They came from Peru, Argentina, Germany, Dubai, Nigeria, Mexico, and Japan; Ohio, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Connecticut, and probably dozens of other distant lands, to sit on the street for 10, 12, 14 hours in order to see the hyped Times Square New Year's Ball drop at midnight. There will be a million of them there by the time the New Year gets rung in.
It is worth it? Obviously, no. But equally obvious after spending about an hour in the pits this morning was that even the most miserable of attendees (and there were plenty of those), were determined to stick it out. Most striking to me about the celebration's earliest arrivals was the complete lack of preparation by many of these people.
For example, lots of folks didn't bring any food or beverages with them—they'll be in there for two or three meals worth of time!—and not an insignificant number of would-be revelers hadn't even worn a coat. Sure, the 40s is warm for New Years Eve generally, until you have to stand outside for nearly a dozen hours in just a sweatshirt.
At the other extreme of readiness were the people who showed up with chairs and backpacks filled with picnics and booze, only to have to dump it all at the entrance. Oh well, at least they'll have something to Instagram at midnight?