Oh, you’re already in Chiang Mai slurping noodles or sitting on the beach in Guam at your cute New Year’s yoga retreat? That’s nice. That’s really nice.
Some of us are still in Brooklyn, and lucky for us, we’re the goddamn champions at New Year’s Eve celebrations. We’ve got two-handed shots, contortionists, bike rides, and polar dives: here are our favorite ways to banish 2016 and timidly (or torridly) welcome 2017, right here in Brooklyn.
AUGUST LAURA FANCY AS F*** DANCE PARTY, CARROLL GARDENS
August Laura owners Alyssa and Frankie are hosting this all-night debauch-fest, with drink specials like $3 punch (what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger) and cheap shots. But not just any old shots: Frankie, who hails from Death & Co., is serving his back-to-back special of tequila chased by mezcal, and Alyssa (Bar Room veteran) is slinging Templeton rye chased by Lambrusco. If you’re still standing, yes—there will be dancing.
PURPLE RAIN DANCE PARTY AT SYNDICATED, BUSHWICK
At $20 pre-sale (including a free glass of champagne), this party’s a steal—or, it was. It sold out, of course, but you can still go see the MOVIE Purple Rain at 8:45 p.m. and order bubbly and treats directly to your seat. That’s better than just dancing, right?
MIDNIGHT BIKE RIDE FROM BROOKLYN TO CENTRAL PARK
Here’s something we recommend doing (mostly) sober: meet at 9:45 p.m. on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg bridge, cycle or skate to Washington Square Park, and then amble up to Central Park for a dance party, fireworks, and sweaty conviviality. What could be better? Your chip-infested couch? Gross. More info here.
F$CK 2016 AT BROOKLYN BAZAAR, GREENPOINT
It’s a popular sentiment! Brooklyn Bazaar is banishing 2016 with performances from Titus Andronicus, High Waisted, and Toys in Trouble starting at 9:00 p.m. DJs take over after, and free champagne is served when the Brooklyn Bazaar ball pit drops at midnight. At $40, it’s one of the cheaper New Year’s Eve concerts.
CONTORTIONISTS & 20s GLAMOUR AT THE GRAND PROSPECT HALL, PARK SLOPE
Dances of Vice specializes in late-night arm-breaking contortionist dance and hanging hoop-style moves, plus feathers, all with a naughty French boudoir vibe. They’re hosting Parisian Follies at the beautiful Grand Prospect Hall (perfect setting), which will certainly involve all the above. Tickets here.
HOUSE OF YES BEFORE/AFTER, BUSHWICK
House of Yes was essentially designed to celebrate New Year’s Eve, which of course they’re doing with a high-glitter, high-price tag, high-awareness self-actualization ceremony. Tickets are currently sold out, but if you got some, don’t forget to dress “in your finest, fiercest most favorite future of this life.” (?!) Part Two of the House of Yes New Year’s celebration—tickets are still available for this one—takes place on New Year’s Day, with an 11:00 a.m. yoga class, all-day massages, a bubbling hot tub, detox elixirs, aromatherapy, and “Day Party Summer Vibes.” Get clean and clear for 2017, babes.
FUNK LOVE BOMBS AT GOOD ROOM, GREENPOINT
A seriously loose, funky dance party is sometimes the best way to shake what ails you, which, in this case, is 2016. Good Room’s Justin Strauss and Billy Caldwell are playing, and so is Soul Clap, a “funk hero.” All that good-feeling funk does not come free: early tickets were $35, but they’re currently selling for $75. George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic said a free ass follows a free mind (technically, “free your mind and your ass will follow”)—but maybe the same goes for your wallet? Free that and your ass will follow. Why not? If you don’t feel like celebrating on Saturday, Good Room is hosting a dance benefit for immigrant and LGBT rights on Friday night. Tickets are $20 at the door, and all proceeds benefit the Trevor Project and the International Refugee Assistance Project. That’s badass.
THE BAR AT MAISON PREMIERE
This is for our dear readers who hate planning and dancing but love drinking and oysters. Yes, Maison Premiere has been around for ages and yes, it can be stuffy in a lose-the-bow-tie-and-the-combover kind of way, but they do serve excellent oysters, and their glitzy cocktails are perfect for New Year’s eve. Reservations are required for a table, but they’ll take walk-ins at the bar all night long. Oysters are served until 1:00 a.m.
BRAZILIAN GIRLS CONCERT AT ROUGH TRADE NYC, WILLIAMSBURG
Lead singer Sabina Sciubba will wear something crazy, the music has an easy bossa-nova tilt combined with the intensity of EDM, and plus, the band is funny! High-stakes New Year’s Eve parties and concerts can be stressful, but this is most certainly not that. Plus, it’s only $35 if you buy in advance.
PROSPECT PARK TURNS 150 YEARS OLD & CELEBRATES WITH FIREWORKS
It’s true! Our very own Prospect Park is turning 150 in 2017! The bulk of celebrations are planned for later in the year, when it’s warm out (thanks guys), but the annual fireworks in Grand Army Plaza will be extra-special this New Year’s. Live music and free hot chocolate start at 11:00 p.m., and fireworks blast off at Midnight. It’s all free, but RSVP here.
GTFO OF BROOKLYN
Surprise! I lied that all these New Year’s Eve ideas take place in Brooklyn. The time-honored tradition of bailing on the city and waking up in the Catskills, or the little-known Dogskills (that’s a bad joke) or anywhere upstate is a fine one. Scribner’s might have a last-minute vacancy, or check out the hamlet of Bovina; at last search there were a zillion open spots. If you stay anywhere near Andes, Bovina, or Margaretville—all frequently described as “bucolic”—I beg you to eat at Brushland. The food there is better than anything they’re serving in Brooklyn (until you get back, of course).
NEW YEAR’S DAY POLAR BEAR PLUNGE, CONEY ISLAND
Into ice swimming? This is perfect for you. Not into ice swimming but love to drink? This is also perfect for you: there’s no better way to delete your hangover than freezing it off in the bone-chillingly cold Atlantic Ocean. The Polar Bear Club of Coney Island (which meets every Sunday from November to April for a casual dip) hosts their annual Polar Bear Plunge on Sunday, January 1st. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m. and plunging happens at 1:00 p.m. Meet on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue, and pre-register here.