Article Overview:  What is Times Square like the morning after the night before?  Find out what was left after the ball dropped to bring in 2004 at the Crossroads of the World.
(Note:  If you haven't read the Legends of Vigilance:  A Christmas Story of the Gift of Vigilance, use the following links to review it: Legends of Vigilance:  Part I   Part II    Part III  Part IV   Go to Part V


Thursday, January 1, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 841
Times Square 2004:  The Morning After
Cliff McKenzie

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Jan. 1, 2004 -- Every year since I've made NYC my hometown, I walk through Times Square after the hoards of New Year's Eve celebrants have buried their heads into pillows, or are nursing throbbing headaches.

I start at Central Park.......

        I start at Central Park, around 66th Street, and wend my way through the Park to the 7th Avenue exit that flows southward to Times Square.
         It was a brisk walk this morning, filled with quiet sounds of runners shuffling over the pavement as they launch their New Year's morning with a ritual run, as though to embrace the New Year with a thirst for health and physical prosperity.
      At the opposite end of the pole, some of the benches are filled with the bodies of sleeping street people, covered in blankets and papers to ward off the chill.
      The wealthy upper West Siders stroll their dogs in the park, and a few tourists inch about cautiously taking pictures.

      I work my way down 7th Avenue, looking for the debris of the night before.   I spot a few crushed New Year's hats, tattered and torn by countless feet stomping on them.   There's an Evian water bottle, filled with a yellow liquid that probably came from someone's overloaded bladder who couldn't find a public toilet in time.
      Police barricades are scattered here and there, but only a few.  During the night the trucks have scooped them up, leaving only several behind to remind everyone of the Vigilance that guarded the night.
      There were no Terrorist attacks.  The night was safe.
      Efficiency seems to have swept away all signs of the hysteria of ringing in 2004.   Usually, the center of Times Square appears to be a war zone, a scarred battlefield of wild revelry.
       This year, the streets were clean.  The signs of battle washed away.   Only a few sparse squares of confetti could be found, mostly stuck to the wet street.  

The City of New York was ready for 2004

      I realized that Vigilance of the streets can rid the world of waste.   The city of New York was ready for a new year.   Its cleaners had scrubbed and polished the arteries, and left the Crossroads of the World sparkling for the millions who will pour to its center over the coming year.
       I was reminded that one day we will all look back on the Battlefields of Terrorism and see clean roads, free of the blood of battle.  
       And, as with Times Square, it will be clean because the Sentinels of Vigilance, like the street sweepers and street cleaners, will stand on guard to rid the city of any garbage, to put it in the trash and haul it away before it can mass into a Beast of Terror.
       Enjoy the pictures below...representing my journey this morning.   And, if you haven't read President Bush's New Year's Address, go to it now: Dec. 31--President Bush's New Year's Speech    



My New Year's Day journey through Central Park down to Times Square


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Dec. 31--President Bush's New Year's Speech