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NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Brisbane
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NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Hi guys,

Im planning on heading over for next NYE to times square. I thought it would be useful for myself and others planning to make the trip for people who have just done it to put up your reviews/advice/do's and donts while everything is still fresh in peoples heads!

I've heard its impossible to even find a bathroom and that they lock down times square from 9pm onwards. For this reason I was looking at staying at a hotel in times square such as Marriott Marquis but so far that is 550USD a night at that time...

Any advice would be welcomed :)

New York City, New...
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1. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Alex, would you mind changing the heading to simply "New Year's Eve 2009/10 wrap-up" so that people can have a "bigger picture"?

** Here's purrfecttune's happy recap of his Circle Line cruise, complete with fireworks in the harbor:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k3300405…

** Here's JenCALI's report of her sadly sorry time at Dave & Buster's off Times Square:

"I realize that it is now 2010 and so I'm hoping this post stays on for a while so at least somebody can read this before they think about booking for the 2011 new years party. My BF and I just got back from NY and we too were looking for some party next to time square. We didn't want to stand around in the freezing cold for hours but we still wanted to be close the action. We looked around and decided to go with the D&B event. I would have to say to anyone WITHOUT children to skip it. There were Way too many kids. Also, there were long lines for everything, line to get in, line to coat check, line, get get food, line to get a drink. THe food, although plenty, was cheap appetizer food and there were only a few items. Drink were infact free but man, the wait was killer. And this was probably my biggest problem with this event. There was absolutely no place to sit. Only VIP people were allowed to sit at tables. Even the barstools were removed at the bar so there was literally standing room only. I saw people sitting on some of the games, pretending to play, just to take a rest. Toward the end of the night there were kids and adults sitting all over the ground, in front of games, etc. SO to anyone wanting to do this I would say do some research or opt for the VIP section. Even so I wouldn't do D&B again unless I had to take care of some children on NYE.

OH wait, I forgot to mention a few more other things. In D&B's in new york there are no windows so you can't even see whats going on outside. And no, they didn't show the ball drop on TV. And one more last thing, the DJ was horrible."

** tobietrice86's regrets re: New Year's Eve at the Bryant Park Grill:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k3300618…

** Splash10's fun evening at the Olive Garden:

"So we got our best attire on, and headed to Times Square. We arrived at the barricades and the NYPD were so friendly and posed for pictures with me. They took us straight to the Olive Garden and let us stay outside till 8pm. We just soaked up the atmosphere. It was milder than we imagined and dry at this stage. We had a view of the stage and the ball drop and I knew it was going to be a fantastic evening.

Management asked us to queue along the side of the Olive Garden and we did. The place was a jungle of media vans and transmitting devices. We knew that world wide would be able to view this event somehow. My family later informed us they were watching webcam. They were celebrating NYears at 7pm New York time so we had a few calls on our cell from our families. They said the streets were a swarm of people. It really was the best atmosphere ever. The people in the queue made thier way up the line, introducing themselves and thier loved ones. It was like united nations and someone even joked we should start a meeting for world peace. How lovely, that no matter race, beliefs, whatever.... New Years we were all friends. It was lovely to be part of that.

When inside the Olive Garden, I didnt know what to expect but it was better than I had hoped for. The place was covered in balloons and 2010 fun. We had hats, glasses, poppers, silly thread, horns, rattles everything. The DJ was great and the food was actually very tasty. We had a bar that was included and you could drink as much as you liked. Being Scottish and being New years we made the most of it.

We danced with strangers, cheered as the world met new year before us and a few tears were shed in the Olive Garden by us and others.

At 11.30 we were asked to get our coats and head outside to the ball drop.

This was when we really really had the best night of our trip. The atmosphere and music was amazing. We partied with people we never new, we just partied.....

The countdown made the hairs on my neck stand up and the songs that followed was just unreal.

I saw it all.... and its on tape. Every minute.

I truely had the best night ever - The best new years i have had, and likely to have since. Amazing."

Brisbane
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2. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Im not sure how to change the topic title..

New Hampshire
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3. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Actually, staying at a Times Square hotel, such as the Marriott, is not necessarily a good idea. We did stay at the Marriott one year (but had plans to be elsewhere at midnight), because I found a tip to a ridiculously low rate with Priceline. You do have the advantage of a terrific view (from their drive-up entrance, which is packed solid with guests, so you still have to get out there a bit ahead of time), but it's otherwise very restrictive! For one thing, you cannot go out and return after early/mid-afternoon when they start blocking off the streets to both traffic and pedestrians. That also means dining options are quite limited and also very expensive.

I left my PDA on the table at the restaurant where we had lunch that day. They found it and put it aside, but it took my husband over two hours to retrieve it (a few blocks away) and get back to the hotel, and that was nearly impossible at 4PM!

I'm guessing you'd like to experience seeing the ball drop with minimum time wasting, inconvenience, discomfort, and expense...

Actually, Times Square fills up early afternoon and is "locked down" late afternoon, or earlier.

Keep in mind that the ball drops in seconds, then everyone takes off! While you're waiting (and waiting...), there's "entertainment" all over, typically eardrum blasting music (each band upping the volume to be heard over the other) not to your preference...and it is usually very, very COLD!

The really good news is that you can view the ball dropping perfectly well from as far north as 50th Street/Broadway and 59th Street/7th Avenue., well beyond the "pens". It is far preferable to just bring a pair of binoculars (or not) and head for those areas, or as close as you can get from either, sometime after 11PM.

Also, while many restaurants have ridiculously overpriced and limited menus, plenty of outstanding dining destinations do not - away from Times Square.

When planning the evening, you do have to be aware of closed off streets and subway stations. But, it's easy enough to plan around all that, when you don't really need to be that close or get there so early.

Still, it is one of those things it's fabulous to do "just once in your life, for the experience". Mine was 40 years ago when I was 19, though we have spent many a NY's Eve in/near the city. It was bitterly cold (and this was before down outerwear was so reasonable or worn other than on the ski slopes, and before Starbucks!)

You just don't have to be right in Times Square to enjoy/observe the dropping of the ball. You can spend the afternoon and have a very nice dinner elsewhere and still "watch the ball drop" at midnight.

Note also that, while hotel rates are positively outrageous in Manhattan over New Year's, there are some terrific bargains (especially via Priceline and Hotwire) in Jersey City, for one, with convenient and inexpensive transport into the city, where you really can stay in a 4* for 2-3* prices!

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4. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Do check out the thread "Did the Ball Drop?"

We were watching this year from our living room on TV, and even with that coverage, we saw it only being released! All was obstructed by the huge digital ad screens! Too distressing! And, positively ridiculous!

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5. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

thanks for your insight djkbooks, this is exactly the information I am trying to build-up. When you say " you cannot go out and return after early/mid-afternoon when they start blocking off the streets to both traffic and pedestrians." I presume you mean in and out of the times square area? Im guessing you can still go in and out of your hotel as you see fit as long as it is the times square area. We were thinking of staying somewhere else like you mentioned but just getting the night of the 31st at somewhere like marriott, even if its just to use the bathroom and have somewhere close to escape :P

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6. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

No you can't go in and out of your hotel either. Each block is formed into a pen of hundreds of people and it is within that block that you must stay. I had the same plan as you in 1999 and what happens is that about 4pm the front doors of the Marriott are locked and guests must enter and exit through side doors and guess what those doors are outside of the pens so if you leave you are out even if it is to go into your hotel and you can only get back into that pen if the policeman on the entrance lets you and most won't. Bottom line your plan like most others that night will not work. You either need to be out in the freezing cold or buy into the parties posted here . Can I interest you in Sydney

that looks like a good time.

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7. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Unfortunately Aussie, no: once you're in a pen, you're in a pen. It's not a matter of "can't find a bathroom," it's a matter of "if you leave your pen for any reason, you won't be allowed back in." Times Square is not blocked off as a unit, it's blocked off in smaller sevtions to allow for paths of entrance and exit between the areas where people are standing, for safety and security reasons. No one is allowed to block these walkways. The police block off areas where people are standing as they fill up, and you can't reserve a space. The prime spots seem to generally fill up by 2PM or earlier.

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8. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

This is a great forum, and exactly what I am looking for to help me plan my visit next year to be in Times Square. In particular, does anyone have any experience with having stayed at the Doubletree Suites Times Square. I have award points and have booked a room for 3 nights, inlcuding the 31st.

I understand there is the issue of sections of Times Square being blocked off by pens. How exacly does this work for guest of the Doubletree suites? Like others have asked, will we be able to go in and out for bathroom breaks? I's appreciate any details. Thanks.

new york city
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9. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

As stated above each block or pen is in the control of the New York Police Department not the hotel management. The general rule is that no matter where you stay once you are in the pen formed by either wooden or metal barriers you should not count on getting back into your hotel for any reason and then getting back into the same pen... Now someone will come along and tell you that they did that exact thing but if that is your sole reason for picking the hotel you MAY have a problem and you should be aware of it.

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10. Re: NYC Times square NYE 2009/10 wrap-up

Bilmin09: Thanks for the good information you provided stating: “The general rule is that no matter where you stay once you are in the pen formed by either wooden or metal barriers you should not count on getting back into your hotel for any reason and then getting back into the same pen... Now someone will come along and tell you that they did that exact thing but if that is your sole reason for picking the hotel you MAY have a problem and you should be aware of it.” I agree, it’s good advice to know that just because someone states they may have been able to go back to their room for a restroom break and return to a “pen”, does not mean that all Doubletree guest encounter this situation.

However, assuming you do go to your room at the Doubletree, say at 10:30 PM for a restroom break, and want to come back out to Times Square, but find that the pen you came from is filled, then what, where do you go? Or, where can you go? Are you not permitted back into Times Square, or where are you sent? What are the options? Do you have to go down some blocks till you find an available pen?

Thanks!