Happy New Year


Peter McManus’, Chelsea, shortly after midnight

We’d been warned that Times Square could be hit with a “Mumbai-style attack” on New Year’s Eve, so only about a million people showed up. (The celebration in Aspen, Colorado didn’t fare so well, but they sure had fun in New Orleans.)

On TV Kathy Griffin did not, as we keep hoping, out Anderson Cooper, but she did swear. The Times Square revelers left about 40 tons of trash for sanitation workers to clean up, for which they were congratulated this morning by Mayor Bloomberg.

About a thousand Brooklynites rang in the new at Gr  and Army Plaza, entertained by Borough President Marty Markowitz and his champagne, fireworks, and a “James Brown impersonator.”

Some folks were overeager to get to their New Year’s parties. A driver parked his bus, equipped for handicapped adults, in Brownsville last night and split, leaving a handicapped adult strapped in his seat, from which he was rescued today.

Some parties ended better than others. Metro-North passengers taking the milk train back toward New Haven got stuck between stations for two and a half hours and were rescued around 6:25 a.m. A man was shot in the wee hours outside a bar in Corona, then walked two miles to Elmhurst Hospital to have his wounds tended. Police reported the victim “uncooperative” in the early hours of his admittance, and planned to speak to him about the incident today.

This afternoon the Coney Island Polar Bear Club took their traditional dip in the frigid Atlantic. A few of them may have warmed up at Ruby’s Bar on the Boardwalk, which though imperilled by developers planned to open up for a post-swim fete.

Two babies in Queens vied for the title of first newborn of 2009. Grace Pak seems to have outpaced Zenia Hussain by a minute, and so far there has been no challenge made nor special commission appointed.