However it is 8am and I just made it home, so.....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
It's 2014! I can scarcely believe it. The first time I was ever in New York, I was 19. Then 20, and eventually when I began AMDA I was 21...and now I'm 4 months off 24. Madness.
Madness, much like my night - I was ready and prepared for a quiet evening at home, I even made my own Chinese food to accommodate the New Yorker tradition...of course, I forgot how FANTASTIC my friends are so my quiet plans went unexpectedly, ecstatically awry.
I began my New Year's Eve day in a chilled manner, I had a lie-in, breakfast, bumbled around the apartment for a while before going out to the Upper West Side. I decided that since I wasn't to have a raucous NYE I would have a lovely day. I treated myself to new cosy winter pyjamas (with owls on), a trip to the Natural History Museum to see the Whales exhibit (which I have been coveting since it opened, and which I gained admission to at the student rate) and a very indulgent dulce de leche crepe. Also a stop at Trader Joe's to ensure that I would have adequate ingredients for a hearty New Year's Day brunch. It snowed a little and I ran into two friends so I was feeling pretty good in spite of having no plans.
But as I said those no plans...they turned into plans.
After getting hurriedly dressed in my favourite 1960s mod space age hippy dress...yep it is silver and fringed...I met up with Jonah and headed downtown. We jumped off the train at 34th St at 11.55pm, just in time to catch the Times Square fireworks and the Empire State Building lighting up like a rainbow on acid. It's quite something to be in midtown New York City when the clock strikes midnight for the turning of a year. Quite something.
We moved on down to Soho and wandered from there to Chinatown, meeting Michel on the way...I had a vague plan but it fell through...we were able to pick it up again with a swift subway transfer and a journey to deepest Brooklyn, where it seemed for a moment that ALL WAS LOST...
Our planned destination, a party run by a DJ collective (the Sunday afternoon incarnation of which I attended a few times over the summer) WAS OVER. Disaster. The whole idea was, in accordance with the party's info website, that we would arrive at 2am and pay half price for entrance. But they decided to just be done right on 2am as we arrived.
So in a neighbourhood very close to where I spent some time in early 2011, we landed in a bar with a lot of other people who had also been let down by the Mister Saturday Night crew.
After a few drinks, a near fatal dance related accident in which me and Michel did land on the floor and Jonah did bang his head on the table in sympathy, we made friends with a group of Dutch literature students. We (by which I mean I...I don't know how or why I always end up in charge of these situations) led them to the Lower East Side where we traversed the streets awhile before finding THE GREATEST BAR IN THE WORLD...no entrance fee (some other bar tried to charge us $20 to go in. Ahahaha no), excellent diverse music and equally diverse crowd, open til the dawn hours...all we needed. So we danced the wee hours away to Cyndi Lauper/Jay Z/Joy Division/Michael Jackson etc before emerging blinking into the watercolour daylight of January 1st 2014.
What a way to enter this New Year.
I am so very happy that I was able to spend it with such game and willing people who were up for anything. And who mean a lot to me as friends too. My only regret is that I couldn't share my wonderful experience with everyone that I care about, however rest assured I thought about everyone, from every time zone.
This New Year's Eve will go down in my personal history as one of the all-time greats - and I've had some good'uns - and the motto shall forever remain 'CLOSE ENOUGH'
- We were on 34th and 8th, not in Times Square, for the fireworks - close enough
- We wandered so far into Chinatown that we had to take entirely different trains than those planned - close enough
- The party destination was shut down but the bar across the way provided laughs aplenty - close enough
- All the Lower East Side bars we expected to hit up were also closed but we happened upon this miraculous place - close enough!
Also some guy had conked out in the corner of our booth so we crowned him (completely unawares) with a tall pointed party hat that was flying around the bar. When he shifted sleeping positions later on, the hat fell off so I recrowned him. He still did not wake up.
Anyway...I walked a few blocks from Michel's to mine at 7.40am and now here I am blogging away...it's almost 9. And I really feel like I could go for another few hours. There is glitter all over the bathroom. My new owl pyjamas are fantastically cosy. It was a lovely sunrise over the East River as I walked from east to west upper Manhattan. I have crumpets and jam ready for whenever I rise.
One for the history books.
Happy 2014, dear loved ones and thank you for everything thus far.