New Year’s Eve in Times Square

During September 2018, Susan and I entered a lottery to be able to purchase tickets to attend a private party at Bubba Gumps in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Every year, Bubba Gumps sells 250 tickets. Since there is a high demand, the restaurant holds a lottery to determine who can purchase tickets. We entered the lottery the previous year and was not selected. Our names were selected this year! So with a few months notice, Susan and I scrambled to make arrangements to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square. This was a bucket list event for Mike.

We decided to make a vacation out of the trip. We arrived in NYC on 12/27/18. On our first day, we went to the 9/11 Museum. Last time we were in New York, they were beginning construction on the memorial. We truly enjoyed the museum. It is one place where everyone seemed to understand the importance. The wall to the left (depicted below) was one of the original walls for the World Trade Center.

Looking down into the 9/11 Museum.

That evening we went to the longest running broadway show, Phantom of the Opera. The show was amazing. We see why it has been on Broadway so long. After the show, we went to Junior’s Cheesecake. Susan and I had a burger and enjoyed a slice of authentic New York cheesecake.

Outside the Majestic Theater on Broadway.

Our next day we started by traveling to a Jewish Community in Brooklyn. We went to Di Fara Pizza to try their classic pizza. I read several good reviews for the place. Get there early. The line went out the door shortly after 12. After enjoying a couple of slices of pizza, we headed to the Brooklyn Brewery. The Brewery was okay. It didn’t have that craft brewery feel. Every time you wanted a beer you had to get into a single line at the bar.

That evening we went to the Village Underground, which is a part of the Comedy Cellar. We sat front row for the comedy show. They had about six comedians scheduled to perform. They surprised us with a special guest. It was Tracy Morgan! Tracy was sitting just several feet from Susan and I. He was so funny. A bit drunk, but funny.

Susan and I with the MC of the comedy show.

The following day we went to Grand Central Station. We just wanted to see the station. I didn’t realize there was an Apple Store in the middle of the station. After walking around the station for a bit, we headed to our second show, Stomp. Stomp was better than I was expecting. The musicians interjected bits of comedy into the show that made it quite nice. From Stomp, we headed to Rokafeller Center to see the famous Christmas Tree.

Christmas Tree at Rokafeller Center.

On December 31st, we took it easy during the day. During the day we walked to Highline Park. Our AirBNB host recommended it. The park is an old train track that is built above the city. We enjoyed walking along the route. The train line was about two or three floors above street level.

We were suppose to arrive in Times Square around 8:45. We arrived at that time and started making our way through NYPD security. It rained the entire night. Getting through NYPD security was difficult because there was a lot of confusion. The gate we were at was only for ticketed guest. A lot of people without tickets thought they could get into Times Square through the same gate. The security line was chaotic at best.

Once we got through security, we were whisked into Bubba Gumps. The staff did an amazing job. There was tons of food (a seafood station, pass arounds, and a buffet). Around 11:45, Susan and I went out into Times Square and stood directly in front of the tower the ball was located on. The experience was everything we imagined. I am glad we were able to go! After the ball drop, we were walking back into Bubba Gumps and Bebe Rexha walked right passed us and said hi! That was cool. Not something that happens in Pensacola!

Our view the ball drop. The ball is above the lighted tower.

What better way to celebrate New Year’s than a Polar Plunge. We have done a couple in Florida, but never in a northern state. I found a polar plunge at Coney Island. This plunge was huge! There were so many people. The weather wasn’t that bad. The air temperature was in the 50s. The water temperature was reported to be 47 degrees. It stung going in! It was so much fun though. They had a drum core lining the entrance. I recorded a video of us getting into the water. You can view the video on youtube. After the polar plunge, we headed to the Coney Island Brewery and the Other Half Brewery to try and warm up. Other Half Brewery was an awesome brewery that had several beers that we loved.

After the Coney Island Polar Plunge.

Remember to click on any of the photographs to view the entire album.