Not being a true New Yorker (I'm originally from Maryland), I still find myself looking up like a common tourist and often being surprised by what I see walking around the city. So last night, I was heading down Broadway and what did I spy on top of One Times Square but the 2009 New Year's Eve ball, still blinking and glowing and making all sorts of beautiful kaleidoscopic patterns, almost three months after all those revellers had gone back to Europe.
At first, I thought it was a sign of the current bad economic times. I wondered if the city had run out of money to remove it and decided it would be cheaper to just leave it there. However, though the city is in dire financial straits and yesterday raised the subway fare by 50 cents, the ball was actually left there on purpose and will now be a permanent attraction for years to come.
Apparently tourists year-round were always asking where it was so the city decided to build a better ball (twice as large as the last one) and leave it there as a permanent attraction...albeit one that is about 25 stories up. I grabbed this picture of it from the Times Square website, which makes it look like a colorful Epcot Center. But it's really much cooler than that in person. Next time you're in the vicinity, look up and see for yourself.