If we're to believe Hollywood, then this New Year's Eve in Times Square is going to be simply magical. But you won't find Jon Bon Jovi or that girl from Glee in the spotlight, instead, the lights will be shining on Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. That's right, this year organizers were like "How can we make Times Square MORE of a clusterfuck this New Year's Eve?" And then they booked two of the biggest pop stars, with two of the most rabid fanbases in the universe. Should you choose to be a part of this moment in time, here's what you can expect:
- PUBLIC TRANSIT: Streets will be closed off in Midtown, preventing cabs and buses from accessing certain areas. On top of that, certain subway entrances and exits will be closed between 7 p.m. and midnight. Don't expect to be able to exit the Times Square-42nd Street station between 10 p.m. and midnight (unless you walk to 8th Avenue). After the ball drop, subway lines around Times Square will have trains running every 8 to 12 minutes until around 3 a.m., and the 42nd Street shuttle will be running.
- MILD WEATHER: One million revelers are expected... though probably more due to the nice weather (sunny with a high of 50). It's expected to be around 41 when the ball drops.
- YOUR NEW BEST FRIENDS: Seriously huge crowds. President of the Times Square Alliance, Tim Tompkins, told the NY Post huge crowds are also expected because, “Ten years after 9/11, New York has more than regained its swagger, with crime down, tourism up and people feeling good about the city’s trajectory." Expect to grow to love or hate the people standing next to you.
- SHINY THINGS: 32,000 lights on the Waterford Crystal ball, which you can gaze at as the dude next to you pukes on your shoes. There will also be a bright "2012," and you can check out some video of the numeral 2 making its entrance into Times Square right here.
- COLORFUL THINGS: 16 million pieces of confetti, including wishes from the Wishing Wall (you can still submit one online before 5 p.m. today).
- THE MAN: Thousands of police officers, including more than 1,500 rookies who are probably just itching to use that pepper spray.
- THIS: A Mayor Bloomberg and Lady Gaga photo-op, as the two hit the button that drops the ball at 11:59 p.m. We hope she dresses as Staten Island Chuck.
- CELEBRATORY GUNFIRE?: Police commissioner Ray Kelly says that all over the city, “We’re also concerned about a phenomenon we’ve seen quite frankly in previous years, celebratory gunfire. We urge people not to do that. The bullets come down and hit people. We’ve seen that happen in years go by.’’
Here's a schedule of events to keep on hand, and a handy FAQ, which will tell you things like you can't bring alcohol. Or you can just stay home and look at these photos of the 2012 ball drop that happened in March.