As we walked through the tunnel to the L train heading towards the final countdown of 2008, a man serenaded passersby with Auld Lang Syne on his saxophone while the echo of heels rang back from the girls in black dresses and feathery hats.
I am not usually a big fan of New Year's. Last year I spent the holiday (which is basically a transition between seconds, albeit the most important transition of the year) on top of a hill by a bonfire in Vermont. I trekked up there on snowshoes with the aid of a headlamp with a group of other guests staying at the inn. It was a very powerful moment.
Last night was all different. The cold was still there but I was in New York City wearing nice dress shoes and accompanied by a group of friends who had descended on the city from Boston for the bash. Even though Chris and Ayten were three hours late from Boston because of inclement weather on dubious road conditions, we whisked up to Pio Pio, a Peruvian restaurant on Amsterdam with no worries and excited for the night. We found a chattering lively restaurant with warm yellow walls, great food and Recession- and student-worthy prices (I couldn't resist that Recession jab).
Out again we were in the cold nippy night to head to my sister Zarya's party (which she co-hosted) where we doubled the attendance with our arrival. My friends from Boston (aka my 'entourage' as Z called it) got to relax and chat with some new folks. A night of adventures on public transit (and/or misadventures...), laughs, good people, good cheer was only continuing. We were ultimately headed to our friend Shirley's in the Lower East Side so we got back on the subway, losing the travel-weary Chris and Ayten (in transit between Boston and DC) along the way.
As we walked through the tunnel to the L train heading towards the final countdown of 2008, a man serenaded passersby with Auld Lang Syne on his saxophone while the echo of heels rang back from the girls in black dresses and feathery hats. That was it at that point for me. NYC buzzed with an energy that we were all sensing, an excitement that spread across the city. New Year's Eve was more than a transition between seconds but a time to have fun, celebrate life, celebrate your friends and enjoy.
I believe the New Year rang in somewhere between 1st Avenue and Union Square, we huddled in the cold over a subway grate and cheered, and continued to enjoy each others company. We found an extra drink or two (to wait out the Subway clog at Times Square where we had to transfer trains) before the group dissipated and I melted into my bed. A lovely end to an old year past and a happy start to a new year just beginning.
Here's to a fine 2009!