New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with drinks, chinese food, noise makers and confetti and sealed with a kiss at midnight, but some celebrate differently, like by kissing Lady Gaga, clashing with the cops, burning cars in Hollywood and stripping on CNN. Welcome to 2012.
Partyers gathered in Times Square last night to watch the ball drop, and big time player Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the occasion to steal a midnight kiss from Lady Gaga. Gaga, clad in a dress we assume was inspired by the crystalized Times Square New Year's Eve ball, led the country in a New Year's Eve countdown with Mayor Bloomberg and the living legend, Dick Clark. The Daily Mail has a round-up of photos from New Year's Eve parties from around the world, including more pictures from the party at Times Square.
Elsewhere in New York City, between 500 and 800 protestors gathered in Zuccotti Park and clashed with police to ring in the new year. The New York Post is reporting at least one officer was taken away from the scene after being stabbed in the hand by a pair of scissors. What started around 7 p.m. with a group of about 100 setting up a small tent escalated as the night went on as more people came to the park. Protestors got into a shoving match with police when they tried to tear down the barricades blocking entry to the park. The New York Times' City Room blog is reporting protestors were told the park, normally opened 24 hours a day, were told the park and surrounding sidewalks were closed until 9 a.m. A credentialed reporter was apparently shoved out of the park by a police officer while trying to document an arrest.
The L.A. Times is reporting a rash of arsons in Hollywood. Around 40 cars have been lit on fire since Friday, including four last night, in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Police are saying its the worst trend of car fires since the 1992 L.A. riots. The LAPD aren't sure if the fires are the work of one man, or an organized group of a bike-lane promoting terrorists, but a security camera caught a glimpse of a white-man in his mid-30s with a receding hairline and ponytail leaving the scene of one fire.
Back in New York City, comedian Kathy Griffin nearly made the normally unshakeable Anderson Cooper curse on air when she stripped down to her unmentionables on their New Year's just before midnight. Cooper had a convenient "No Nudity" sign at the ready, and waved it in Griffin's face after a producer handed it to him from off-screen. Griffin said she was inspired by Lady Gaga's performance and decided to strip down for the cameras. After taking a minute to recover, Cooper told her she has a "rockin' bod." Video via the New York Daily News.