The past few years, I’ve gone out of my way to make sure my New Year’s Eve partying has followed a few simple rules:
- Takes place in Brooklyn (where I live)
- Has no absurd expectations set around it (no “blowouts”)
- I can walk home worst case scenario (you try getting any form of public transportation home in NYC on New Year’s Eve)
- Has cool people (this is not to be assumed)
Ideally, it means going to a low-key neighborhood affair or a bar that promises not to be too loud. My girlfriend calls New Year’s Eve “Amateur Night.” I’d never heard it before, but it simply means people who don’t drink like assholes during the year, suddenly feel the need to drink like schmucks and generally have no idea how to hold their alcohol. The last few years, I’ve gone to some great low-key neighborhood parties, drank sufficiently, and walked home. It’s been great.
This year, for the first time in ever, I had a girlfriend with whom I wanted to spend the evening. The same rules applied, except now I had a partner. We went in with the same expectations, but were excited to be spending the night with each other. She took care of dinner reservations at a place that was easy enough to get to. We decided if a party presented itself, great, and if not, we’d probably stop by the park (walking distance!) for the fireworks. However, we ended up having a solid three hours between dinner and the fireworks, so we decided to bar-hop up and down the street.
At the second bar, which ended up being not-so-exciting, and the drinks we ordered were not-so-good, I all of a sudden found myself panicking that I had somehow dropped the ball (pun intended) on planning the perfect New Year’s Eve. I should have picked out a few bars in advance, figured out who had specials, which bar was really on the way to our final destination…
And then, somewhat miraculously, we decided that we were both too tired for fireworks and wanted to watch the ball drop on TV. And who cares if the drinks were mediocre, we said from the start that we wanted a low-impact evening. Somehow, I had fallen into the New Year’s Eve hype-trap in spite of following all my rules. I blame my inexperience with this “love” business and how the evening suddenly had turned into a romantic date when I wasn’t looking. Next year I’ll go to Times Square and the hell with my rules.
How do you avoid New Year’s Eve hype?