California Time: When to Celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Left Coast

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge
Is it 2018 yet? Photo: sehenswerk/123RF

So it is New Year’s Eve, and my wife and I are in a California resort, along with my daughter, her husband, my granddaughter and grandson, now teenagers, and we are watching TV.

We have had a long, exhausting time visiting family both here in San Francisco and off in L.A., and we’ve decided, on this day, not to stay up until midnight, but just to 9 p.m. to watch the ball drop at Times Square, just like we do when we are at home.

We turn the TV on to ABC at 8:45 p.m. in anticipation of this. After that, it will be either a movie or off to bed. We’ve rented three rooms.

There are Jenny McCarthy and Ryan Seacrest, all bundled up in the freezing cold weather atop the ABC platform in Times Square. She gives him a kiss. Tells him that there are a hundred thousand people here, standing around, waiting for the ball to drop. What a scene it is.

“Do you believe it?” Jenny asks. “What a night. Out with the old, in with the new. Later on, we will hear from Maria Carey, but first we have to take a break.” This cuts to commercials. Take a break? It’s 15 minutes to midnight.

We try CNN and there are Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen. They also are taking a commercial break. We try Fox, and there are comedian Steve Harvey and Andra Day hosting. “We’ll be right back with the Zac Brown Band, Flo Rida and More,” says Harvey.

We try another channel. Now we notice the countdown on the screen. It says there’s three hours and nine minutes until the ball drops. It is just before midnight in Times Square. We are watching it on time delay.

What kind of tinker-toy outfit is this California? I’ve always said New York is hip and California is behind the times. Here’s proof. The ball has dropped. We’re going off to our separate rooms and it’s still three hours to go here in California. California pretends it’s still 2017. So we missed it. Right?

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