Tuesday, December 17, 2019

How to Celebrate NYE in NYC

New Year's Eve is a defining moment in New York City, serving as a beacon for the world as people collectively reflect on the previous year and welcome the next. As more than one million visitors prepare to celebrate across the five boroughs, the City's hotels and attractions are ready to welcome the next decade in only-in-NYC fashion.

Below is a roundup of Times Square activities, hotel parties and New Year's Eve events throughout NYC that will emphasise the City's reputation as the most iconic destination to ring in the new year.

Times Square

While the iconic Ball Drop is certainly the centre of the festivities, visitors can celebrate the holiday days in advance of the event viewed around the world.

Seven-foot tall numbers "2" and "0" will be displayed in mid-December and available for a pre-NYE photoshoot in various Times Square Plazas until they are hoisted atop One Times Square as celebratory d├ęcor, the week leading up to the big event.

On December 28, from 12-1 pm, locals and travellers are invited to enjoy Good Riddance Day at the Broadway Plaza in Times Square where bad memories are eliminated via a giant shredder.

From December 1-29, visit the Wishing Wall in Times Square Plaza to share your hopes and dreams for 2020, which will be dropped as confetti when the clock strikes midnight. Electronic wishes can be submitted here or on social media using #ConfettiWish.

The nearly 6-ton ball, covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles, is capable of lighting up the night from One Times Square, with more than 16 million different colours.

Dick Clark's New Year's Rocking Eve will broadcast the Times Square festivities globally with the help of performances by superstar performers (to be announced) and host Ryan Seacrest.

Global viewers can also visit TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nyc and TimesSquareBall.net to watch the annual event.

Can't-Miss Hotel Bashes

The Times Square Edition is celebrating its first New Year's Eve in five-star fashion with a three-party extravaganza including ticketed events at 701 West, The Paradise Club, and The Terrace Outdoor Rooftop and Gardens. Each celebration includes dinner, open bar, and a world-class DJ/live music. At 701 West and The Terrace, guests will have access to the hotel's outdoor porch with views of the Time Square ball drop.

The New York Marriott Marquis will celebrate by hosting a party with 360-degree views of the ball drop that includes a red-carpet entry, luxury dinner buffet & dessert bar, specialty cocktails, open bar, and VIP access to the patio overlooking Times Square.

The Moxy Times Square is ringing in the modern-day roaring 20's with a unique brand of fun with an event at the Magic Hour Rooftop. The "urban amusement park" is the largest indoor/outdoor all-season hotel rooftop bar in NYC and features five distinct areas including a lounge, outdoor garden, gallery entrance and outdoor putt-putt course with an adult carnival vibe.

The Peninsula New York's Salon de Ning will be transformed into a chic, dome-covered, penthouse where guests will enjoy a cocktail party with open bar, live music and plenty of dancing, as well as temporary popup Chalet de Ning.

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, is ringing in 2020 with dual celebrations including two dinner parties featuring prix-fixe menus, live jazz music and midnight champagne toast at its signature restaurant, Perrine and a more casual celebration featuring dancing, open bar, raw bar, DJ and more at the Two E Lounge.

At Party on Park Avenue at the Loews Regency Hotel, guests will enjoy a night of glitz and glamor in a stylish suite on Manhattan's Upper East Side complete with a 3-hour open-bar cocktail reception, hors d'oeuvres and champagne toast at midnight.

The Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island , situated in the heart of protected woodlands, is hosting its annual New Year's Eve Gala with a "Roarin' 20's" theme this year in the picturesque Nicotra's Ballroom, complete with 10-piece band.

Festive Events

The only casino in New York City's five boroughs, Resorts World Casino, will celebrate at Bar360 with a night of concerts that includes a performance by Bronx native Judy Torres and a Black and White Ball hosted by Chef Garfield and Deejay Roy. Guests are also encouraged to explore the casinos 4,200 slot machines and 1,300 electronic table games.

Visitors are invited to ring in the New Year with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams at the 40th edition of The New Year's Eve Fireworks Celebration at the historic Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park. The family-friendly event is a free, authentic way to celebrate with locals and travelers.

For a beautiful, unobstructed view of the NYC Skyline coupled with an extravagant fireworks display over the Hudson River, take a ride on Circle Lines New Year's Eve Cruise along the New York Harbor from 9 pm to 1 am. A DJ and midnight toast complete the event that is 21+ to drink, 18+ to enter.

2020 TCS NYC Marathon hopefuls and running enthusiasts are invited to participate in the most festive qualifying race of the year at the NYRR Midnight Run. Registered runners and plus ones will gather at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park for a four-mile race that starts at the stroke of midnight with a beautiful fireworks display.

In The Bronx, families can enjoy a visit to the Bronx zoo, where the Holiday Lights festivities will take place from 5-9 pm, or explore the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, where model trains zip through a display of more than 175 NYC landmarks made out of plant parts, including One World Trade Center, Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty.

The Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year's Day Plunge is free with prior-registration and kicks off at 1 pm at the Stillwell Avenue boardwalk entrance. Participants are invited to enter the New York Aquarium complimentarily after the plunge to warm up.

Monday, December 16, 2019

How to explore every day with Lonely Planet's new book.

Lonely Planet's new book, Explore Every Day, features 365 daily prompts designed to refresh your life – including the following:

You can find this wonderful piece of street art in Melbourne. Where? (R Eime)
  • Admire the next piece of street art or graffiti you see as if it were hanging in an art gallery.
  • Think of one small environmental change you could make and act on it.
  • Buy a fruit or vegetable you’ve never eaten before.
  • Quick: name the first country that comes to mind. Find a film from that country and watch it. Write the review.
Have you seen this American film?
  • Spend one full minute really, truly feeling the weather.
  • Ascend to the highest point in your town (buildings count).
The highest point of which famous South Australian port? (R Eime)
  • Learn a word from your region’s indigenous culture or some local slang.
  • Breathe in for four seconds. Exhale for six.
  • Spend one full minute really, truly feeling the weather.
  • Empires were built – and destroyed – over the search for aromatic spices. Research where in your town you can find dozens available instantly (health-food and international stores often have large spice sections).
  • Give yourself a full 10-15 minutes to browse through and deeply inhale as many spices and herbs as you can. Choose one that tickles your fancy yet is totally unfamiliar to you and buy it (saving you the 200-year-long journey to attain it).
Can you name these spices? Have you smelled them? 
  • Find a recipe that incorporates the new spice and cook it.
  • Draw a map of your town. For extra credit: Find a willing partner, give yourselves three minutes each to draw, then compare results afterwards. What stood out for each of you?
  • Get dressed up and conduct a photo shoot with a friend.
Halloween is the perfect opportunity for a fun family portrait (Lithgow Mercury)
  • Which neighbourhood in your town is most different to your own? Spend an afternoon running errands there.
  • Many world-famous universities (UC Berkeley, Cambridge, the Sorbonne) offer free courses online. Sign up to one and learn Shakespeare, Roman history or opera.
  • Go on a mural walking tour. Describe your favourite mural.

Silo art is a big deal in rural Australia (Mike Osborne)

Reproduced with permission from Explore Every Day, © Lonely Planet 2019, www.lonelyplanet.com

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