Visiting New York has been on my wishlist ever since I was a kid with starry eyes admiring the skaters at Rockefeller Center and the lights of Times Square on New Year’s Eve. I could only imagine what the Big Apple might be like as the crazy, magical place that flashed through our TV set every Thanksgiving morning. Over time, I seemed to forget those feelings as the holidays rolled from one season to the next. There’s so much to see and experience in the world that I didn’t retain the strong desire to see New York City as an adult. But when our trip was confirmed, it only seemed reasonable to route our footsteps to the city’s most popular locations while we were there.
It’s funny how time changes perspective. I had envisioned Rockefeller Center as a massive ice rink with a King-Kong sized Prometheus looming from above. The movies a portrayed a popular rink, but there was always enough room for someone to leap into the air or initiate a skater’s angelic rotation in the center. I’m not sure which movies I was watching because the reality of Christmas evening at Rockefeller Center was sardine-smashed bodies slowly pressing forward for the tiniest glimpse of the rink below. Those who had made it on the ice were looping the perimeter hand-in-hand with the masses who joined them. By the time we had “made it” to Rockefeller, we were satisfied to leave.Times Square was even more populated luring visitors together to absorb the light around us. When approaching the block on foot, the sky transitioned from night to pure brightness as every angle of square footage illuminated larger than lifesize LCD screens. While I don’t want to sound cynical, I looked around at all I saw flashing numerous advertisements before my eyes and thought to myself, “Is that all there is?” The world is enamored with big city lights and we continually absorb the overwhelming amount of information from our programming, news, phones, and computer screens in our daily lives without a second thought. Seeing it displayed in one place from all viewpoints was a wake-up call of just how far we have gone in this direction.
It was a beautiful sight to behold the force of light and color in Times Square yet questionable of just how much admiration to attribute to its significance. I don’t think I’d ever want to see the ball drop on it’s busiest day. Packed Times Square to Watch Ball Drop 12-31-17 To the end, we remained tourists of this glorious city gleefully snapping photos of famous places. Times Square and Rockefeller Center were once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, now checked off the list. We gripped each others’ fingers and pulled away from the stream of humans to the gentle hum of the subway distancing ourselves from the crowds.