Monday, January 3, 2011

How I spent New Year's Eve

I drank champagne. I danced. I wore too much body glitter.

Overall, it was a pretty standard New Year's Eve.

This year, I mixed it up and hit three places on the big night. We started at Elks Lodge 111. Yes, you read that correctly. Don't knock it until you try it. The drinks are cheap and the steaks are delicious.

Then, we took a quick Bud Light break at the Shanty Shack, which had already attracted a pretty solid crowd at 9 p.m. After a quick trip home to grab the camera, my boyfriend and I faced a question that threatened to damage a so-far stellar night: "Where should we be at midnight?"

We weighed all sorts of pros and cons, and ultimately ended up at Belloo's. There was no major reasoning behind that decision, aside from the fact that I thought discussing the topic any longer would lead to a major fight. The photo at the top of this page is a crowd shot from Belloo's.

We drove up and down Broadway. Many of the downtown hot spots appeared crowded. Most cover charges were more than what you'd pay on a standard weekend.

The $5 cover at Belloo's included an amazing variety of mini sandwiches. The photo above is a snapshot of the mouth-watering awesomeness. My biggest New Year's Eve pet peeve is when a bar charges an insane cover and doesn't offer anything outside the realm of a regular Saturday night.

I doubt tons of people look forward to going out on New Year's Eve. It's crowded. Things are expensive. People are annoying.

But I still cringe when I hear people my age justify New Year's Eve ambivalence with "I'm old and boring."

Then again, I guess there's really no "right" or "wrong" way to celebrate.

Whether you're flaunting a cocktail dress or a pair pajama pants, we all use the moment to reflect on a common goal: a hope this year will add yet another level of dust to the mistakes we're most intent on forgetting.

Good luck in 2011, everybody.