In the symbolic heart of New York City, the remnants of a past New Year's Eve celebration decorate the street. Celebrated in Times Square since 1904, New Year's Eve is marked first with exploding fireworks, then with the famous "dropping of the ball" starting 10 seconds before midnight.
Positioned at the top of a flag pole at One Times Square, the original ball was 700 pounds (318 kilograms) of iron, wood, and 100 25-watt light bulbs. After several reincarnations, today the ball is a 6-foot (2-meter) geodesic sphere, weighing 1,070 pounds (485 kilograms), covered with 504 Waterford crystal triangles, and illuminated by 432 light bulbs and 96 high intensity strobes.
(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Broadway: Street of Dreams," September 1990, National Geographic magazine)