Here’s the thing about New Years: I hate parties. I’ve always hated them and after years of “giving it a shot” by showing up, feeling uncomfortable and then leaving early, I finally gave up about three years ago. Which isn’t to say I avoid ALL parties, I show up for a few minutes to about one or two a year. I also demand that my friends invite me to parties even though they know I’ll say no. I just like the option. And I’m ridiculous. I like dinner parties and game nights with friends, it’s just the standing about with strangers and loud music parties that I loathe. Suffice to say, the last few New Years have been quite uneventful for me. 2010 was spent sitting on my couch with my brother, eating candy that was supposed to make us fart that we bought at a magic shop in Queens. The candy (perhaps fortunately) disappointed. 2011 was spent at home by myself watching horror movies. This year, after staying home to work over Christmas and my birthday, Sarah Glidden and I decided to do something totally different for New Years: we walked from Harlem to Zuccotti Park, zig-zagging in between, in all covering about 10 miles of Manhattan. It was fucking awesome.
We spent the actual midnight part of the evening at Zuccotti Park/Occupy Wall Street where there was a lot of tension between cops and protestors because the protestors had torn down the barricades and piled them in the center of the park. The cops deployed some pepper spray and there were minor confrontations until all settled for midnight celebrations. I’d like to briefly mention that I’m conflicted about the Occupy protests. I absolutely support the sentiment behind them but I take issue to some of the ways the protests are executed and the frequent misunderstandings of the actual intent by some protestors. And while there certainly has been some unquestionably wrongful actions taken by the cops, for the most part I think they’re unjustly villainized. They’re also part of the 99% so it really irks me when protestors antagonize them, which I’ve seen a lot of. I’ve also seen a lot of earnest conversation between the cops and protestors, which is a much more effective way to go about it. I do not want to turn this into a debate about Occupy Wall Street, but since I’ve avoided saying anything about it online before, besides posting photos of visits, I thought I’d just put this disclaimer up before I post more photos.
Protestors in the back right are standing on the piles of barricades. It was kind of like Les Miserables but way less romantic. There was some singing though.
After midnight, the cops came back in full force, on motorcycles, horses and in cars to shut down the park.
Cops on horses in front of Sephora is an amusing sight. Photo by Sarah
After midnight, the protestors ousted and began a march up Broadway. When the march took a turn back towards the park, everyone started running and scrambling about and we saw some cops running towards us with their batons out. Sarah ran off to a safe part on the sidewalk and I stood frozen in the street with my eyes clamped shut because apparently I have amazing survival instincts.
Moving along, uptown along 5th Ave, we stopped at the famous Bergdorf Goodman window displays which provided plenty of amazement and douchechills.
This display was made entirely of paper! There’s much more to it than appears in this photo
When I grow up, I’d love to have this room of nightmares in my house.
They used real, taxidermy mice for this display. Is that the proper usage of that word? I want to say taxidermied but that’s not a word.
We took a few minutes to go explore inside The Plaza. You know, that hotel that only rich people stay at in Sarah Jessica Parker films. There’s an unfortunate aroma of horse shit from the carriages to greet them upon entrance and exit along with a poop smeared red carpet. Sarah made me stand in front of things and point to them.
Inside there were lots of fancy people in high heels and suits. I made Sarah stand in front of things and pretend to squish them
The Plaza is so fancy/tacky that even the fire escape has a chandelier
We walked through Central Park, which was mostly completely vacant in the early evening but later filled up with a midnight marathon sponsored by Emerald Nuts. Yeah, I laughed at that too.
If I was a parent in Manhattan, I’d never let my kids play at Butt Plug Park.
Atlas statue in Rockefeller Center, where the big Christmas tree was disappointingly dark. We skipped the Times Square kerfuffle for obvious reasons.
There were a lot of women hilariously stumbling about in high heels, but these ones topped them all. I actually don’t have a problem with high heels at all, they can look quite lovely, but I just can’t walk in the ones with super skinny heels and my interest in learning is nonexistent. But I will admit to having a preverse delight in watching drunk girls stumble around in them in obvious pain. Just bring some flats with you for fucks sake.
I made Sarah squish the head of baby Jesus in Columbus Circle because we have no respect for anything.
New Years detritus on the subway platform. Photo by Sarah. Later that night I got in a fight with a drunk guy on the train because he pushed me. There were three piles of puke in my subway stop. All in all, I’d highly recommend this walk to anyone who isn’t so party inclined, or anyone who has an interest in the city. I have a love/hate relationship with New York but during this walk, I had only the prior. Happy belated New Year everyone!