A relatively barren Times Square was the surreal setting for New Year's Eve celebrations Thursday into Friday.
With the public prohibited from celebrating in the "Crossroads of the World" due to the pandemic, the festivities were focused on making sure the broadcasts—for television, the Internet, and a new app—brought "Auld Lang Syne" to people's homes, with performances from Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Gaynor, and plenty of confetti.
The only people allowed within 41st to 49th streets, between 6th and 8th avenues, were a combination of police officers; performers and production crew; Times Square New Year's eve organizers; 40 "Everyday Heroes"—essential workers—and their guests (they were tested and got to watch from socially distanced pens); and journalists. There were also many of those "tube men" inflatable figures from sponsor Planet Fitness.
Those trying to sneak a peek at the revelry could only stand at the perimeter of the barricaded area, looking across empty blocks towards One Times Square where the New Year's Eve ball made its descent during the final seconds of 2020.
"When midnight struck, it was just silence," photographer Gretchen Robinette told us. "And police standing around taking pics of the confetti."
Here's what Times Square looked like last night:
Organizers hope that by December 31st, 2021 crowds will be able to celebrate in Times Square.