New Year’s Eve in NYC is advertised as the biggest party night of the year. Big expectations, big money, big debauchery, and if you don’t give it planning, it can be a big disappointment. Having lived in NYC for the past eight years, I’ve been to an array of NYE bashes from VIP tickets to a meatpacking club soiree, to Brooklyn house parties, to a bar crawl of sorts in the East Village. Whether you’re looking for a ticked night at a lounge with your Bridge and Tunnel buddies or a low key evening at a dive bar, check out these Dos and Don’ts.
If you MUST buy a ticket to a NYE party:
Do: Read the fine print.
If you’re into a night out at one of the city’s mega-clubs, remember there’s a difference between a quickie one-hour happy hour and an extended, 6-hour open bar with top shelf liquor. Make sure you’re getting the latter. You want to get your money’s worth at these packed events.
Don't: Expect to Mingle with Kim Kardashian.
Parties like to say, “Bar XYZ’s Party…with Lindsay Lohan!” Whichever party has Lindsay Lohan as a host (or guest) would probably be a damn good time. But you shouldn’t expect to actually wait for the bathroom with Lindsay Lohan, talking about nail polish and doing lines. You’d be shocked how many people misunderstand this. If you want to spend some real quality time with a real celebrity, PA on a film shoot or check into rehab.
Parties love to advertise things like “gourmet hors d’oeuvres” or “all night buffet”. And sometimes that’s true. But, usually there’s a tiny platter of cheese and crackers that disappears by 10:00pm. So before you get to the party (and consume dangerous amounts of Belvedere) have a proper dinner to prepare for the hours spent on New Year’s Day with your head hanging over the toilet.
Don't: Arrive at the usual "cool" time.
All you nightlife kings and queens know how it goes. On most nights, it’s lame to get to a bar or party before midnight. On New Year’s Eve, forget the usual hipper-than-thou etiquette. Get there early to beat the lines, check your coats, and get a head start on attacking that open bar.
For those New Yorker’s against the expensive tickets, bottle service, and bullshit:
Do: Get your girlfriends together.
Whether you all meet for a dinner at your favorite neighborhood restaurant before drinks at your go-to bar or throw a party in your loft, make sure you’re with your best gals. A night of drinking and discussing your plans for the New Year are best with your closest crew.
Do: Bring your favorite beverage to the house party.
When throwing a party, the host will always have a few beer or liquor choices - and maybe even a themed drink (Pink Panty Pulldowns, anyone?). But, don’t forget your manners - bring a bottle of good wine, a handle of vodka, or a pack of quality beer to share with your fellow partiers.
Don't: Forget about your midnight kiss.
Make sure Mr. Right Now will be attending the same party or stopping by the same local bar before the ball drops. If not, eye that cutie you noticed when you walked into the party and chat it up when the glasses of champagne are being passed around. Because who doesn’t want to get in a smooch to ring in the New Year?
What are your NYE plans? xo