December 31, 2016
Tonight, like every NYE, the masses will assemble in Times Square to watch the ball drop. This year they’ll take part in an event marked more by fear than of hope, at least officially. A not so small army of NYPD officers has deployed to midtown to set up checkpoints, erect blockades, and do everything they can to avert a terrorist from ruining the celebration.
In the aftermath of the Orlando, Paris, and Nice bloodbaths, police can’t be too careful and their concern is evident. Besides the large number of uniformed officers, there are buses and garbage trucks parked cross wise on side streets, and would-be revelers are being funneled into Times Square via 7th Avenue.
Backpacks and other once upon a time innocuous items are strictly prohibited, and pat downs and bag searches are now standard. While finding a bathroom has always been a challenge in midtown, the sheer number of people at this gathering guarantee a long wait should one be located. Port o Sans are evidently just another security risk in these troubled times. For auld lang syne, indeed.