Hammered against the computer screen, shredding photos of ex-partners or tearing papers with the name of Donald Trump, dozens of New Yorkers and visitors said goodbye to the worst memories of this year before the watchful eye of the screens of the central square of Times Square.
“My name is Luke, I live in New York, and today I’m going to tear up the past: false friends, toxic people … Out,” explained one of the participants in the twelfth edition of Good Riddance Day (Hasta la vista! ), who did not want to lose the opportunity to leave behind, in a symbolic way, the worst of this year.
The heavy rain in the Big Apple did not prevent dozens of people from getting rid of the bad vestiges of this year.
“My work, time goes by very quickly!”, “Plastic in the oceans”, “bitterness and repentance” were some of the posters that the participants deposited in the garbage can.
The inspiration for this event comes from a Latin American tradition where, to celebrate the New Year, the revelers fill dolls with symbols of the bad vestiges of the year before setting them on fire.
Instead of pyrotechnic shows, a truck from the Shred-It document-destruction company took it upon itself to tear up the bad times of 2018 to make a new start in 2019.
It is the case of one of the participants, she threw photos of her ex-boyfriend to the shredder. Another wanted to end the continuous questioning itself. Another simply wanted the closure of the pharmacy chain Rite Aid: “Forget them!”.
The event was the winner of a contest organized by the company, in which various judges chose who deserved to break with their past and start 2019 with a better foot.
The winner was Carmen Payton, from Norfolk, Virginia, who destroyed thirty years of mortgage payments to symbolize “getting rid of debts in the New Year.”
People not only got rid of insecurities or their day-to-day problems, but some of their messages also contained a heavy political load.
“I want to tell Donald Trump, Pence and the rest of the band,” said a message signed by Betsy from New York, which was accompanied by others who wanted to end this year’s “hatred and bigotry” or sexual harassment
However, Times Square also became a meeting point for all those who wanted to share their good omens for the year that starts in less than a week.
The Wall of Wishes collects hundreds of small colorful notes from New Yorkers and visitors with their requests for 2019: personal goals, dreams or longings.
“I want to be happy”, “Peace on Earth”, “That my family is well” are some of the prayers hung with thumbtacks on the wall.
The aim is that all the messages collected until today become part of the tons of confetti that will be sprinkled on all attendees at the New Year celebrations in the mythical New York plaza.
These good wishes will be shared with the million people who will meet in this neuralgic point of New York and the billions of inhabitants of the rest of the world who will see it retransmitted to contemplate the descent of the famous ball of 2,600 crystals and thus give the Welcome to the year 2019.