Tonight, all the streets of Vancouver's dense West End are closed. Earlier tonight, 100,000 people walked across the area, from east to west, from the downtown transit stations to the manicured shore of English Bay. Two hours later, they all walked back.
As someone with a deep fear of crowds, I can recommend this meditation:
If you find yourself in a large flowing crowd, and you reach a spot where it's safe to stop, then stop and turn your body 90 degrees. Look back. You'll look like you're waiting for somebody to catch up, so nobody will think this is odd.
Let faces flow across your field of attention. Focus on each face just for a moment, then let it go. This is much the way we look at oncoming faces on the street, but do it without the fear, and with no intention but to perceive what that face has to offer.
Resist the temptation to facilitate. Wherever you stand, families will come at you four abreast and you'll feel like you're in their way. Don't ... just be a tree ... they'll go around you.
Anyway, that's what I did tonight. And the fireworks were great, too.