This New Year’s Eve a lot of my New York friends are opting for a chill night, at home with friends or at a local haunt that doesn’t charge gazillions. Whether that’s a general sign-of-the-times or just a temporaroy rebellion – yikes-do-they-really-think-$150- for-a-2-hour-open-bar-is-ok? – I don’t know. But as I’ve had a long-standing tradition to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home with a small, intimate crowd, I think people are just catching up with a good trend.
If you are in New York and insisting on going out, you’ve got tons of options though. For the all out expensive NYC New Year’s Eve bash, visit NewYearsEve.com and check out their party list. General admission usually buys you open bar for a few hours, including a champagne toast at midnight, and maybe even some hors d’ouevres. My recommendation would be Thor at Hotel Rivington. Thor makes it a little bit Scandinavian, Rivington adds lower east side cool, and it’s one of those “it” places you want to see, so why not on New Year’s?
If you want an A-list experience, get a table at the Eldridge, where you will find most of my friends. This intimate members-only (except for New Year’s!) lounge oozes NYC cool, with a faux bookstore front in the heart of the LES. VIP is not cheap but it comes with a 5 hour premium open bar and you could be sitting where Lindsay or the Olsen twins have planted their petite butts in the past.
Of course, if you want a Swedish connection on New Year’s, go to International Swede’s party at Kazuza. This East Village hookah-bar offers a mediterranean menu, low-key vibe, and this night only, Swedish nuggets like Ace of Base and the Cardigans. Yes it may seem strange to be in a hookah bar for a Swedish party, but then again it’s like taking a Vingresor trip over the holidays and going on a resort-organized bar round… except much cooler A jolly side note is that there’s no admission fee, you pay for your own drinks and food but your not obligated to a $200-bill.
Whatever you end up doing – enjoy! But I warn you, most New Year’s Eves in the city are spent in a cab or subway car waiting to get to your destination. So plan ahead and get out early. And whatever you do, avoid Times Square like the plague.