It took years of planning and six full years of construction, but New York City’s Times Square finally received its crowning achievement on New Year’s Eve — a sparkling new ball, and a whole lot of revelers enjoying all the festivities for free. New York also got another bonus — a planned measles campaign that claimed the lives of at least one child and sickened 50 others. A closely watched city health commissioner said that the city was working with state health officials in an attempt to limit the number of infectious cases related to the cluster.
That story was overshadowed by an incident that occurred a day after the ball drop. A cameraman at a crowded Times Square bar was shot dead by a young woman who then turned the gun on herself. No charges have been filed. The cameraman was filming a bar fight when she pulled out a gun and shot him in the head. She then turned the gun on herself.
And then there was the smaller disaster to share with the rest of the world. A previous Times Square New Year’s Eve party called Tunnel to Towers had raised funds for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. However, following the terrorist attacks in the wake of 9/11, the doors of the tunnel that led to the event were sealed for several years. This year, firefighters stepped in to raise funds for the organization.
At the time of the bombings in Brussels, the stairwells leading into the tunnel were decorated with American flags and all partygoers at the Tunnel to Towers party were required to wear a red-white-and-blue hat. Several crowds gathered at the event, which is now canceled, hoping to raise money for the fire department. No cause has been announced.
During the day on NYE, there was also a rumor floating around Times Square that one of the condom dispensers was leaking. The rumor was soon debunked, but a new rumor took over at the exact same time. This one was that large crowds of children had shown up to the event with asthma attacks.
The kids at our @tunneltotowers party have brought their asthma attacks to #NYE! They’re all watching us. We’ve called 9-1-1. — Times Square Alliance (@TimesSquareNYC) December 31, 2015
According to experts, the gas factor behind the appearance of young people in Times Square suffering from asthma is that the cold weather, which was caused by the Polar Vortex, was strong. However, the city may still be on the hook for treating hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children with antibiotics and steroid treatments.
Other issues arose on New Year’s Eve, including a resident at the president’s limousine pool who was arrested for trespassing. There was also a squabble between Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump over a seat at the ball drop. Mr. Bloomberg lost.
Meanwhile, an expert trying to squash rumors on Twitter and prove that nothing was going on in the place was bracing himself for a fight and someone getting a concussion.