New Year's Eve has never been much of a holiday for me. There are a couple I recall fondly - celebrating with Mercedes in high school, cooking artichokes with Jason in Salt Lake, playing with sparklers in the King's backyard in Germany - but overall, it seems to be a holiday for drinkers and couples.
And then came NYE 2015.
We tried to go to City Kitchen for breakfast, but ran into some issues with opening/lunch hours. Justin did manage to secure a doughnut:
(You may have noticed that we shared quite a few doughnuts on this trip.)
We headed to Soho to meet Justin's friend Eve for lunch at Jane's.
|French toast with bananas and strawberries!|
In fact, balloons seemed to be de rigueur for decorating for the night:
After promising to swing by her New Year's party after the opera and biding Eve farewell, we turned our attention to the important task of finding food for a post-opera hotel-room fete.
|Murray's Cheese and Amy's Bread - perfect!|
With some assistance from a clerk behind the counter, we picked out three cheeses and two meats:
Oh, do I love that sentence! One of my favorite moments of the trip was when Jason and I shared the bathroom mirror. As he tied his bowtie and I powdered my face (literally), he commented that we were "just like the Darlings."
I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to have a friend who understands the pleasure of pretending to be upper-class Victorians.
Soon we were ready and we looked good! Jason owns his tuxedo, of course, and brought only two bowties to choose between; Justin rented a dark blue tuxedo that looked stunning on him; and I debuted my opera dress which has received so many compliments (including two from total strangers!) that I was quick to tell Jason that we definitely need more reasons to go black tie a lot more often.
|We found a very nice Marriott employee who took our photo for us in the hotel lobby upon our return!|
We had dinner at Boulud Sud, a French-Mediterranean place across the street from Lincoln Center. The first two courses weren't especially remarkable, but my dessert was one of the best things I ate on this trip.
|I think it was a chocolate tart with pomegranate sorbet. Whatever it was, it was delicious!|
Then it was opera time!
|One of my favorite places in the world.|
As I said before, the opera was absolutely lovely. If that wasn't fun enough, though, we also got to enjoy the beauty of the theater:
and the fun of watching beautiful people in beautiful clothes.
|You can't tell, but that dress on the left was gorgeous.|
Jason and Justin blended right in with their tuxedos (except for one fellow we spotted in a flannel shirt and jeans. "Oh, look!" Jason said, "Someone from Seattle!").
...it was my hair! There wasn't an unnatural color anywhere to be seen. Having spent most of the day in Soho and the Village where purple hair abounds, I completely forgot how much I must dismay the biddies.
Ah, well. We didn't let elder-scorn deter us from asking someone to take our photo (the selfie stick didn't fit in my clutch).
Once Justin managed to pry Jason and me away from Lincoln Center (we only relented when we swore we would return soon. You know - the same tactics to get us out of Paris) we walked to Eve's apartment.
She was hosting a low-key party ("Just some friends, pizza, and Cards Against Humanity"). We gave ourselves a strict 20 minutes there so we could get back to the hotel before midnight. Which was too bad, because Eve's friends are awesome.
It seems they all know each other from Princeton, but they are all smart, gregarious, and interesting, and I wanted to be all of their friends immediately. Two of them are playwights with a new show opening this spring. Jason and I exchanged "we definitely want to come see it" looks at the same time as when I exchanged contact information with one of them. "You know," I said, "if you'd ever like to write a play for teenagers, I happen to have a theater company that could put it on for you..."
They were both far more enthusiastic than I expected. "What would it need?" they asked.
"A cast of 30 with flexible gender casting and school-appropriate content?"
"30!" Everyone was aghast. But then again, everyone probably hasn't been in a high school class for a while. Also, Princeton.
We pried ourselves away once again, hailed a cab, and hustled back to Times Square.
Well, kinda. We got within 5 blocks of Times Square. The hotel had given us special keys that were supposed to let us get through the police barricades set up two blocks outside of the craziness in every direction.
Once we squeezed through the crowds at the barricades, we were home free. In fact, it was easier to get around than usual since the streets between the barricades and Times Square proper were practically deserted.
|Safe on the other side.|
We made it to our room with 20 minutes to spare. Just enough time to set out our spread and watch the crowds from our window:
As the music pounded and the crowds cheered and the confetti flew, we kicked off our shoes and had a small photo shoot of our own.
|Wes Anderson style|
|Japanese tourist style|
|and one in a more gentleman-like manner|
I have been asked what a perfect night out would be. My response is always, "To get dressed up quite fancy together, to have dinner somewhere delicious and probably French, to go to the opera at the Met, to walk around the city at night, and to have terrific conversation with interesting people."
New Year's Eve 2015 was my perfect night, and I was positively giddy with joy.
Now we just have to figure out how to beat it for 2016!