New Year’s Eve is overrated, especially when you live in New York City. These are some of your traditional options: go to Times Square and watch the ball drop after hours of being penned in with tourists and unable to drink/eat/go to the bathroom/move; pay $100 or more to go to an all you can eat/drink party where you end up spending most of your night waiting on long lines to get your “free” drinks; go to parties of friends aka travel from borough to borough on the subway all night – you aren’t getting a cab and the traffic is terrible anyway; and of course, you could always stay home and fall asleep on the couch before midnight. After years of trying to force myself to enjoy a traditional NYC NYE, I’ve come up with a tradition that I actually look forward to.
The night began at Don’s Bogam for Korean BBQ. I had a glass of bubbly at the bar while we waited for the rest of our party to arrive.
Who says vegetarians can’t enjoy Korean BBQ? We had the Beosot-Modum-Gui (mushroom platter in special sauce. shitaki, enoki, king oyster, button, oyster mushroom). We also split an order of Bibimbap (Assorted vegetables & fried egg with rice and spicy sauce).
One of my favorite things about NYC is the whole private room karaoke scene. For about $8/hr per person, give or take a few dollars depending on where you go, you and your friends can lock yourselves in a room and belt out all of your guilty pleasures. Here are some of my favorite spots: Sing Sing , Duet 48, Karaoke one 7 , and 5Bar Karaoke .
We stayed locked in the safety of our private karaoke room until well after midnight and then we headed to a random nearby bar. Bars are less crowded at 2:00 am on January 1st and you get to witness so many delightful scenes on the street. This year we saw a girl sitting on the curb in her party dress puking on her iPhone, a guy holding his hand to his freshly blackened eye, and a well-dressed man sleeping in a doorway. Oh, New York City.
And no New Year’s Eve celebration would be complete without fourth meal at a diner at 3:00am. My go to is either the cheese fries or zucchini sticks (sometimes both) at Mike’s Diner in Astoria. We always order our food and then spend the time waiting for it trying not to fall asleep at the table before it arrives. After delivering our meals, our waitress quipped “enjoy the rest of your morning”.
We generally sleep till noon and then it’s time to eat again. Igloo is our favorite spot for a late breakfast. I love the blueberry pancakes, goat cheese and portobello mushroom omelette, the hash brown patties, and the smoothies.