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New Year’s Eve in NYC 2008

New York New Year’s EveNew York City is THE place in the United States to ring in the new year and let me tell you, it is one good time! The city offers something for everyone to ring in the new year, including the world famous ball drop, as well as a Brooklyn Bridge walk, fireworks and fancy dinner parties. Around the city you can find great hotel and restaurant specials, and activities for everyone.

Times Square

When you think New Years, you think of the “ball drop” in Times Square. Not only do people in the city watch the site, but so do people from around the country. It is the American symbol of the new year. This year, a new addition has been added to the Times Square festivities – a high tech crystal New Year’s Eve ball. Sounds fancy. The new crystal ball is making its debut this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the event. The new crystal ball has more than double the brightness of the old ball and some fancy new tricks. It is tricked out with “enhanced color capabilities and state-of-the-art LED lighting effects.” The ball will drop from the 77 foot flagpole at the top of One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street). The press release mentions that the best viewing points are along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street, but don’t hold your breath that you’ll get a spot along that route. The festivities begin at approximately 6pm, when the ball is elevated to the top of the flagpole and lit. At precisely 11:59 pm, the ball will begin its 60 second plummet down the flagpole to signal the start of the brand new year.

“There’s an excitement about being in Times Square during the City’s annual ball drop, and this year will be no exception,” said George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company, the official travel and tourism company of New York City. “The City’s hotels, restaurants and attractions are also gearing up for what will be one of the year’s most memorable events.”

Other Activities

Circle Line Cruises offers a New Year’s Eve Cruise with breathtaking views of Manhattan and an incredible night of dancing, fireworks and celebration aboard the Zephyr. Passengers board the boat at 9:30 pm, set sail at 10 and return at 1:30 in the morning. The boat docks at South Street Seaport at Pier 16.

The Lowes Regency Hotel offers the Linda Eder New Year’s Eve 2007 event on the Upper East Side with shows at 7:00 pm (with seating at 5:30) and 9:30 pm. Two packages are available for this event. The first show has a $175 cover charge with a $40 food/drink minimum and includes the show and a gift bag. The later show costs $550 per couple and includes a three course dinner, Michael Feinstein champagne and wine from Iron Horse Vineyards, noisemakers/decorations, dancing and a gift bag.

The 26th Grand Army Plaza Fireworks Display will take place in Brooklyn, offering a “mellower atmosphere” than the madness in midtown. The rally point is at the Grand Army Plaza on Propsect Park’s West Drive and Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and Ninth Street.

The Annual Brooklyn Bridge Walk is available for those visitors who want the chance to walk along one of the City’s most inspiring landmarks while ringing in the new year. I DEFINITELY recommend you walk the bridge at some point, but it seems like it would be hard to kiss your partner while avoiding the speeding bicycles. The views of midtown are stunning and VERY romantic, though. Take along a bottle of champagne and ditch the crowd and you may have one stellar new year.

The 10th Annual New Year’s Eve Bike Ride offers a thrilling ride from Washington Square to Central Park. The bikers arrive just in time to watch the fireworks. If you’re interested in the ride, meet up at 10:30 pm at Washington Square Park, 10:50 pm at Madison Square Park, or 11:15 pm at the Sherman Statue in front of the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading takes place on New Year’s Day, which attracts punk rockers and poets. Or just whoever is not too hung over to make it. The event takes place at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery at 131 East 10th Street at Second Avenue. You can hear big names like Patti Smith alongside local residents.

Hotel Packages

Hotel Plaza Athenee is offering a package including either a deluxe room or one-bedroom suite, champagne and chocolates on New Year’s Eve, daily continental breakfast for two and a gala New Year’s Eve dinner for two in Arabelle. This package starts at $1,530 for a deluxe room and $2,200 for a suite, per night. Booze, gratuity and taxes are not included.

Shoreham Hotel is offering a special New Year’s Eve package for $599 (plus taxes) per night. The package includes “superior plus” accommodation, a bottle of champagne upon arrival and a continental breakfast for two delivered to the room the next morning. Nice. If you’re more discriminating, you can upgrade to a deluxe accommodation for an additional $20.08. Not bad at all. The hotel is located at 33 West 55th Street.

The Peninsula New York is offering two hotel packages.

The first is the New Year’s Eve gala package, which includes accommodations in a grand luxe room at the hotel, admission for two at the hotel’s Gala at Fives (which includes a five course dinner and a live band), a continental breakfast for two either via room service or at Fives with one bloody mary, mimosa or bellini per person, a drawing for a two night stay in the Peninsula Suite and overnight parking. This package will set you back $2,008 (hehe!) for a grand luxe room based on double occupancy with a single night stay and does not include taxes.

The Ball Drop Spectacular includes accommodations in a deluxe suite, a three course dinner for two at Fives; a continental breakfast for two either via room service or at Fives, one bottle of champagne, transportation and escort to a VIP viewing area for the Ball Drop at Times Square and overnight parking. This package is $3,500 for a deluxe suite based on double occupancy with a single night stay and does not include taxes.

The Marmara Manhattan’s New Year’s Eve package is available on the Upper East Side and will give you four nights of accommodations (from December 28 to January 1) in a spacious one-bedroom suite, complimentary roundtrip transfers from New York airports, a gift basket from Eli’s Vinegar Factory and admission to the Empire State Building. So you’re on your own for entertainment, which isn’t a bad option in this city. The package is $1,599, based on double occupancy and availability and excludes taxes. For more information, call (877) 301-0294.

For more information, visit New York & Company, the official tourism site for the city.