MrJumbos New York: Y2K New Years II
When I went out around 4:30 a.m., it was still dark but people were already gathering. The festivities were scheduled to start around 6 a.m., as midnight struck on the International Date Line.
There was a light sleet coming downnot cold enough to call snow, not drenching enough to call rain, but enough to drizzle down the back of your neck, enough to convince the hundreds of cops who were gathering for the day to wait in ranks under awnings instead of grouping in the streets.
Technicians were still setting up the stages, testing cameras and lights and sound systems, getting ready for the 24-hour extravaganza. (It was scheduled to wrap up around 6 a.m. January 1, as midnight came to Hawaii.) Every hour, as the New Year came to a different time zone, there would be a little stage show based on the cultures in that part of the world.
At 4:30 a.m., the streets were filled with barricades, with no crowds to put between them. There were maybe a few hundred people scattered in the area furthest south, right in the center of it all. They were passing the time by having chicken fights with these huge plastic garbage cans on wheelsthere was a person in each one, and two teams would shove the tubs at each other as fast as they could, then cheer when they collided.
It was an odd way to pass the time, but no more strange than waiting for the millennium.
(Click on the picture for a larger version.)
The police were out in droves, but the attitude was relaxed. Everybody knew something could happen, but as long as things stayed peaceful, the cops werent hassling anybody.
Chelsea . . . *Chelsea by Night . . . More Chelsea . . . *Night in New York *New and Improved (April 2000)
Chelsea . . . *Chelsea by Night . . . More Chelsea . . . *Night in New York
*New and Improved (April 2000)
Back to New York Index