticed it was on Netflix, so I got to view the first season of the show.

Girls is loosely based on Sex in the City, except the women are younger and don't have their careers together like they did on SITC. The show is of interest to baby boomers, methinks, who have fond memories of their early twenties (living at home and selling hot dogs at Two Guys?) Well, at least we are curious to see how things have changed. In some ways things are similar (nobody had any money in the late 70's and life after college sucked) except there seems to be more sex going on nowadays.

Girls shows what it is like for women who don't have to live at home and live in an exciting if grungy place. The show centers around the trials and tribulations of Hannah. The main revolutionary thing I can see about the show is that it has a female star who isn't pretty. Ugly Betty wasn't pretty, either, but that's another story.

Because she isn't pretty, Hannah appears to be destined to have a crappy boyfriend (Adam) and go through a series of crappy jobs (although the sexual harassment job had its points). If she was pretty she could get a job as a go go dancer or a more influential boyfriend could get her a job as a gaffer.

Not wanting to be too revolutionary, the show has three comely co-stars. The other women are interesting, intelligent, but tend to have drippy boyfriends. I guess shows that are aimed at women audiences, (Parenthood comes to mind) tend to have strong women and pathetic male leads. Maybe this is how the world really is or maybe it is a female fantasy to live where all the women are strong and the men are good looking.

It looks like Season 2 is promising. Hope to see it soon on Netflix.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Change in the workplace

We have all gone to those reorganization meetings where the managers talk about change and how we all are going to have new job titles and responsibilities. We are quoted from people like Woodrow Wilson who said 
“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”  At the meeting everyone is smiling and cooperative, but in the break room the grumbling begins. Catherine's Career corner has a nice piece on why workers resist change

Spoiler alert: If you supervise more than five people, please close the blog now. The rest of this blog is not for your eyes. 

The workplace is, for most of us, a series of negotiated advantages and disadvantages that are developed over the years that changes and realignments can eliminate. Say for example, Sally always comes in fifteen minutes late and so Cathy has to open the safe every morning. In return Cathy gets Christmas week and the day after Thanksgiving off. If Cathy is transferred there will be no one to open the safe. 

Perhaps after repeated attempts to show Al the new computer program he still doesn't get it. He is quietly moved to a different task where that can be hidden. Change can expose Al's deficiencies. 

Lucy distrusts Mary.  This can be traced to the fact that Lucy remarried and still takes Communion on Sunday mornings. Mary hides this knowledge in her pew. The new reorganization will cause the two to work together on the same shift. 

In other words, change can upset the applecart. Higher ups often are not aware of how delicately apple carts are assembled in a workplace and should tread lightly when bringing about change. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Here is a classic from a few years ago. Happy Valentine's Day. Don't drink too much champagne.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A new book about bars

This book that has been getting some publicity lately. An idle moment of nothing much to do led me to download it onto my Kindle. Not a bad book, really. We get to go through the authors' Grateful Dead phase, her college in Bennington Vermont phase, her Ireland phase, as well as her various meanders through the bars of greater New York. An occasional habitue of bars myself, I can see that see has discovered those bars where people talk about the arts.

I have rarely gone to a bar where people talk about anything intellectual or artistic, save perhaps when I went to Zach's in Denver. However the author, no matter how many flannel shirts she may wear, is clearly from a higher caste than most of us. To get to hang it in a bar in Bennington, you first have to pay the tuition at Bennington. Drinking Jameson's in Manhattan requires resources beyond the jobs she describes.

The worst part of the book is that, if it's a hit, it will ruin a number of bars. Bars that are undiscovered and have reasonable prices and available stools will suddenly be places that are hard to get into, full of tourists that have read the book. I guess that's the price of success. Try getting into MacSorley's on a Saturday night nowadays.

Editor's note: A previous blog that dealt into a theoretical class on the art of barzology.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Walking to school in winter

Yes it was cold this morning. Maybe 15 degrees when I left the house. These here folks on the radio want to scare us with that wind chill nonsense. Yes it was negative 5 degrees with the wind chill factor. 
Good healthy January weather. Nothing to get excited about. I drove by a school on the way to work and the streets were loaded with cars. Mommy driving their poor charges to school. Too cold for the poor lambs to walk a few blocks in honest January weather. Balderdash.

How many times did my mother drive me to school because it was cold outside? Zero times. ZERO. Why in my day...

It's great being over sixty.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mali or am I a man or a mouse

Last week a new word was introduced to my vocabulary. Mali. The first new entity in the news of 2013 that did not exist for most of us in 2013. It seems that after a coup or two, France has invaded Mali, a former colony, to drive out Islamist terrorists. Then they got mad and took over a natural gas site in Algeria. Then there was a botched rescue attempt. Somehow all the trouble started when Quadafi gave guns to men to fight for him. Now the guns are in Mali. Time for us to bone up on Algeria. The one thing I remember is seeing the Battle of Algiers in college. I think the French lost that one.

So what should America do? Are we men or  mice?

We are men!
We can't let the French carry all the water. This is a fight for freedom and America has interests in keeping the gold and natural gas out of the hands of Al-Qaida. Time has come for us to have a good fight in Mali. Love of freedom means troops in Mali. 

We are mice!
Let the French do it. It's their turn. We don't get any energy from that region. We have our own natural gas. America doesn't want to add Mali to a list of failed American ventures fighting terrorism. This whole thing could turn out badly. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

An interesting question

Two weeks ago I was coming down with a bad cold (or perhaps a weak flu) and I passed it along to someone I know. She got sick. The next day I emailed her sister and then she got a cold. My question is, if you communicate with someone online can you give them a cold? Can Facebook transmit viruses? Skype?

I have always been of the opinion that the best way to get rid of a cold is to pass it to someone else. And today, I feel swell.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Golden Globes

This year for the first time I watched (well grazed through) the Golden Globes Awards.  I have heard the name but always ignored it since I always thought it was kind of a dumb idea. After tons of advertising for Tina and Amy, this year I tuned in. Not as serious as the Oscars, it is sort of schocky and has an inside Hollywood feel. You get to watch actual stars drinking and eating. Sort of fun. I Especially liked the bit where Tina and Amy drank cocktails on the stage. I also like Tina Fey appearing unexpectedly in weird teeth or costumes. They wouldn't do that at the Oscars.

I did watch Jodie Foster. Thought it went on way too long and I suspect I wouldn't care for her if she was my boss. Still, it was the Golden Globes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Downton abby

For a certain socioeconomic type, over 40, college educated, upper middle class or so apiring, today is the first over hyped event of the year. It is the return of Downton Abbey. Will Mary marry Mathew? Will John Bates get out of jail? Does Daisy's new found in law have designs on the poor lass? Will Shirley MacLaine turn out to be a b--ch?

When they asked Michele Dockery (Lady Mary) how she liked working with the American from Irma La Douce she she remarked on  how quiet everything seemed after she left. It must have been exciting when she was there.

The dirty truth is that people love watching the show because it allows them  to enjoy a soap opera and at the same time impress people with their  ascetic tastes. "Oh I love Masterpiece Theatre" one can say at work and seem cultured and refined.  Sort of like rhapsodizing on Tschaikovsky or eating  Nutella and telling everyone it's a health food. Or watching Les Miserables and talking about how one loves French literature.

Editor's note: When I was going to college my father mentioned a family friend who loved Tschaikovsky and I told him that people who know nothing about classical music listen to Tschaikovsky to impress people and that true music patrons ignore him. At that moment my father smiled, knowing that every penny of my college education had been well spent.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Santa Claus is back in the garage

A friend wrote me that she gets depressed this time of year. She hates taking down the tree and putting the ornaments back in boxes. Most of all she hates putting her life sized Santa Claus back in the garage. I was so moved I wrote this poem:

Another Christmas come and go

The fun the tinsel ho ho ho

But now it’s over no no no

And Santa’s back in the garage.

We sang our hymns and cookies made

But now that cheery time will fade

Christmas visits have been paid

And Santa’s back in the garage.

Oh holy night is now forgotten

Old wool socks replaced by cotton

I was so glad now feeling rotten

And Santa’s back in the garage.

So here’s a toast to the new year

Hot spiced cider replaced by beer

Winter gloom instead of cheer

And Santa’s back in the garage.

Next to the gas for the lawn mower

Near the sand and the snow blower

Spirits high now getting lower

Santa’s back in the garage.

Times Square New Year's Eve

I was just reading the official instructions for attending Times Square New Year's Eve. Humbug. Why in my day...
The one time I went to Times Square for New Year's Eve we got there about 10:30 PM after taking the 165 bus from Hackensack. There were no barricades, no walking restrictions. You had to be careful about pick pockets. Everybody, including the police, had glass bottles filled with liquor in their pockets. There was no live music, just the stinking ball. We managed to get back to the Port Authority by 1 and went back to New Jersey. Mom and Dad never knew about the expedition. Who remembers when Guy Lombardo ringed in the new year?

New Year's Eve FAQ

Still want more after reading the F.A.Q.s?  We've got everything you need to know about the Ball Drop and all the festivities leading up to the big night. More >> 




Getting Here




Food, Drinks, Shopping and Restrooms








Other Questions

Where is the Ball lowered?

The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball descends from a flagpole at the top of One Times Square. It can best be seen along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street.

What streets will be closed for the celebrations?

The New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway and moving north as revelers arrive. The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when the revelers begin arriving. It is likely that there will be no vehicular traffic on either Broadway or Seventh Avenue as of approximately 3:00 p.m. Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 6:00 p.m. above 42nd Street as far north as 59th Street. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball (at Broadway & 43rd Street) increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary.

Will there be areas in Times Square designated for the disabled?

Yes. The police will set aside a viewing area for the disabled, located on the northwest corner of 44th Street. However, this area will fill up quickly, and it is advised that disabled visitors arrive early in the day. For a listing of the access points from which you can enter Times Square, please click here.

 Where is the best view?

The earlier you arrive, the better your view and the closer you will be to the action. The sound system is set up in the Bowtie area (where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross), and the video screens on One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered) are easily visible. There are additional screens set up at Broadway and 50th Street, Broadway and 52nd Street, Broadway and 54th Street and Broadway and 58th Street.

What is the best way to come to Times Square?

The best way to come to Times Square is via public transportation. To get to Times Square, the # 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, W, V and S shuttle trains all service the Times Square area. Please note that the MTA has advised revelers not to use the 42nd Street Subway Station on New Year's Eve due to crowding conditions - you are advised to exit at one of the surrounding stations and enter Times Square on foot. It is expected that the MTA will keep all subway stations open on New Year's Eve. Some entrances and exits may be closed as crowd conditions require. After 7 p.m. on December 31st, the N and R train station at 49th Street and Seventh Avenue may be closed until after midnight. Trains may also bypass some stations, depending on how the crowds build. For further information nearer the date of the event, please call or visit the MTA at (718) 330-1234 or www.mta.info.
Other useful sources of information:
Port Authority Bus Terminal (212) 564-8484
New York City Transit Authority (Local Bus Service) (718) 330-1234
Amtrak (800) 523-8720
Metro North (212) 532-4900
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) (718) 217- LIRR
For questions on New Year's Eve about access, please contact the NYPD sub-station at (212) 239-9803 or the Times Square Alliance Dispatch Office at (212) 452-5218. Please call ONLY on New Year's Eve.
UPDATED: 12/12/12
On New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31, 2012, certain subway access will be altered in the Times Square area.
While the actual time of the system changes depend on the arrival of the revelers for the New Year’s Eve Celebration, based on the timeline from last year the following service disruptions should be expected:

The 42nd Street entrances to the 42nd Street Times Square stop closed at approximately 4:30pm last year. Riders can use the 41st Street entrances to access this station.
The 47th Street entrance to the N/R/W lines closed at approximately 5:00pm last year. Riders can access this station from the 49th Street entrance until the stop is skipped at 7:00pm.
Southbound and northbound N/R/W lines will skip the 49th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Tuesday, January 1st.
The northbound IRT "#1" train will skip the 50th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Tuesday, January 1st.
These entrance closings are based on the arrival of the revelers for the New Year’s Eve celebration and are approximate. These have been the times for the last two year’s but depending on the time the crowds arrive the times could be adjusted.
The Times Square Alliance will provide updates to the subway system changes as they are made available to us through this e mail alert system and also up to date Transit information is always available ahttp://www.mta.info/.

How do I enter Times Square on New Year's Eve?

If you are attending a party or event within Times Square on New Year's Eve, be sure to contact the business to confirm special instructions you may need in order to access the entrance of the establishment.
Access Points:
To Access South of 41st Street
  • 37th  & 7th Ave
  • 37th & Broadway
  • 38th & 8th Ave
  • 38th & 6th Ave
To Access North of 43rd Street
  • 46th from 8th & 6th Ave (press access)
  • Emergency Vehicle Route (48th, 5th-9th Ave)
  • 49th from 8th & 6th Ave
  • 52nd from 8th & 6th Ave
  • 54th from 6th Ave
  • 55th from 8th  Ave
  • 57th from 7th Ave
  • 57th from Broadway
  • 58th from 8th & 6th Ave
  • 59th from 8th & 6th Ave
Pedestrian/Subway Chutes:
  • 39th - Broadway to 6th Ave
  • 41st - 7th Ave directed westbound to 8th Ave
  • 49th - 7th Ave directed eastbound to 6th Ave
  • 50th – Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
  • 53rd – Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
  • 55th – 7th Ave directed eastbound to 7th Ave

When should I get there?

Revelers begin to gather in the late afternoon on New Year's Eve, December 31st. The best advice we can give is to get there as early as possible. We cannot predict how quickly the viewing areas will fill up. Prime viewing areas may fill up early in the afternoon.
At approximately 6:00 p.m. EST the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball will be raised to the top of the 77-foot flagpole at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street) and lit. At exactly 11:59 p.m. EST, the Ball will make its 60-second descent down the flagpole to signal the start of the New Year.
Please Note: Revelers who arrive very early in the day, before the police have established viewing areas, may be moved by the NYPD when barricades are put in place.

What is the schedule of New Year's Eve events in Times Square?

Check the event schedule to see when and where it's all happening in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
Here is the timeline for LAST YEAR'S street closures and viewing areas and are subject to change without notice. We will update as more information is release by the NYPD. This information may be helpful for planning your trip to this year's event:
1:30 PM - All pedestrian mall pens full 43rd to 47th Street
2:00 PM - Vehicle traffic closed 42nd to 48th Street
3:30 PM - Viewing areas filled north to 49th Street, south 40th - 41st Street
5:00 PM - 52nd Street Access Point Closed
5:15 PM - 54th Street Access Point Closed
6:55 PM - 56th Street Access Point Closed
9:00 PM - 58th Street Access Point Closed

Will there be portable public restrooms available?

No. There are no portable restrooms in Times Square during the celebration. The Times Square Museum & Visitor Center has public restrooms but will be closing early on New Year's Eve.
Times Square Museum & Visitor Business Hours
  • 7 Days a week, 8 am - 8pm
  • Venue will close at 2pm on New Year's Eve (December 31st)

Is alcohol or champagne allowed?

No. Public drinking is illegal in New York City. Police will confiscate alcohol.