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.
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
Go to Part V
January 1, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 841
Times Square 2004: The Morning
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
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
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
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
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:
Bush's New Year's Speech
Bush's New Year's Speech