Tuesday, December 30, 2008

COUNTDOWN TO 2009 New York

TOP: The 2009 sign atop One Times Square and the pole sans the famous New Year's Eve Ball. Photo taken 12/27/08.
BOTTOM: The scene in Times Square at 7:14 PM, 12/31/08. The new New Year's Eve Ball atop One Times Square is visible in this photo which I took from 56th Street and 7th Avenue, on our way to the Ziegfeld Theatre to see the new Daniel Craig movie called "Defiance."

Carson Daly makes an appearance at the Today Show to promote NBC's "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" which will feature a performance by Sir Elton John
Immediately before midnight, a leap second will be added to atomic cloocks around the world by official timekeepers because of the Earth's erratic rotation. Photo of the clocks in front of the TOURNEAU store on 57th Street in Manhattan.
For the first time since its conception, the CHARMIN Restrooms will also be open on New Year's Eve from 12AM to 2AM, offering the crowd of millions in Times Square a safe and accessible bathroom haven after the 2009 ball drops.
Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31st, the eyes of the world turn once more to the dazzling lights and bustling energy of Times Square. Anticipation runs high. New Year's Eve at the symbolic center of New York City has become more than just a celebration - it's a global tradition. The world holds its breath...and cheers as the clocks strike twelve. As the famous New Year's Eve Ball descends from the flagpole atop One Times Square, an estimated one million people in Times Square, millions nationwide and over a billion watching throughout the world are united in bidding a collective farewell to the departing year, and expressing our joy and hope for the year ahead.(from http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/nye.html)

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Times Square Centennial New Year's Eve Ball on Display at Times Square Information Center

Currently on display at the Times Square Information Center until February is the 2008 Times Square Centennial New Year’s Eve Ball. The Information Center is located in the beautifully-restored landmark Embassy Movie Theatre on 7th Avenue, between 46th and 47th Streets. It is open every day from 8am to 8pm.I made these images of last year's ball as it constantly transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors. Shown above are some of my favorite hues. Philips Lighting, which created the light-emitting diodes, or LED bulbs, specifically for the event, says they are smaller but more than twice as bright as last year's lights, which were a mix of more than 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs. Waterford Crystal had crafted a beautiful new design for the crystal triangles on the Ball. The lights can create more than 16 million colors for a kaleidoscope of hues against the 672 Waterford Crystal triangles.
The ball was first dropped for the New Year's Eve celebration in 1907. Made of iron and wood, it weighed 700 pounds and was lit with 100 25-watt incandescent bulbs. Over the century, five other versions of the ball were designed to ring in the New Year. In 1999, the ball was made from crystal to welcome the new millennium. The 2008 motif is "Let There Be Light" and features a stylized, radiating sunburst on each of the crystal triangles.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Good Riddance Day: Shredding Bad Memories from 2008

Industrial Shredder

Earlier today, the Second Annual GOOD RIDDANCE DAY was held in Duffy Square (between 45th and 47th Streets at Broadway and Seventh Avenue). I captured these images as dozens of visitors lined to shred bad memories - everything from worthless stock certificates, depressing bank statements, 401k reports, photos of old lovers, etc. 

Information from the official website of the event:
The co-organizers of New Year’s Eve in Times Square (Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment) are inviting the public to say goodbye, once and for all, to those bad memories of 2008 at the Second Annual GOOD RIDDANCE DAY. On Sunday, December 28, 1pm – 2pm, shredders will be stationed on Duffy Square (between 45th and 47th Streets, Broadway and Seventh Avenue) to discard any distasteful, embarrassing and downright depressing memories from 2008.
Last year’s inaugural GOOD RIDDANCE DAY was an unqualified success, with scores of people lining up to shred everything from disappointing report cards to CDs with a song they never wanted to hear again to fattening foods they’d sworn to renounce – anything with a bad memory from the previous year. 
This year, a dumpster will be available for those un-shreddable items, as will a sledgehammer to pulverize all those bad memories away.
Passersby will also be invited to write their bad memories on stationery available on-site and watch as those awful recollections get sliced into shreds. The first 100 participants to show up in Times Square will receive a special gift with a Grand Prize of $250 awarded for the Most Creative.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's Eve Wishing Wall in Times Square

At the TIMES SQUARE INFORMATION CENTER located at 1560 Broadway, between 46th and 47th Streets, visitors can write down their personal goals, dreams and wishes on a piece of confetti on the New Year's Eve Wishing Wall. The wishes will be collected at the end of the year, and added to the confetti that will flutter down onto the streets of Times Square at the 12 o’clock hour on New Year’s Eve. The Information Center is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM. The Wishing Wall reads: "Share your hopes, dreams and resolutions for 2009 - then watch them flutter down as confetti in the heart of Times Square on New Year's Eve!"

I made these photos of the colorful wishing wall earlier this afternoon. The Wishing Wall is presented by 3 Musketeers® Mint. May all these wishes and dreams come true and goals accomplished in 2009!

UNICEF Crystal Snowflake at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street

Each winter before Christmas, a giant snowflake of lights appears above the intersection at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. First introduced in 1984, the snowflake was named the "UNICEF Snowflake" in 2002 to help raise money for that organization.
From http://www.unicefusa.org:
The UNICEF Snowflake: A beacon of hope for the holidays
The UNICEF Snowflake is a dazzling, illuminated crystal ornament that graces the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in New York City each holiday season as a beacon of hope, peace and compassion for vulnerable children around the world.
More than a symbol, the UNICEF Snowflake is the centerpiece of an ambitious campaign to raise millions of dollars in support of health, immunization, nutrition, clean water and sanitation, education and protection for children in developing nations.
A mid-Manhattan seasonal attraction for 20 years, the Snowflake was dedicated to UNICEF by the Stonbely Family Foundation in 2002. Last year, acclaimed lighting designer Ingo Maurer and the French-based luxury goods company Baccarat unveiled a new UNICEF Crystal Snowflake, the world's largest outdoor crystal chandelier of its kind.

Friday, December 26, 2008

CARTIER Christmas Holiday Window Display

Located at 52nd Street and Fifth Avenue is a world-class jewelry store, the Cartier flagship boutique. For this holiday season, the store is decorated with a bright red lighted bow. The windows have a display of bright red boxes that open, exposing beautiful pieces of jewelry. After the $100 million jewelry theft in Paris, however, the jewelry displayed on the windows were temporarily removed.

1251 Avenue of the Americas Christmas Holiday Decoration

Giant red Christmas ornaments are on display outside 1251 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) during the holiday season.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS: Angels and Snowflakes

Probably the most popular tourist destination in Manhattan during Christmas is the Rockefeller Center. Aside from the Christmas Tree, the wire-sculpted herald angels on the Promenade, as well as the LED snowflake lights of Saks Fifth Avenue have become iconic holiday decorations in this part of midtown Manhattan. The angels are found on the Promenade leading from 5th avenue toward the skating rink between west 50th and 49th streets. Saks Fifth Avenue's storefront is decorated with Philips Electronic LED snowflake lights which are composed of 72,000 lights and 50 unique snowflakes reaching 10 stories high. 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I made these photos of this year's Christmas Tree from the 7th Floor of Saks Fifth Avenue, and at the street level last week. Black and white image of the first Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center from time.com.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree's Roots -
Today it's a multimillion-dollar extravaganza that attracts thousands of tourists every year, but the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree hasn't always been so glamorous. On Christmas Eve 1931, with the nation mired in the Great Depression, a group of construction workers erected a 20-foot tree on the muddy site of what would become one of the city's greatest architectural and commercial monuments. Despite their grim faces, the men had cause to celebrate. Unlike most of their colleagues, they were about to get paid. (Notice the wooden crate at the foot of the tree and the clerk behind it dispensing checks). Two years later, a Rockefeller Center publicist organized the first official tree-lighting ceremony. (from the time.com)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NEW YORK POST: Shirtless Photos Show Obama Fit to be President

On its front page, the New York tabloid NEW YORK POST features a shirtless photo of President-elect Barack Obama who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family. Maggie Haberman's feature article is titled "O, My Bod! It's Beach Barack." 
From wikipedia:
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continually as a daily, although -- like most other papers -- its publication has been interrupted by labor actions. Since 1993, it has been owned by Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which previously had owned it from 1976 to 1988, and is one of the 10 largest newspapers in the United States. Its editorial offices are located at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, in the New York City borough of Manhattan.
The New York Post has been criticized since the beginning of Murdoch's ownership for what many consider its lurid headlines, sensationalism, blatant advocacy and conservative bias.

Under the Stars: Time Warner Center Christmas Holiday Display

These are the images of the Stars that adorn the TIME WARNER CENTER each year during the holiday season. I took these photos from Columbus Circle.
From colorkinetics.com:
Entitled Under the Stars, the installation comprised twelve 14-foot stars that were suspended from the Time Warner Center’s towering 75-foot atrium. The stars, consisting of aluminum frames with acrylic panels, were each illuminated by 20 Color Kinetics® ColorBlast® 12 systems – allowing them to perform choreographed color changes in accordance with original music adapted from The Nutcracker Suite. Several three-minute light shows were programmed to run every fifteen minutes between 4:00 – 10:00 pm. The individually controllable ColorBlast 12 systems allowed for multiple color changes within a single star, or synchronized effects across all of the stars.
The Time Warner Center is located at 10 Columbus Circle. The 750 feet, twin-towered multi-use complex, named Columbus Centre (or AOL Time Warner Center), houses the AOL Time Warner World Headquarters, a 250-room/suite luxury hotel (the Mandarin Oriental, New York) spaces for retail, entertainment, restaurants and offices, 225 luxury apartments, as well as CNN live broadcast production studios and a 12,500 m² concert hall for the use of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The incorporated hotel has the "first" floor of its public areas located over 75 meters above ground and feature a spa and a health club. A 500 m² ballroom overlooks Central Park.