A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
Well, folks, tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. I mean…tomorrow is New Year’s Eve! Meh. Forgive me if I can’t muster fake excitement for a holiday I’ve always thought to be totally overblown and overrated. The only thing I really like about it is that it’s a reason to buy an article of clothing covered in sequins.
Really, it’s a whole lot of anticipation leading up to a moment which is bound to be anti-climactic, unless you’re Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally, in which case tomorrow night is going to be GREAT. Also if you’re one of the characters from that new New Year’s Eve movie, whom I assume have extremely romantic or otherwise exciting and dramatic midnights. But for the rest of us regular, non-fictional people, I’d like us all to admit that the second the countdown ends and the ball drops, the world looks pretty much exactly the same as it did five minutes or ten minutes or a week earlier. Lame, I know.
Living in New York makes the evening all the more annoying to navigate. Most everyone I know makes it their business to find a reason to leave town on NYE every year, and I can’t blame them. It’s tough to stay here and plan a successful night. Between the massive crowds of Times Square groupies to the overpriced and overbooked restaurants to the lack of available taxis, New York turns into Sucker Town on New Year’s Eve. So in the spirit of the holiday, I’ve put together a very important list of things all New Yorkers must resolve not to do on Saturday night:
5. Don’t buy tickets to a bar. I mean, that’s just silly. Why should anyone have to buy a ticket to get admission to a bar where we normally freely drink? It’s a terrible practice and an obnoxious ploy by the bars to end the year with what’s left of your money in their pockets. Here’s how it goes: you pay $150 for a ticket which gets you open bar for three hours, a champagne toast at midnight, and “breakfast.” If you pay $200, you and ten friends can sit around a table that seats four. You and your gang gets all dressed up and excited for your big, expensive night out on the town, only to find yourself jammed into the most crowded room you’ve ever been. You manage to make it to the bar twice in your allotted time, the champagne toast amounts to a dixie cup-full of bubbly, half of which sloshes onto your new heels. The DJ at your normally fun hangout is spinning crazy house music and the d-
baglightful guy next to you just elbowed you in the face doing some crazy Snooki dance move. You want to go home, desperately, but you’ve paid all this money and gosh darn it if you’re missing the food you’ve been promised. At 2 a.m., you realize whatever was being passed around has come and gone without ever reaching your side of the room, and you wind up leaving empty-bellied and sober. You are forced to walk home in your wretched new shoes due to paucity of taxis. The next day, you realize you left your jacket at the bar and you shall never see it again.
4. Don’t go to Times Square. Whatever you do, don’t go. This is self-explanatory. I mean, where do those people even pee? You couldn’t pay me.
3. Don’t argue with your friends over what to do. Jessie wants to go to an aforementioned ticketed bar party. You’d rather have your skull crushed. Becky wants to stay home and watch movies. Jessie finds this boring. Alex’s girlfriend hates everyone and you and Becky don’t like Jason’s friends and Mark and Jason are in a fight and Chloe and Brad can’t afford to go out but everyone has promised to hang out with everyone they know and now you’re all fighting over who should take on the burden of throwing an apartment party to solve all the world’s problems. Save it. Due to so many unappealing options, NYE has the tendency to turn into a terrible excuse to bicker. On a scale of one to stupid, this is stupid.
2. Don’t go to a restaurant expecting a normal dinner. Just as the bars have caught on to their New Year’s Eve racket, the restaurants around town have made going out for a nice, normal dinner nearly impossible. These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place that doesn’t force you to reserve five months in advance and submit to the dreaded prix fixe menu. That means everyone is obligated to pay double what they would have wanted for a whole bunch of food they wouldn’t have necessarily ordered. And that doesn’t include wine.
1. Don’t expect this Saturday night to be better than any other Saturday night. Expect it to be worse. Between the absurdly high hopes and ambitions for some fabulous adventure and the depressingly few attractive evening activities, it’s best to keep expectations low.
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Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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