Every December, the world-renowned New York City, a sparkling crystal ball in Midtown Manhattan marks a common opportunity for a new beginning. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in person; millions of people watched on TV and paused for a while to attend the annual ceremony.
With some excitement and anticipation, they turned their eyes to Times Square and began to count from…
In March, as the pandemic swept New York City, the group responsible for throwing the ball in Times Square on New Year̵
Broadway, an attractive core industry in Times Square, has been closed for several months. Large gatherings have been banned indefinitely, and several major city events have been cancelled. Rumors spread in text messages and Twitter that officials may have blocked the city.
The organizers knew that canceling the celebration would be disastrous. New Year’s Eve in Times Square has become a symbol of the thriving and vibrant New York City and has been the center of the holiday for decades.
… In the months before this year’s celebrations, it seems that this collective etiquette has been threatened. This is one of the few etiquettes that still exist in an increasingly divided society.
Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square League, said the organizers are determined to drop the ball from a high place above the city. They also know that whether or not the celebration is planned, more than a century of crowds will flock to the area.
What is unclear is whether and how the producers of the event adapted the other customs of the evening (performances, crowds and confetti) to the reality of the pandemic.
Tompkins said: “In any case, we know we have to prepare for the masses.” “Then it’s just a question,’Oh my God, how are we going to do it?”
After months of planning, an answer emerged. This year, Times Square will open to the public on New Year’s Eve, the first time in decades. Only production workers and dozens of selected frontline workers and their families are allowed near the stage.
On Wednesday, the police urged the public to stay at home.
A senior official in military uniform, Terence A. Monahan, said at a press conference: “Times Square will never allow any audience.”
He added: “Don’t even try to come down and watch it.”
As every year, the city will close the streets in the area and the police will set up checkpoints to prevent entry and exit. However, instead of losing tourists, it is better to invite all guests, they will be turned away, and pedestrians will be restricted from 3pm on Thursday. Chief Monaghan said that compared with the normal New Year’s Eve, the number of police officers at the Times Square Police Station will be reduced by 80%.
He said: “Anyone who starts gathering will be told to move forward.” “We will not allow people to stand on the corner of the street and stare.”
The eight-foot-footed pen will be socially separated by social distance. They will accommodate about 40 workers, who keep the city and the country safe and run smoothly during the darkest hour of the year, and are invited to bring their families to celebrate.
On the guest list was a pediatrician from Elmhurst Hospital, a public hospital flooded by the pandemic. A pizza delivery driver, he is suffering from the coronavirus; Staten Island Ferry Company operator Ronald Colbert (Ronald Colbert) will participate in his 40th landing in Times Square in New York game.
“I feel very honored and happy,” said Mr. Colbert, 66. “The stimulus provided by Times Square-I will share it again.”
The streets will not be crowded with people trying to catch a glimpse of outdoor concerts, which will be performed according to state and industry guidelines on safe media production.
This year’s musical guests include “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, disco classics reproduced as pop songs, as well as Jennifer Lopez, Billy Po A performance by Te and Cindy Lauper.
Television workers will broadcast Times Square billboards across the country, which is still a far away experience. For those who are still staying at home, “Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest’s New Year’s Rock Night” will still be held on the ABC. In a year without party jokes, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will once again launch their New Year’s Eve buddy comedy on CNN.
The TV network will project an image of Times Square transformed from a pandemic, without a group of revelers in sparkling gear, waiting for hours in the cold to participate in a national event.
Nevertheless, Mr. Tompkins and Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment, co-produced the Times Square event. They both said that if circumstances permit, there must be some form of audience presence. , Which is very important to them.
Strauss said: “Observing the happiness of others will give you energy.”
In the spring, when a pandemic rages in New York City, photos of an empty Times Square become ambiguous. The deserted square has become a persistent image of the crisis and an intuitive shorthand for the devastating situation caused by the virus.
With the end of 2020 and the reset of the calendar, both of them hope that they can provide a fresh start and new narrative for one of the most famous intersections in the world.
Strauss said: “We want to show a heartbeat city.” “There is also a city that is still alive.”
A few months ago, in July, Mr. Strauss and Mr. Tompkins got the first hint that it was possible to carry out celebrations similar to those of the past few years.
Since 1904, Times Square has been the site of large-scale New Year’s Eve celebrations, when thousands of people gathered in Midtown Manhattan to watch fireworks illuminate the newly built New York Times Tower, now Times Square.
The ball fell for the first time in 1907. Since then, it has fallen on New Year’s Eve almost every year. Due to the “knockout” related to World War II requiring the lights to be turned off as protection, it only took a rest in 1942 and 1943.Resist air raids
However, even if there is no chance to watch the football, there are still a large number of people gathered in Times Square to participate in the more indifferent celebrations described in The Times. The quality of the first year is “weird”, and the “gayer” and “Bigger”.
Tompkins, who has been involved in pitching since 2002, said: “So much energy comes from groups of people. Therefore, Times Square will definitely have another energy.”
However, almost no energy can be guaranteed. Although the organizers continued to plan, they watched nervously as Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo canceled many similar large-scale events.
However, in a few days in July, the city partnered with Macy’s to reconfigure the annual fireworks display.
For Mr. Straus and Mr. Tompkins, this clearly shows that city officials are determined to preserve the traditions of New York City while keeping people safe at home.
Strauss said that other events also proved that it is feasible to change New Year’s Eve.
The MTV Music Video Awards provides a template for music performances. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade showed the audience the tradition of reduction, and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center proved that large events can be safely carried out even during a pandemic.
Mr. Straus said that whether watching this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration on TV or through official online webcasts, people should expect a more intimate viewing experience. (People looking for a more immersive experience can also download an app that uses augmented reality technology to bring Times Square home.)
This year’s celebration will use the blocks surrounding Times Square, which occupies a much smaller area than usual. Strauss said the reduced scale is likely to be clearly visible on the camera. Indicates that the cleaning footage of the block party will be cut off. Strauss said that close-up shots will not show a smile because the face will be covered.
Strauss said: “We want to show a Times Square far away.” We want to show Times Square wearing masks. “
Mr. Straus will be the first time in 26 years, because the clock strikes until midnight, he will not hold a confetti bath in Times Square.
While breaking the tradition, he will watch TV on TV with most parts of the country, because this counts the end of a cruel year, and hopes to start again in the next year…