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New Year City
Drawing - Mixed Medium
This picture represents New Years Eve in New York City.
The Times Square Ball is a time ball located atop the One Times Square building in New York City, primarily utilized as part of New Year's Eve celebrations held in Times Square. Yearly at 11:59 p.m. EST on December 31, the ball is lowered 141 feet (43 m) down a specially designed flagpole, resting at midnight to signal the start of the new year. The first ball drop in Times Square took place on December 31, 1907, and has been held annually since (except in 1942 and 1943 in observance of wartime blackouts). The ball's design has also been updated over the years to reflect new advances in technologies—its original design utilized 100 incandescent light bulbs, iron, and wood in its construction, while its current incarnation features a computerized LED lighting system and an outer surface consisting of triangle-shaped crystal panels. As of 2009, the ball is also displayed atop One Times Square year-round and is removed only for general maintenance.
The Times Square ball drop is one of the best-known New Year's celebrations internationally, attended by at least one million spectators yearly, with an estimated global audience of at least 1 billion. The prevalence of the Times Square ball drop has also inspired other similar "drops" held locally in other cities and towns across the United States.The first New Year's Eve celebration in what is now known as Times Square was held on New Year's Eve 1904. The New York Times newspaper had opened their new headquarters at One Times Square (at the time, the city's second tallest building) in Longacre Square and persuaded the city to rename the triangular "square" surrounding it for their newspaper (which the city later did on April 8, 1904). The newspaper's owner, Adolph Ochs, decided to celebrate the opening of the company's new headquarters with a midnight fireworks show on the roof of the building on December 31, 1903. Close to 200,000 people attended the event, displacing traditional celebrations that had normally been held at Trinity Church. However, Ochs wanted a bigger spectacle at the building to draw more attention to the newly-named Times Square. After four years of New Year's Eve fireworks celebrations, Ochs hired sign designer Artkraft Strauss to construct an electrically lit time ball that would be lowered from the flagpole on the roof of One Times Square. It was constructed with iron and wood, lit with one hundred 25-watt bulbs, weighed 700 pounds (320 kg), and measured 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter. It was first lowered on New Year's Eve 1908 (December 31, 1907). It originally dropped one second after midnight. Though the Times would later move its headquarters to a larger building at 229 West 43rd Street, the New Year's Eve celebration at One Times Square remains to this day.
The original Ball was scrapped and replaced in 1920. The second ball remained 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter and was constructed of iron, weighing 400 pounds (180 kg). During World War II, the descent of the second ball was discontinued for New Year's Eve 1942 and 1943 due to wartime lighting restrictions in case of an enemy attack. Celebrants instead observed a moment of silence at midnight, followed by the sound of chimes that were played on speakers throughout Times Square. The second ball was scrapped and replaced by a third ball in 1955 made of aluminum, weighing 150 pounds (68 kg), and remained 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter. From 1981 to 1989, the third ball was decorated in honor of the I Love New York campaign, with red bulbs and a green stem to give it the appearance of an apple. The original white bulbs returned in 1989, but were replaced in 1991 with red, white, and blue bulbs to salute the troops of Operation Desert Shield. The third ball was revamped again in 1995 for New Year's Eve 1996, adding rhinestones and a computerized lighting system featuring strobe lights. For 1996, the ball's lowering also became computer-controlled using an electric winch. During the first drop with the new winch, however, a glitch occurred during which caused the ball to accidentally stop halfway down for a moment. Following its final use for 1999, the third ball was placed on display at the Atlanta headquarters of Jamestown Group, owners of One Times Square. n entirely new fourth ball was constructed for the arrival of the new millennium. Weighing 1,070 pounds (490 kg) and measuring 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter, the fourth ball was covered with 504 crystal triangles produced by Waterford Crystal, illuminated externally with 168 halogen light bulbs, and internally with 432 light bulbs of clear, red, blue, green and yellow colors along with strobe lights and spinning mirrors. Many of the triangles were inscribed with messages of a certain theme changing yearly, such as "Hope for Fellowship", "Hope for Wisdom", "Hope for Unity", "Hope for Courage", "Hope for Healing", and "Hope for Abundance". In 2001, the ball's crystals were engraved with the names of organizations who assisted during the September 11 attacks and the nations who were affected by the event. On December 31, 2006 for New Year's Eve 2007, the fourth ball, which was newly rigged with light-emitting diodes by Lighting Science Corporation was dropped for the last time. A duplicate of the fourth ball, also made in 1999, has remained on permanent display at the Waterford Crystal Factory in Ireland.
In honor of the Ball Drop's centennial anniversary, a brand new fifth design debuted for New Year's Eve 2008. Once again manufactured by Waterford Crystal with a diameter of 6 feet (1.8 m), but weighing 1,212 pounds (550 kg), it used LED lighting provided by Philips (which can produce over 16.7 million colors) with computerized lighting patterns developed by the New York City-based lighting firm Focus Lighting. The ball featured 9,567 energy-efficient bulbs that consume the same amount of electricity as only 10 toasters. The 2008 ball was only used once—a new ball introduced for 2009 maintained a similar design, but was re-built to be double its previous size. The updated ball is an icosahedral geodesic sphere, 12 feet (3.7 m) in diameter with a weight of 11,875 pounds (5,386 kg). It was also designed to be more weatherproof, as the new ball would now also be displayed One Times Square year-round.Following the 2008 event, the previous ball was placed on display at the Times Square Visitors Center
Since the 2005-06 edition of the event, the drop has been preceded by the playing of John Lennon's song "Imagine". For 2011, the song began to be performed live; first by Taio Cruz, in 2012 by Cee Lo Green and in 2013 by Train. Cee Lo Green's performance, however, was criticized by fans for his change of a lyric relating to religion.
February 24th, 2013
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