NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City welcomed 2014 with a crowd of over a million in Times Square early Wednesday morning – and a new mayor and administration starting a new page in city history.
In Times Square, over a million people turned out for the annual ball drop, which is also expected to be watched by over a billion people worldwide.
The entertainment lineup for the night included Miley Cyrus, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Blondie, Icona Pop, Jencarlos Canela, El Dasa and Rodney Atkins, and Melissa Etheridge – who was performing her new song, “Uprising of Love,” and a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
It was in the mid-20s Wednesday night, and with the stiff wind, it felt like the feet-tingling teens. But the spirit in Times Square was warm and friendly. And revelers came all over the world to stand in the same spot for hours in the cold – just to experience the moment in time.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Bronx native, led the final 60-second countdown and push the ceremonial button to signal the descent of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball.
Neither departing Mayor Michael Bloomberg nor newly sworn-in Mayor Bill de Blasio was present for the ceremony. Bloomberg celebrated in private with family and friends, while de Blasio was busy at a ceremony outside his home in Brooklyn taking the oath of office.
De Blasio was joined by his wife and their two teenage children for the ceremony, which was officiated by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“I want to say to all of you how grateful we are. From the beginning, this has been our family together, reaching out to the people of this city to make the change that we all needed,” de Blasio said. “I want to thank you for bringing us together for this moment.”
The mayor will be sworn in again during at a City Hall ceremony at noon Wednesday by former President Bill Clinton.
The start of de Blasio’s term in office begins a new era for the city, after a dozen years with Bloomberg at the helm. As Bloomberg looked back on his three terms Tuesday afternoon, he expressed hope for the future.
“Most of us are going to live in this city for the rest of our lives, and hopefully, they will do a better job than we did, because that’s what we really want. We want to have a great city for everyone. And I think it’s also fair to say that we’ve shown this country and the world that you have a great city that includes everyone, that gives opportunity to everybody – lets them practice their religion, and say what they want to say, and love whoever they want to love.”
Also taking over the helm Wednesday was returning police Commissioner William Bratton, who was to be sworn in at a private ceremony at NYPD Headquarters in Lower Manhattan.
Bratton also ran the NYPD from 1994 to 1996, when he worked for Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Their tactics are largely credited with beginning a sharp decrease in the city’s crime rate.
In returning to the post Bratton replaced Commissioner Ray Kelly – for the second time. Exactly 20 years ago, Bratton also succeeded Kelly, who served his first stint as NYPD commissioner under Mayor David Dinkins from 1992 through 1993.
The city closed out 2013 with the lowest murder rate in 50 years of record-keeping.
And the New York Post editorial declared that Bloomberg “surprised us” by continuing declines in crime under way in the 90s and continuing growth from the dark days after 9/11.
The editorial ends with the Post thanking Bloomberg and saying he “did New York proud.”
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