What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?!

I’ve been doing up New Year’s Eve in The City for so long , I should be over it by now. But I’m not. I’ve been to parties, clubs, restaurants, did a midnight 5K run ONCE, (never again) and on occasion, did absolutely nothing. But the doing nothing part only happened a couple of times. The lack of available taxis has not proven to deter me when on a mission to participate in the biggest party night of the year. And I have to admit, though I’ve had some major highlights this year (finding my honey), overall, I can’t wait to say, Bon Voyage to this stinking year. I’ll let you in on what and where we’ll be going but first, I’ll let you in on some ghosts of parties past, what I think is still tried and true, and hopefully give you some ideas on where to ring in the New Year if you are still pondering on what the heck to do.

First up, the man who was responsible for a lot of late nights and an empty wallet by the end of the night, Harry Denton. Forget the trendy DJ’s, Harry Denton has been San Francisco’s biggest partier through numerous presidencies. Harry Denton’s Starlite Room at the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco has been going strong for some time now. Offering a combination of a spectacular view along with great, live entertainment, great drinks, and a touch of opulence that you could only expect from Harry Denton. If you’re into getting dressed to kill and having a special night out on the town, this is just one of many destinations to consider.

How about a night of European Caberet? Teatro ZinZanni has been a waterfront hot spot for many New Year’s Eve celebrations. It’s a combination of cabaret, Cirque du Soleil, and good drinks and food. This is the year to go because there is a bit of controversy over the production having to uproot the show to make room for the upcoming America’s Cup. (Don’t get me started.) Though always a crowd pleaser, there will be a break in production for a while until they relocate so I definitely want to start the drumbeat to support them for their last New Year’s Eve at the historic waterfront location. Just a side note: This group also hosts circus summer camps for kids which might be fun to check out. I have friends whose kids would be naturals and could probably teach other kids how to be clowns. Just saying. Check out a video of this fabulous group here.

Of course, I’m going to tout the Cat Club’s 80’s mix dance party. On any given Thursday night, you can find Generation X’ers and wannabe Gen X’ers alike partying to Culture Club all over again. It’s AWESOME! Complete with the original dance videos, it is known as THE place to go if you want the hear the same stuff you used to listen to on your Walkman. (Don’t laugh yourself to death.) I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than to be dancing to Rick Astley which is yes, who I request to hear when I go to the Cat Club. No comments please. If nothing else, you can pull up their website to see the cool, retro Blondie magazine cover they used to promote the event.

You can always count on the free fireworks show at the Embarcadero which is always a hit. It’s beautiful to watch but at this time of year, it can be hit and miss due to the fog. It’s a great party, but dress like you’re going to the snow and wear comfortable shoes. It’s a great family atmosphere and you might get on tv!

The Grand Hyatt, also located on the Embarcadero, is another option to ring in the New Year in style. It’s not the most inexpensive ticket in town but their Grand Ballroom is a fantastic place to be at midnight. The music is usually top 40, everyone is dressed to to kill, and the balloon drop in the Grand Ballroom is memorable. The room is huge and the ceiling is high so the noise at midnight is crazy but in a good, fun kind of crazy. Awesome party. Check it out if you want to sport your best digs.

I can’t do a New Year’s Eve post and not mention my home town throwing a party that makes me want to drive home and participate. El Jardin Tequila Bar and Restaurant in San Jose, is hosting the Mayan Apocalypse New Year’s Eve party. Free admission, Apocalypse drink specials, and live salsa music. Now we’re talking. Located in the beautiful Santana Row shopping center, this restaurant and bar has received great reviews and you can’t beat the location.

We’re going to dinner. With all of the restaurants in town, how can we not. Afterwards? Who knows. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. I’ll give you some dinner ideas here. All I can say is that after years of learning lessons the hard way about New Year’s Eve in SF, wear comfortable shoes (ya, right. Comfortable shoes aren’t pretty), dress warm, (again, how are you supposed to show your stuff?) and don’t hold your breath for a taxi at 12:15 a.m. Start walking. Seriously, you’ll get home or back to your hotel faster. Start walking. And above all, be safe and happy that we are sending this year packing! Bring on the Apocalypse!

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New Year’s Non-Resolutions

It’s that time again. Another year gone and time for new beginnings. This is about the time of year that people start contemplating on what changes they need to make in their life and where there is room for improvement. In looking back, I think I’ve had a pretty good year considering the state of the world today so with that said, I’m not changing a damn thing! I have become a firm believer that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This realization sort of hit me this year after realizing that I spent so many years trying to reinvent the wheel for no reason. I am lucky that most of my friends and family have been relatively happy and healthy and the ones who have had extreme challenges this past year reminded me about what’s really important in life and that we have to embrace it the best we can for however long we’re here.

With that in mind, instead of creating the New Year’s anxiety that I seem to foolishly drum up annually for myself, why not try something different and let myself off the hook for once? I have never tried to start the New Year off with the intention of changing nothing or not wanting to shed anything. Those are the buzz words, right? CHANGE. SHED. START OVER. GAIN THIS, LOSE THAT. Bleh. I’m looking forward to a new year hopefully filled with travels, and good health but I decided to create specific non-resolutions for 2011 such as:

*  I’m not going on a diet. I have yo-yo’ed about 5-15 lbs for almost 20 years now. I’m at peace with that. My friends can tell you that I’ve gone vegan, organic, holistic, sugar free, gluten free, and fat free only to throw it all out the window on a whim and order a plate of pesto tortellini with a basket of garlic bread and a bottle of wine. FOR MYSELF. Considering that I do give all of the health fads an honest chance if only for a little while, I see this as my version of finding balance in my diet.

*  I will not be on the hunt for the perfect mate. I just got rid of my not so perfect…or perfect for somebody else, mate, and I would like to continue to focus on pastimes and interesting people instead of finding a replacement. I decided earlier in the year to go back to what I know which is allowing all types of fabulous people to come into my life with no agenda. It’s a formula that has worked, giving me life-long soul mates so if it ain’t broke………

*  I’m not going to try to save money. I know that sounds totally stupid to make it an actual goal  but I have finally burned out on the concept. I’m no richer or poorer than I was a year ago and as my little blog will tell you, I did o.k. Can I buy that charming cottage in the South of France right now? No, but I can afford the occasional plane ticket and cat food. What more do I need? (Although if this economy doesn’t pick up I may be buying cat food for two.)

*  I’m not going to exercise more. I exercise enough. I go to the gym when I feel that I am about to morph into a full-blown sloth, I take the occasional yoga class, walk at the beach when it’s warm enough, and we just acquired a Wii fit in the house which I may or may not use. I like to exercise, in fact need to exercise on some level, but I’ve never been one of those people who looks at a mountain and feels a need to conquer it. Great for those who do. I’ll just sit back and marvel at your brilliance!

*  I’m not going to drink less. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting drinking, nor do I grab rubbing alcohol from the linen closet if I run out of Pinot Noir. But I enjoy one glass of good wine with a nice meal. I also love the 200 different types of Martinis created by a good Vodka, not to mention that my dad’s killer hot chocolate recipe calls for a splash of Brandy. Alcoholic drinks can be enjoyable when you want to compliment a really great dish. Food and a good drink go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned, calories or not. Like everything else, everything in moderation.

BUT DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE PEOPLE! YOU WANT TO BE AROUND FOR FUTURE NEW YEARS!!

*  I’m not going to “get organized” the way all of the magazines say I should. I do the spring cleaning routine in the spring, summer, fall, pre-Christmas, and after Christmas but if you have a borderline hoarding issue with books, photos, and magazines, then “getting organized” doesn’t really help anything. It’s only a band aid. I have what I call, organized chaos. It works for me, I’m sticking to it.

So there you have it. My Napolean stance on New Year’s Eve resolutions. A lot of thought went into my revolt against resolutions and I may decide to make this a part of my belief system. Or, maybe I’m just burned out from the holidays and am too damn lazy and tired at this point to make any!

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I want to thank everyone who has taken the time this year to read my little ramblings. I didn’t know how to put a blog together a year ago and have learned so much just from reading other creative and talented bloggers. I look forward to learning more from those who have this blogging thing down to a science while hopefully delivering happy, fun, and sometimes snarky tidbits to those who have the slightest bit of interest.

Have a safe, happy and healthy New Year everybody! Cheers!