I went out to my front yard for a New Year's celebration, later I noticed the NY Times took a few photos of it, so here they are.
This shot was taken right from our spot in the crowd, which also happens to be a half a block from where Cota started in the Lamb's theater, and where I lived for the last year and a half (so if you had a really big front yard, that would be about the distance of half a block).
I just moved all my storage out of that home yesterday, days before the demolition of the building begins. What a great celebration this was, and what a fitting way for me to end my saga in Times Square, living, starting a church, and enjoying the energy of the place, while being annoyed by the constant touristy crowds and lack of personal amenities like dry cleaning, neighborhood restaurants and cafes, etc. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but I'm glad to be out of there. The normal neighborhoods of NYC are much more comfortable.
This is right where we were next to the Toys R' Us store. I can't believe we didn't make it into this shot and NY Times international fame. Those red hats were passed out by Chevrolet. At first, everyone was clamoring to get one as they would go by and throw them into the crowd. After a while it became apparent that they wanted everyone to have one, and I'm sure somebody got hit in the head while not bothering to care and look up anymore when they came by and threw them into the crowd.
The slow realization that we were being used for the commodification of life became clear during the "on-the-hour celebrations" of the New Year having arrived in Paris, or Easter Island as the earth spun towards our own time zone's New Year, when the confetti that floated down began to have Target ads printed on it. Living in Times Square you realize that there are a number of confetti opportunities throughout the year, and sometimes pieces of it from random events would float onto the roof of the Lamb's Theater - and none of them ever had advertising. So it seems we have crossed a new low here.
We were right next to the yellow triangle, to the right of the top of it. That was a utility stage that had all sorts of equipment and special boom camera's that they could swing out over the crowd, which they did all the time, so I'm sure we got on TV. You can see me in the white hat and white coat. I'm the one not wearing the red chevy hat.
We could just barely see some of the performers on the big white stage at the bottom of the photo. Christina Aguilera wore a big white fur trimmed outfit, along with a big blond wig and so we could see her pretty good.
Seeing as this is just at the end of the block where I lived, I walked through this area every day for the last year and a half. It's funny how different it is when a million other people come by for a visit.
One of my friends had a gut feeling there would be a terror attack – but he came anyway, not sure if that was brave or stupid...I wasn’t sure how I felt, there were reports that there was absolutely no concern by homeland security for a terror attack. But I thought maybe the lack of "chatter" they were picking up might be a sign that they were going to "radio silence" right before the attack. While in that crowd, you can’t help but imagine how easy it really would be for ten terrorists to filter in amongst the crowd and blow up bombs full of anti-personnel shrapnel (remember the "steel balls" in the films Black Sunday and Swordfish).
You wonder why they haven’t attacked since 2001 – are they biding their time for a bigger more significant attack, or have we really undermined them to the point where they can’t do it? It seems a little dramatic to talk about, but here in NYC the thought of it is something that lingers.
By the way, I had a great time down in Georgia visiting my Mom, Stepdad and little brother. They have three acres out in the country outside Atlanta, and I was able to finally get out of the city and relax. I have great hopes for the New Year, and look forward soon to some clarity about what is going to happen to our little struggling church and my life. The possible merge is still in the works but not moving as fast as I'd like. I will keep you updated.
Happy New Year!