let there be

Times Square ball

Colour, it seems. On the new New Year’s Eve Ball in Times Square.

This is the hundredth anniversary of the ball of light that is dropped at midnight in Times Square in New York. Although nothing in all the world could induce me to stand in Times Square amidst all those people, as a New Englander, this is still my iconic image of New Year.

In my mind’s eye, that ball is always white. It is simple. It is the same year after year after wonderful year. It is the ball I first saw, when I was 4 and my parents went out and I was allowed to stay up with grandma till the ball dropped. It is the ball that accompanied the excitement of Welch’s sparkling grape juice — guaranteed to ruin every party dress, carpet and bit of furniture it comes in contact with — placed trustingly in little hands in front of the television. It is as it should be.

So I had mixed feelings when I heard the news of this new ball, made of elaborate Waterford crystal and thousands of LED lights. It seems all wrong for the visual field of New Year to be filled with endlessly changing coloured triangles instead of stubbornly light-bulb shaped bits of white light. (And let us forget completely the mid-80s horror of the ‘I Love New York’ apple.)

But on the other hand, what could be more wonderful than a crystalline geometric shape that pulses with light, and runs through every imaginable combination of colour and pattern?

It’s a hard call. I wonder if I will get up at 5 am to see for myself. In the mean time, you can see the promotional video for the new ball here.

2 thoughts on “let there be”

  1. my first reaction was the same as yours – ‘they can’t change the ball!!’ but i have to say, the new one is very impressive. i barely made it to midnight our time; there’s no way i could have stayed up until 5 (or dragged myself out of bed at 5), though i would have loved to have seen the ball in action. did you manage?
    happy new year to you!

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