If you enjoy ringing in the new and ringing out the old in a state of frozen anticipation, Times Square will certainly be the place for you tonight. High winds approaching 50-mph and temperatures dropping to 20 degrees by midnight are predicted at this year’s famous get-together. For added fun, a wintry mingling of sleet and snow are expected to envelop the scene in an ice-speckled, glittery glaze. The wind chill will make it feel like -4 degrees…which is quite moderate, if you’re a polar bear.

In spite of this, the crowds (as adventurous as always) will brave the elements and pack Times Square tonight for the annual festivities. Alcohol (of all things) is once again forbidden, but the usual lot of resourceful souls will manage to transport their inebriating brews to the event. The NYPD‘s inevitable terrorist watch will once again be on “heightened alert” and time-and-a-half to ward off any party crashers. (Terrorists planning to crash a plane or detonate a nuclear noisemaker will have to go elsewhere to celebrate.)  And once again the usual tons of confetti and thousand of balloons will (along with the expected snow/ sleet) rain on and throughout the joyous spectacle as hugs and kisses are exchanged.

As always on New Year’s Eve, my wife and I will be snugly and warmly concealed within our Park Slope, Brooklyn brownstone; the last antiquated ruin on the left of conservatism. We’ll leave the public merrymaking (as well as the New Year’s resolutions) to other, more vigorous and optimistic, souls. I do confess, however, that when, on our flat screen, we observe the thrills and romance in Time Square’s setting of a dying/ newly-born year we become one with the crowds and share in their optimism…if only until the champagne wears off and we read the latest news headlines.