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Polish-style New Years

1 January, 2012

A few days ago, The Husband mentioned that spending New Year’s Eve at nearby Plac Konstytucji was the thing to do for the holiday while in Warsaw.

Earlier in the week while on the tram, I had seen a parking lot being taken over by a large band shell, and I was excited to go check this out and see how NYE was celebrated in Poland.

At 2300, we hit the streets and walked the few blocks to the Plaza.  Our first two attempts to gain access to the Plaza were met with chainlink fences and members of the policja.

Encountering these roadblocks reminded me of New Year’s Eve 2009.  On 30 December, 2009, The Husband and I decided to throw the cats in the car and drive, from Chicago, to Manhattan, so we could experience New Year’s Eve in Times Square, and also surprise some friends of ours who happened to be visiting New York at the same time.  We found a great deal on a hotel room, and ended up having a lovely mini-vacation in the heart of Manhattan.  On New Year’s Eve, we wanted to check out the action at Times Square, but did not want to head out in the morning, secure a spot in the Square, and then wait there.. all.. day.. long.  So instead, we decided to try and get as close to the actual Square as possible without leaving the hotel before 2200 or so.  We criss-crossed the area a few times, and while we were able to catch glimpses of the giant ball being held in the air, we never made it to the actual Square.  At the stroke of midnight, we had given up and were riding back to our hotel on a bicycle rickshaw.  Alicia Keys and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” seemed to be playing from everywhere, and as we made our way back, we were able to see a much wider swath of celebration; I’m glad we failed to take the Square.  Whenever I hear that song, I’m reminded of our NYE in Manhattan.

Maybe I underestimated the craziness that was Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but we did alright with Plac Konstytucji.    After two failed attempts at gaining access, the third street we walked down led us to gates with security personnel who gave a quick pat-down and then allowed us to join the crowds waiting for midnight.

I expected fireworks and freely-flowing alcohol, but I wasn’t expecting the group singalong or the number of families joyfully celebrating the arrival of 2012.  The extra cool part?  One of the panels provided song lyrics for the crowd to sing along with.  The song playing as the New Year began was something else I had not expected – Queen’s “We Are The Champions.”

celebratory fist pumps

Here’s to wishing you fame and fortune and everything that goes with it in 2012!

celebrating NYE in Warsaw's Plac Konstytucji

fireworks & glitter on New Year's Eve

One Comment leave one →
  1. 3 January, 2012 01:13

    Happy New Year, Tracy! It has always been a dream of mine to go to New York for New Year!s Eve, but I hate crowds so it might not be the best idea. I love that you guys just packed up and went!

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