Whats worse than starting your day at 11am?
I mean, that might sound great, but when you wont have the opportunity to repeat the exploring of a new city any time in the foreseeable future, you don’t want to be starting the day at 11am. This time, however, we start our day at 3pm.
The idea was that since it is going to be New Year’s Eve, we’re permitted a catch up on sleep.
I wake to the sound of Serendipity playing in the living room. I remember the dialogue from the time when I surrendered and watched the film with Bec for myself. Its your classic chick flick. Leaving everything up to fate and letting the universe show you that, yes this is the person that you’re meant to be with, through a series of impossible events. But, we went to eat at the restaurant last night, so it makes it more bearable this time around.
Regardless, it is 3pm.
We are finally leaving our apartment, on our way to see Brooklyn before New Years Eve kicks in.
Were sitting the subway, and Allison hands out the party hats and the kazoos. Bec blows through her Kazoo a few times. The next time she attempts, though, Allison jumps in, and interjects, “Noooooo….” We have people all within a good 10m of us. Its a justified statement on her part.
We power through the subway, and find ourselves arriving in Brooklyn at this park, infested with squirrels who have just enough conditioning and balls to take food directly from your hand. Its great. Bec loves it. She’s fallen in love with squirrels. Turns out that anything fluffy and rodent-like is her new lover.
We decide that we need to spice up the day, so we establish rules. The rules are that if your hat blows off, then you have to yell at the top of your lungs that you love New Year’s Eve. If you say New Years Eve, other than if your hat falls off, then you have to blow your kazoo as loud as you can, regardless of where you are.
The stakes are decent. Not crazy. We came up with other ideas, but not everyone was keen on them, so we let them slip in the name of fair play.
We’re not in Brooklyn for less than 30 mins before we turn the corner to see the iconic Brooklyn Bridge peering around the buildings. It’s surprisingly bigger than I had expected. I thought it was a short and stumpy bridge, but it was actually quite a long bridge. All old architecture and loads of monumental bricks. Amazing engineering for it’s age.
Again, standing on the icon that, for so long, I had seen on movies and TV shows feels surreal, but at the same time, feels exactly how you think it will feel. It is a feeling worth feeling. Apparently every other person in NYC decided that it was a great day to feel the same feeling. We were literally shoulder to shoulder 90% of the way across the bridge. It was incredible.
Our plan is to find a little place to tuck into for the evening before we see the new year in. I got myself am app that lets me see all the happy hour times for pubs around our area. I find a little dingy pub that will do us $4 pints and shots. This is well and truly enough for us. We settle in, play cards, and do the math.
The math leads us to conclude that we shouldn’t spend too much time here, because we have to keep hustling if we are going to make everything on time. We all knock back our respective drinks. Damo and I have an impromtu game of darts for who will buy the other person’s drink, to only be denied of an undeniable win.
But! That isn’t the best bit. Allison mentioned to us on the High Line yesterday that we have to try Artichoke Pizza. The slices are absolutely massive, and when I say massive, I mean MASSIVE. $5 per slice.
$5 for dinner.
We head across the road, and none of us are disappointed. Our heads are nearly the same size as the slice. Its incredible. We have to get our hustle on and get to the train station. We have decided to make our way to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for the 7pm service. The Brooklyn Tabernacle is internationally known for it’s choir. We walk in, and its much like Hillsong’s set up with the whole theatre set-up.
We get this very old black baptist church feel, crossed with Joel Osteen or something like that. Damo and I crank out our phones and cameras multiple times. Each time met with an usher of some description, trying to reminds us of the fact that we cant’t take any pictures.
Its a friggin choir.
Settle down. I’ll take the videos I want to take, thank you.
Was it worth it? All I will say, is that if you get the chance to visit for yourself, you should.
We head to the subway station from the tabernacle, and we make our way over to Max Brenner’s. The Subway stop that we arrive at is smothered with the silkiest sounds I have heard in the subway to date. This 4 piece band is rocking out covers like you have never heard. The semi acoustic, the double bass, drums and saxophone coat your ears like honey. Oh my goodness. It is a sight to see and more so, a sound to hear.
To date, this is the best band I have heard in NYC. These guys are the real deal.
Anyways, Max Brenner’s was started by two Israeli guys, but made popular in Australia. Of its 50+ stores, 38 are in Australia. We order all the dishes that have been recommended to us. As with most meals we have had while out and about, we end up all sharing and throwing our food to each other.
Allison was given a $50 voucher from her parents, and we all thought it was incredibly generous of her to share it with us. She has done an incredible job of looking after us. From taking the lounge as her bedroom, to waiting patiently as we take in everything around us, to sharing gift vouchers with us, to arranging the accommodation, to booking broadway shows. I could go on for ever about the incredible extent that Allison has gone for us.
She really is an incredibly woman.
The bloke who ends up with her, will find himself an absolute winner.
Our booking began at 10pm, and before we know it, it is 11:30, and we are really yet to organise where we are going to be for the New Years Eve that we all had planned for so long for. I try a Brooklyn Lager, which I find is actually pretty decent. We try their famous mac and cheese, their beer, their waffle toasties, their milkshakes. They do well. We’re all playing cards. Our waiter asks us what were playing, followed by “Have you heard of Kings Cup?”.
Have we heard of King’s Cup?… Settle down big rig. Everyone has heard of King’s Cup.
We sit and enjoy the night together. Laughing and talking and trying to come up with the best solution for a way to spend New Years Eve in New York. But before we know it, time is against us, and we resort to Union Square (in the heart of Brooklyn) in a desperate bid to immerse ourselves in New York’s New Years Eve culture. We walk over with 9 minutes to spare. We meet some incredibly gay ladies who are headed to a BDSM club once NYE has kicked in, and buddy up to see the new year in with them.
We watch the clock count down.
Our eyes, glued to the side of the building as each number climbs closer and closer to the midnight mark.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!” The small crowd erupts around us.
Kazoos, air horns, car horns, yelling and screaming ensue. People everywhere kissing the New Year in. People dancing. Its a grand sight to see. It is something that you have do to at least once in your lifetime.
We weren’t in Times Square, but I’m ok with that. We would have had to have been there by 1pm. Everything we have heard has said that it is just a tourist trap.
We jump on the train. We decide that since we have come this far, we should at least pop our heads into Times Square and see everything 1,000,000 people in a city centre is something worth seeing. But, by the time that we got there, 30 mins later, most of the crowd was gone already.
Testament to the logistics and the ingenuity of the NYC team. To get that many people cleared out that fast is a feat like no other. We arrived, got our photos and headed home. Its bedtime at 2am. Its been a New Years eve to remember.
It was a sober NYE, but none the less, one for the journal.
Come back tomorrow,