Financial Focus: A Free Times Square Party for New Yorkers? No, Thanks!

Anthony RivieccioFinancial Focus: A Free Times Square Party for New Yorkers?   No, Thank you!

by Anthony Rivieccio, MBA

Since its inception in 1904 — attracting some 200,000 people in porkpie hats and “breeches” — New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square has transformed into a million-dollar affair replete with a 12-foot geodesic sphere powered by 672 LED modules.

NYE_Times Square_Geodesic BallPerhaps, the world-famous countdown, Ball Drop at midnight, revelry, star-studded musical performances, a colorful pyrotechnic display and about a million strangers will entice you into journeying to Times Square.

New Year’s Eve in Times Square includes free hats and balloons, tons of confetti, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, featuring Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Melissa Etheridge, and Miley Cyrus.

For tourists and the casual visitor to NYC, this might seem like a pretty good deal, especially since it’s for free. That casual visitor would be, in my opinion, all wet. Literally.

Native New Yorkers know there are just too many problems involving New Year’s Eve in Times Square to justify FREE admission!

* The good spots will be taken by the early afternoon. You probably won’t be able to see the ball drop even if you waited 12 hours in a good viewing position.

* The not-so-good spots will be an exercise in irritation, as the only entry points are on 6th and 8th Avenues.

* Everything else will on lockdown by heavily armed police officers in body armor. Cops will be everywhere.

* There are no public restrooms.

* Any alcohol you have will be confiscated by the NYPD, who will likely write you a $25 ticket.

* predicts it will be rainy and 28 degrees Fahrenheit by midnight, which isn’t so bad. But every inch of Times Square will be covered in muddy sludge and wet salt, if the rain turns to snow.

* Want to avoid the long wait in the cold and rain? There’s always the option of going to a party hosted by a local restaurant … like Applebee’s, which is charging $375 a person, or TGI Friday’s, which offers a lower $99 entry. Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar is offering party packages and the chance to eat for $55-$795 (and where you won’t be able to see the ball drop).

*Good luck getting a subway ride home. The packed subway cars will be awful.

There’s a reason people who actually live in New York avoid Times Square like the plague. New Year’s Eve in Times Square stinks. While you’re waiting 12 hours to see the 2016 ball drop, you’ll be harassed for spare change, pay $12 for a Coke, and forced to deal with out-of-town jerks.

Like most savvy native New Yorkers, I’ll be drinking champagne with friends and watching the ball drop on television. Or using your laptop to visit the Official Times Square New Year’s Eve 2016 Webcast,

The Price: priceless!

Anthony Rivieccio is the founder & the CEO of The Financial Advisors Group, celebrating their 18th year as a fee only financial planning firm specializing in solving one’s financial problems. Anthony, a recognized financial expert since 1986, has been featured by many national and local media including: Klipingers Personal Finance, The New York Post, News12 The Bronx, Bloomberg News Radio, Bronxnet Channel 67 TV, The Norwood News, The West Side Manhattan Gazette, Labor Press Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, WINS 1010 Radio, The Bronx News and The Bronx Chronicle.

For financial inquiries, assistance or a FREE COPY of a 2015 Income Tax Guide, Anthony can be reached at (347) 575-5045 or

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