Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year in New York, or 'from 0 to 60 in 190 minutes'

If there is one lesson I can take away from this city, it's that two people do not a house party make.

My New Years started out just like every other in my life. I was preparing for disappointment, but hoping to be pleasantly surprised. People always put too much pressure on the evening to be spectacular, significant, or successful. I just want to stay awake for the count down. Usually I would invite people over for dinner and drinks, and count in the New Year with some good friends and even better wine.

This year is a little different, however. Mainly because I am in New York, but also mainly because I don't really know many people in this crazy city, and also mainly because there's it's New York City. My original intention (along with every other tourist in this city) was to watch the ball drop in Times Square. Just to say I did it.

Having been here for three months however, spending seven hours surrounded by tourists and unable to move or go to he bathroom, with a high chance of snow, was not so much my idea of a a great night out. I was, in essence, just happy if I could see the New Year in at a party, bar or pub with a bunch of locals (and my friend Rohan).

One of my local friends, Rob (who happens to live in Times Square), decided that he would have a party at his apartment - usually a good way to start an evening. Okay, good. Then it's cancelled, with Rob having only invited me. So I make other plans, and decide to spend the evening at a local pub.

Enter New Years Eve.

1pm my phone rings. It's Rob, wondering why I'm not coming to his house party.

'Because it's not on.'
'Of course it's on. I've told everyone you're coming. They're all excited to meet you.'
'Right. So it's on then?'
'Okay, we'll be there.'

Rohan and I showed up at Rob's around 9pm, looking awesome.

This night was going to rock, and then we showed up to the apartment. Rob was there, with his friend. And nobody else. They were sitting there on the couch, drunk and a little stoned, watching Terminator 2. Wasn't perhaps the best start of the evening. We sat down (30 minutes), waited for Rob to get dressed (30 minutes to put on a jacket), went to 7-11 to get Rob a hot dog (20 minutes).

We finally went to a bar - a dead bar - at about 10.30. Half an hour there, and I had enough. Rohan and I got up, said goodbye to everyone, and left. We hopped outside, and into a taxi, and headed to a bar around the corner from my apartment. One $20 cover charge later, and we were in a bar full of people (but not too many), counting in the New Year in style. One guy got angry when his girlfriend started talking to me (I can't help it if you're boyfriend's a douche, hon), but for the most part, the folks at the bar were cool; such as this guy. If Reverend Al Sharpton and Willy Wonka had a child:

A little before the countdown Rohan and I met what I have affectionately decided to call 'kiwiphiles' - people who think NZ'ers are awesome.

'You're from NZ?! Stick with me. You won't pay for a drink the whole night!'


Here are some photos from the evening. Notice the fun times (and slightly drunk friends):

We drank, we partied, we drank some more. The night ended at 3am, with me paying two strangers $20 to help carry my friend home. In the end, a memorable New Years.

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