We're almost there people! After a year of waiting it is almost time for the ball to drop, 2012 to end and 2013 to begin. But if you are planning on going out and celebrating another year past, there are things you really ought to keep in mind. Like the subway service changes and street closures to expect as well as basic rules for those silly people crazy enough to brave the hordes of humanity in Times Square.

We've already reviewed the subway and street closure situation (basically, Times Square access is being cut off as the day goes on) but there are other important things to remember:

  • BUNDLE UP. It is expected to be near freezing tonight with a slight chance of rain/flurries.

  • DO NOT bring a backpack or a large bag, they are not allowed.
  • DO NOT bring booze to Times Square, it is banned.

  • And if you are bringing either big bags or booze, don't expect to leave them at the many security checkpoints—you won't be allowed to.

Also: don't think you can stake out a spot and then have your buddy save it. If you leave a "viewing area" before the ball drops you will not be able to return. Also, and this should go without saying, be mindful of your personal belongings—NYC may be a safe city now but pickpockets love a holiday.

On the plus side? Once the ball does drop things should return to normal fast. Access to Times Square subway stations should resume by 12:15 a.m. And if you are coming into town to ring the new year don't worry: Both Metro-North and New Jersey Transit have extra holiday trains (and, in the case of NJT, buses) ready to take you home and into the new year.

Be safe out there everybody and have a happy and safe new year!