Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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.

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