January 13, 2011

New Years in Times Square Part 1

After much debate about whether or not I wanted to make the trek to NYC for NYE, I thought, “What the hell!”  Working for the network allotted me VIP access passes, which meant I could walk in and out of police barricades at my leisure, check out the scene outside, and escape the crowds inside ABC studios.   Insanely awesome? I thought so, too.  Mother Nature almost ruined my plans.  With these odds in my favor, it looked like a long shot:

Somehow the travel gods were on my side, and I made it out on the ONLY flight of the day.  JetBlue win.  So my night started when I went to meet up with my coworker & friend, Unger, at his hotel.  When I got there, he was sitting with two younger guys and an older lady.  Knowing he had been visiting family, I assumed it was an aunt and cousins.  We chatted for a bit, and when we went to leave, he said, “Nice to meet you,” to the woman.  Huh?  We walked away, and I said, “Hey, I thought that was your family.”  He laughed and told me to look again.  One of the dudes was Jonathan from NKTOB.  My bad.  What can I say, I was a BSB fan.  So Unger and I went to get a drink before heading off to “work.”

And then we made it through barricade and barricade of police. Seriously, the NYPD have that shit UNDER CONTROL.  I didn’t know what to anticipate.  Crowds of millions?  Mass chaos?  Stampeding bulls? Not quite.  There are a lot of people, but it’s pretty well organized.  So we finally made it upstairs to Good Morning America's studio, and met up with our friend Amy.

One of my best friends (and college roommate!), Kyra, is an event planning extraordinaire.  She threw the party at the Renaissance hotel with Bruno Mars and told me to “swing by.”  Swing by?  There were about 1.2 million people in between 44th St. and 48th St., but Amy and I decided to put our credentials to a test.  Just how far could we make it?  

ALL THE WAY. That’s right.  That bad baby around my neck literally gave me free reign of Times Square.  Absolutely unreal.  We got to walk straight through the middle of Times Square with no problem.  NYPD just waved us on through.  I’ve never felt like more of a bad-ass in MY LIFE.

Thanks to NYC’s finest. 

You know what wasn’t so awesome?  See those blue balloons in everyone’s hand?  Yeah, people behind the barricades thought it was REALLY FUN to beat us as we were walking by.  For the most part, it was all in good fun and made Amy and I laugh.  What can you do.  When Ke$ha performed, we decided to leave the control room and head out to the stage, a few blocks away. All was fine and dandy, until Ke$ha and her entourage (including me, Amy, and Unger at this point) were misguided through the crowd to the wrong checkpoint back to the studio.  The officers would NOT let us through.  Uh, excuse us?  I’m not the biggest Ke$ha fan either Sir, but you can’t leave us stranded in the middle of the crowd.  A bit dangerous don’t you think?

And so some very important person radioed to another very important person and so forth, and we were led back to the studio, no harm done.  Thank goodness. The crowd started to get a bit rowdy when Ke$ha was just standing there, unable to move. (And in all fairness, Ke$ha was very calm and considerate, and she made sure a few little girls that were part of her entourage were not getting trampled.) Okay fine, I like her a little more now.

I wish I had a picture of perhaps my favorite point of the night. I’m a huge BSB fan.  (Shut up, don’t make fun!)  When they were on their way back out to the main stage, I grabbed Nick Carter’s arm and told him they sounded great in sound check.  He smiled, looked me in the eye, and said, “Thanks.”  No Nick Carter, thank you.  And 14 year old Tinsely, you’re welcome.  And that’s all for now. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow…

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