This New Year’s Eve in Times Square was a soggy mess. The television broadcasters looked wet and miserable. The entertainers looked downtrodden. Then, as the hyped Waterford Crystal Ball began to drop, a cloud moved in front of it. Three days later, the rain was long gone but the confetti remained. It spun with the wind in colorful spiral updrafts. It played catch me if you can with children. Bicyclists and cars raced through it like winners at the finish line. One woman held her arms high in victory so that her friend could photograph her with the swirl behind her. A normal January afternoon in Times Square became an extended celebration. Sometimes the best party is when you least expect it.
I like to say I summer on the island...of Manhattan. The central city's pace and congestion make it easy to forget there's soothing water views on all sides. Every now and then, its true island nature reasserts itself. This almost mystical fog rolled into Times Square one early evening, haunting all the favorite haunts. It wrapped itself around tall buildings and spilled across wide avenues, dulling the city's brightest signs and blocks. Suddenly we were more like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco. The velvet coastal softness rarely makes it way so far inland and came as a surprise.