It was New Year’s Eve (2014). There were no special plans made until my husband suggested, would you like to be at Times Square when the ball drops? My reaction was, “ummm, I am not sure.” Let me explain. It was minus outside and there was snow everywhere. Being outside for a couple of hours with no shelter and waiting till midnight for the year to be in the future was not exactly my cup of coffee.
I also have the severe case of frostbite in my fingers in spite of wearing layers of gloves. I looked it online and it is health condition that has no fix except move to a warmer weather. Oh boy!
He suggested it again except this time he said we can stay at a hotel close to Times Square. It got my attention although I was not convinced totally. At 4PM, a last chance was offered and I caved in (Duh!).
NYC is one train station away from Jersey City, so we hopped on to PATH, the transit system here and off we go to NYC. It was freezing and I kept wondering why I agreed to this? It was 7PM and we are walking from the train station to our hotel, the Algonquin. At that time I was clueless about this place. It was just a hotel to me, little did I know about its heritage and wait for it … cat history!
To quote the great Wiki:
“The Algonquin Hotel is a historic hotel located at 59 West 44th Street in Manhattan (New York, New York). The hotel has been designated as a New York City Historic Landmark.”
The hotel is known for the literary figures who were regulars there and a cat that has a permanent place in the reception. I did not realize it until I hear the meow while I was talking to the doorman. I look up and there is this darling cat, I was ecstatic!
I learned that the cat clan has a heritage with a total of 10 cats that have graced the front desk over the few years. All the male cats are named Hamlet and the females are named Matilda. The current cat is a Matilda and is deemed the most important resident.
She was friendly, calm and has a royal aura. Always perched in the cat house, I did not get a chance to pet her. At 5 feet 2 inches, there ain’t much I can do to reach her. None the less, I tiptoed as much I could to reach her and she was nice enough to bob her head out and let me pet her for a few seconds. A true celebrity in Manhattan!
Outside my room door and along the passageway were cat related quotes and sayings that were framed as decor. This place is truly a cat haven…
Back to the ball drop, it was biting cold as I expected. I had gone to Rockefeller Center and there was a skating rink. All that ice plus me ain’t a good combo, I froze and thawed too many times. We walked around and around the streets of NYC trying to figure the right way to enter the Times Square zone since most streets were closed off and manned by policemen.
Finally we to the zone and the roads is bursting with people every nook and corner. So many selfies (others), funny hats, and what not later, the ball actually drops but we don’t get to actually see it because we landed up in the outermost zone of Times Square 😀
If one wants to be near the ball drop, you have to try to get into an event that is happening near it. If you wanna be at Times Square in a general happy go lucky way like we did, you ain’t getting anywhere near it.
Well, the whole adventure was over. We still got to experience the frenzy of the people who gathered at TS, and all the shenanigans that go with it.
While it was a great experience, all I wanted to do is get into a toaster and act like I am bread. Back into the hotel, I snuggled deep into the sheets, feeling warm, nice and cuddled, much like the cat at the reception. So I did not get to see the ball drop but I sure did not expect the paw surprise. You lose some, you gain some.
P.S. I know this way overdue, better now than never 😀