December 31st, 2010
07:30 PM ET

Times Square: Life in the Pen

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/31/art.chavezromero.jpg caption="Victoria Chavez and Manuel Romero have come from New Mexico to New York City to experience the arrival of 2011 in Times Square."]
Jim Spellman
CNN All Platform Journalist

Times Square, New York (CNN) - Arriving early for the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square is not for the faint at heart. Those who dare show in the morning will doubtlessly have fun but once they enter the fenced-in viewing areas what they won’t have is any way to keep warm, anything to eat and, perhaps, worst of all, no bathrooms.

“My feet hurt, my toes hurt, I’m hungry and I need to use the bathroom” says Victoria Chavez.

She came all the way to New York from Albuquerque, New Mexico with her boyfriend Manuel Romero who shares Victoria’s complaints as they await the arrival of midnight.

They still have five hours to go before the ball drops, but they don’t regret coming.

“How many people get to come to the biggest party in the world?” Romero says, “It’s well worth it, the chance of a lifetime”

Chavez has been passing the time on Facebook, posting pictures and status updates.

“Been here hours n counting! no restroom food chairs... just the crowds and the coldness!!,” she posted in the early evening.

Some of her online friends are dubious about their early arrival

“Dang girl that must suck dnt drink too much! Ur pics are so cool n exciting,” one of her Facebook friends posted.

But Chavez isn’t worried. “We’re sharing the moment with them, good and bad. We’re going with the flow,” she said.

Some people have found a way to take advantage of the situation. Akm Alam sells Domino’s Pizza. He runs a constant loop from the pizza shop a few blocks from Times Square, where he picks up all the pizzas he can carry, then returns to Times Square and sells them for 20 bucks a pie. So far he says he has sold 300 - and there are still hours to go before his captive audience makes their way home.

“It’s my first time. I love it, the money is good” he says, before darting off for more pizzas.

Bruno and Gloria Emmenegger have traveled all the way from Moscow, Russia for the big party.

“So far, so good. This is the longest we have ever waited for anything,” Bruno says.

They came prepared. From his jacket he pulls out an aluminum foil-wrapped foot-long submarine sandwich. (Turkey with cheese.) From another pocket comes a plastic tub of fruit and some cookies. What they purposely didn’t bring was anything to drink.

“That is the idea, if we drink nothing all day we won’t need to go to the bathroom,” he says, with the satisfied look of a man with a plan.

Filed under: Jim Spellman • New Year's Eve 2011
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Gail-Word Up

    Wish I could be home now but health issues will not allow. May we look back on our history and realize how we have become lazy in math, science, world history as well as knowing our own history which has brought us under. We are to blame.

    December 31, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
  2. Gail-Word Up

    Done with my gig and ready for you. This year was hard but we made it. positive thinking is the key. Sorry, drunk a lot of wine but... may this year be full of positive state of mind, unity, forgiveness,love and light where ever we may find it. Be blessed...all year long. So be it.

    December 31, 2010 at 9:55 pm |