Christmas and New Year's Eve

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a nice Christmas and New Year's Eve. Since I stayed in the US for Christmas we had something like an international Christmas party with people from China, Denmark, Germany, Turkey and the US. The improvised version of German "Bratäpfel" (baked apples with raisins and marzipan) worked out and afterwards we played "wichteln" (similar to "secret Santa") which was lots of fun as well.

Times Square on the 30th Dec.

For New Year's Eve I went to New York, but I didn't stand at the Times Square for the famous Ball Drop because it was just too crowded. However, we had a great view on the NY sky line from the Central park - there was a huge public party without security checks and nobody threw any firework at somebody else or the like. (There wasn't even a lot of alcohol around! Indeed, there are some rules about drinking alcohol in public, e.g. you can drink but you have to cover the bottle.) Looking at the skyline was nice, but it didn't change at all after midnight since there were no fireworks near the sky scrapers. So we just turned around and saw a really long and well planned firework in Central Park. (At first, we thought we had a super good point to watch the firework, but for some reason not many people chose the same point, which was a clear clue that there was not going to happen anything concerning fireworks in downtown...)

At the very second the fireworks stopped everybody rushed to leave the Central Park and the Times Square so the public transport system was a bit crowded as well, but everybody got in! The city's cleaning machines were immediately starting to eliminate all traces from the party and NY looked the very same in the morning as the day before.