“What to do on New Year’s Eve is always the puzzlement,” Harvey Fierstein wrote this week. “But I think pot luck here at the barn with friends sound sanest. Music. Giggles.”
But what about New Yorkers who don’t have access to a barn?
Long ago, I wrote about a group that celebrated New Year’s Eve in July so that they could stay home on December 31st feeling guilt-free. For those who stay home this year, ABC is offering, from 8 to 10 p.m., a look at the late Dick Clark’s New Year’s Countdowns, which on first hear, might sound like the ultimate hell, but includes such clips as Bill Haley & His Comets singing “Rock Around the Clock” in 1959,
The Supremes singing “Stop! In the Name of Love” in 1965, The Doors “Light My Fire” in 1967, Blondie “Heart of Glass” in 1979, Janet Jackson “Young Love” in 1982 – you get the idea.
If you insist on going out to celebrate, and have not yet made plans, here are some ideas:
The New Year’s Eve tradition in Times Square began in 1904 with a rooftop celebration to greet the New Year. Three years later, they started lowering a ball.
From the the organizers comes this overview of New Year’s Eve in Times Square, so you know what is in store for you if you join the millions who ring in the new year at the Crossroads of the World (as I myself have done three times in my lifetime), all of which were memorable.
Revelers start arriving late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. By approximately 3:00 PM., the Bowtie of Times Square (42nd to 47th Sts. between Broadway & 7th Ave.) is fully closed to traffic.
6:00 PM to 6:03 PM Lighting and Raising the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball
6:03 PM to 6:13 PM Opening Ceremonies – Chinese Cultural Performance, Panda Dance
6:14 PM to 6:17 PM Times Square Ball App – Livestream, Photo Contest and Webcast Correspondents Our host, Allison Hagendorf, introduces the Official Times Square Ball App and the ability for everyone to have a front row seat at the celebration by watching the official webcast on their mobile device; and, the opportunity for users of the app to get their photo on the giant Toshiba Vision Screen atop One Times Square directly below the New Year’s Eve Ball.
The schedule goes on like this in ten-minute increments and includes Countdowns by hosts including Anderson Cooper, performances by Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, the Broadway cast of “Million Dollar Quartet” and others.
11:15 PM to 11:20 PM The Associated Press Presents 2012 News Reel Highlights
11:59 The Sixty-Second Countdown
DINING OUT ON NEW YEAR’S EVE
Open Table lists 426 restaurants in Manhattan alone with “New Year’s Eve offers” Most of them offer a choice of seatings – either earlier in the evening, so that you can make it in time elsewhere for the stroke of midnight, or party-hat-equipped seatings that lead up to midnight, where you can often turn on a TV so that you can watch the ball drop in Times Square. Open Table enables you to look for one in your neighborhood.
THEATER ON NEW YEAR’S EVE
Most Broadway shows are “dark” (closed” on Mondays anyway, but normally close down New Year’s Eve anyway. But this year, as Ticketmaster indicates, several Broadway shows are offering New Years Eve matinees, including Mary Poppins, Newsies, Peter and the Starcatcher, and the Lion King.
NEW YEAR’S EVE NIGHTCLUB PARTIES
New Year’s Eve Central website lists more than 100 New Year’s Eve parties at New York nightclubs
Also check out: Partying in Bushwick and Beyond
These two parties held in theaters:
Ugly Rhino’s Warehouse New Year’s Eve Party – just $10 – in Brooklyn Lyceum
The Cathedral Church of St. John The Divine New Year’s Eve Concert For Peace, free admission. 7 p.m. Judy Collins, guest artist. An annual event founded by Leonard Bernstein in 1984.
Still to come:
Big selling point of all these cruises — a close-up of the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the water.
WALKING AND RUNNING
New York Road Runners’ Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park