Live for today, ladies and gentlemen, for tomorrow your singlehood dies. Where else is better to prolong that last period of marital freedom besides the City That Never Sleeps? Pick your hotel room (not that you’ll get back to it), set up a safe driver, pick a dinner spot and enjoy the ultimate night you may never remember.
Before celebrating that bachelor’s or bachelorette’s prenuptial happening, take a measure of the people who are going along. Are these all lifelong buddies who can finish each others’ sentences? Or are these business coworkers and soon-to-be new family members? Talk things though to know the night’s limits and avoid awkward moments in future office or reunion encounters. Not everyone is looking to live through The Hangover in real life.
Everyone on the same page? Then let’s begin…
The Hotel Room
Want a space big enough to host whatever might come your way? Consider the splendor of the Waldorf Astoria (301 Park Avenue; (212) 355-3000) or the W Hotel New York (1567 Broadway; (212) 930-7400). Don’t let the suite rate shock you — depending on your party’s size, splitting up the cost versus reserving a bank of separate rooms might amount to the same difference.
It’s going to be an unpredictable day, night, and day after, so don’t plan on grabbing random taxis. Hire a dedicated set of wheels with a driver who can wait on you each step of the journey — and, if necessary, could pick you out of a police lineup later. American Bachelor Party (Union Square West; 585.237.8626) are experts in this sort of thing, as are the team at Wicked Pub Crawl (430 Amsterdam Avenue; 212.585.2371; ).
For guys, the traditional round of golf may be tricky if you’re looking to stay in Manhattan, but both Chelsea Piers (62 Chelsea Piers, Chelsea; 212.336.6666) and Randall’s Island Golf Center (Randall’s Island; 212.427.5689) offer driving ranges among their various athletic sports. If you’ve got the time, play a round of hunt-the-groom (or the bride) at New York City Paintball (47-11 Van Dam St., Long Island City; 718.361.8337). Of course, a trip out to Yankee Stadium or the Mets at Citi Field for a home game, boat trips around the Manhattan and all the usual touristy picks are easy wins to start the day.
For the bride’s entourage, day spas and shopping are just too predictable. Opt for something adventurous and try exotic pole dancing lessons at NYC Bachelorette Party & Sexy Pole Dance Classes (114 East 28th St., border of Midtown and Kips Bay; 646.505.9278). It’s only two blocks away from another fun option, New York City’s Museum of Sex (233 5th Avenue; Midtown; 212.689.6337).
The evening feast serves two purposes: Bonding together any bridal party folks who don’t know each other well, and getting stomachs full of awesome food to get through the night. The cuisine pick will have to match the party, but always go easy on the booze at this point. The night is young.
Check out the New York’s Best Steakhouses list for proper eats, or browse the food guide for lighter fare.
Getting to Midnight
A Broadway show is a natural pick to fill the hours between dinner and debauchery. There’s no point in listing all the possible shows here, just go to Broadway.com or NYC.com (1.888.VISIT.NY) to find out what’s still available. As for other activities or sampling the club scene, pick a place that won’t wear out the gang nor put them to sleep.
- Love karaoke? Step up at Karaoke One 7 (29 W. 17th St., Flatiron District; 212-675-3527), Winnie’s (104 Bayard St., Chinatown; 212.732.2384) or, on certain nights, Wicked Willy’s (149 Bleecker St., Greenwich Village; 212.254.8592).
- A few frames of bowling is another safe-bet. Go to Bowlmor (110 University Place, border of Greenwich Village and Flatiron District; 212.680.0012) or Lucky Strike Lanes (624-660 West 42nd St. at the Hudson Shore; 646.829.0170).
- Fiancees of a certain age will be drawn to that staple bachelorette party magnet, The Awesome 80s Prom (125 East 11th St., Greenwich Village; 212.874.8666).
- For a calm before the storm, chill out in the relaxed quasi-Moroccan vibe of Kush (191 Chrystie St., Lower East Side; 212.677.7328).
- Step up the pace with strong drinks, good club crowds and solid DJs at 49 Grove (49 Grove Street, West Village; 212.727.1100)
- For a high-energy mix of beautiful Europeans and young New Yorkers throbbing to house beats, go to PINK New York (527 W. 27th St., Chelsea; 212-381-9090) Note this place isn’t the same as the soon-to-open Pink Elephant at 35 E. 21st; that club debuts this fall in the Flatiron District.
Did someone say strip club? Yes, someone definitely said strip club. (Warning: The links on this part of the list are all very NSFW. Do your planning research away from the office and the kids.)
- Thanks to jokes from David Letterman, everyone’s heard of Flashdancers New York Gentleman’s Club (1674 Broadway, Theater District; 212.315.5107). It’s kitty-corner from the big “Late Show” sign. Also at the edge of Times Square is Lace Gentlemen’s Club (725 7th Ave., Theater District; 212.764.6969), or head downtown to Rick’s Cabaret (50 W. 33rd St., Midtown; 212.372.0850). Really, no matter where you go in a post-Giuliani New York, you’ll find plenty of options still abound.
- Prefer to bring the ladies to you instead? Contact Bachelor Party Strips (212.380.3994). Remember to obey all the rules.
- For the bachelorette, check out Hunk Mania Male Strip Club & Male Strippers NYC (248 W. 14th St., West Village; 212.380.1601) or the New York Male Revue (47 West 20th St., Flatiron District; 732.570.3989).
The Morning After
Finally, prepare for the worst by putting a good NYC lawyer at the top of your cell phone’s quick call list. Check out FindLaw or the New York City Lawyer Directory for a criminal defense attorney who can meet you at The Tombs or wherever it is you wake up.
As for that tattoo you don’t recall getting… well, we can only advise you about so much. Good luck and best wishes.