After spending a year in prison, 17 year-old Pedro Hernandez of the Bronx, has been set free. Hernandez was arrested for the shooting of another teenager back in 2015. When he went to trial, instead of taking a plea bargain that would have set him free and allowed him to take advantage of a college scholarship, he maintained his innocence. His bail was set to $250,000 and his trial date pushed back beyond the date he needed to be a free man in order to accept the scholarship, in essence, losing it. Although things looked bleak for him, Hernandez, found a way to become a leader while incarcerated at Rikers Island, mentoring others and completing his studies.
For the first time in 114 years, the Times Square New Years Eve party has been canceled. The famous New Year’s Eve gathering is a major part of the New Year’s Eve celebration with people cramming into Times Square to watch the ball drop to mark the new year. This year, everything about the celebration is changing because of Covid.
New Year’s Eve in Times Square has been canceled.
The in-person celebration with crowds packing into the intersection to watch the ball drop is going virtual. Like the Emmys earlier this month, and countless other events, the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is all virtual. The decision to cancel the in-person part of the Times Square Ball Drop is, well, Covid, of course.
“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. “But this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences – still in development — will take place in Times Square. And because any opportunity to be live in Times Square will be pre-determined and extremely limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be the opportunity to participate virtually wherever you are.”
We still don’t have a lot of details about the virtual aspect of New Year’s Eve, we are all waiting.
According to a statement, the organizers realize that Covid has been the dominating force of 2020. The celebration always includes aspects of the major events from the previous year into the experience. The socially distanced handful of honorees and lack of an audience is a clear representation of the still real Covid crisis.
Some people are really upset about the decision to cancel the celebration.
It is one of those iconic moments so many people dream of doing. It is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for so many. The Times Square Ball Drop is something that most Americans recognize thanks to the dominant role the ball drop played on New Year’s Eve growing up. It is basically tradition to have the NYE party playing on the TV.
New Yorkers are confused about why anyone would want to do that.
New Yorkers avoid Times Square at all costs. It isn’t a convenient or super enjoyable part of town. It is packed with tourists who don’t know where they are going and NYE is about the worst it gets for Times Square. Now, the ball drop is impressive and something so many people consider an iconic moment in the holiday celebration.
“We will miss everyone this year but we will bring our celebration to you, whether you want to turn off and turn away from the bad news of 2020, or turn to the new year with a sense of hope, renewal and resolution, you’ll be able to join us virtually like never before as part of the Times Square 2021 celebration,” Jeff Straus, President of Countdown Entertainment, said in a statement.
But, mainly, people just want 2020 to be over.
This year has been a hard year for so many. People have lost their jobs and their loved ones as the virus runs through the U.S. Covid-19 is still a real threat to people, especially the vulnerable population.
Leave it to Bad Bunny to elevate the art of a virtual concert with his first live performance in this era of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The beloved San Benito performed a concert on the back of a flatbed truck slowly driving through the Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem. The reggaetonero’s set was streamed as part of Uforia’s monthly music series, through which the music outlet, owned by Univision, has lined up concerts to the end of the year. “It was difficult for me to do a concert without an audience. I didn’t want to,” Bad Bunny said during the show, according to Billboard. “But I’m accepting the new reality and I hope people enjoy this. We need it.”
Based upon the hype and reviews, it’s obvious that we the people loved it.
Bad Bunny’s free NYC concert made history as he paraded across the city in a flatbed truck.
Bad Bunny’s moving concert, which started outside Yankee Stadium and at certain points had him literally ducking under traffic light and bridges, was livestreamed on the Uforia app and his own YouTube channel. The hit concert featured songs off his February album YHLQMDLG, including “Si Veo a Tu Mamá,” “La Difícil,” and “Pero Ya No,” among others.
The history-making performance concluded outside Harlem Hospital, where the rapper thanked front-line medical workers for their efforts during the coronavirus quarantine, and performed his song “Yo Perreo Sola.”
“Respect and thanks to those people who have sacrificed their lives in this city,” Bad Bunny told the crowd, per Billboard. “With a lot of faith in God, I sense that good things are coming. I know we are going through very difficult times. I have made thousands of mistakes, but my only mission is to try to be a better person every day.”
The hit concert coincided with the third anniversary of Hurricane Maria.
Bad Bunny’s concert was a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month but it also fell on the third anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Bad Bunny’s home of Puerto Rico. He thanked Latinos for supporting him and offered words of encouragement during the pandemic.
“With a lot of faith in God, I sense that good things are coming,” he added. “I know we are going through very difficult times, but I have hope that people doing things with their heart, spirit, faith and hope, we’re going to move forward.”
Bad Bunny was joined by virtual appearances from reggaeton stars J Balvin, Sech and Mora. The show was produced by Univision’s Uforia, the radio broadcasting and music events division of the company.
“We are extremely excited to celebrate the richness of Latinx culture during Hispanic Heritage Month with this one-of-a-kind live streaming experience, and also commemorate the Puerto Rico community’s resilience on the third anniversary of Hurricane Maria, in partnership with Verizon,” Jesus Lara, president of radio at Univision, said in a statement. “We are proud to showcase the artistry of Bad Bunny who has had such a profound impact on our culture and the music industry at large.”
Imagine being the lucky resident of this building with a view like this…
A live stream showed the Latin Grammy award-winning artist dodging traffic lights and excited fans chasing him down streets with their cellphones in hand in New York City.
El Conejo Malo literally brought the concert to people’s doorsteps. He also used the concert as a chance to shine a light on his native Puerto Rico and the third anniversary of Hurricane Maria that devastated the area. P.R. is still in recovery he mentioned. As the sun went down, Benito tore through the hits from his first album X 100pre like “Ni Bien Ni Bien,” “Sólo de Mí,” and “Romana”.
Although Coronavirus has had a major impact on the music industry, Bad Bunny has found ways to keep himself plenty busy.
Despite spending most of the year in quarantine in his native Puerto Rico, Bad Bunny has been extremely busy. From gracing magazine covers and making history in the process to surprise releasing an entire album, Bad Bunny has kept his fans on their toes.
The reggaetonero was also set to perform two sold-out shows on October 30-31 at San Juan’s Hiram Bithorn stadium, but they’ve been canceled in the wake of Covid-19. So this was the first chance for San Benito fans to witness live renditions from his record-breaking 2020 album YHLQMDLG, and his follow-up surprise album Las Que No Iban a Salir.
The “Yo Perrea Sola” singer also collaborated with Dua Lipa, J Balvin, and Tainy on a hit single, “Un Día (One Day)”. He’s also set to be recognized with the Hispanic Heritage Award for Vision in recognition for his impact as an artist and activist.