P1150077New Year’s Eve can be rubbish can’t it? The first year I got here, I paid $100 to get into a creepy club with sticky floors, lecherous men and no way of getting to the bar. I vowed never to do it again.

This year I also had to factor in a 7 a.m. shift on New Year’s Day, so I knew it was going to be far, far more relaxed than those ‘celebrations’ two years ago. Thankfully Prospect Park came up trumps.

After starting the night off with a couple of whiskeys and fighting the urge to nap, Ryan and I donned our New Year glasses and followed the thump of the music to the park. Grand Army Plaza was lit up and it was gorgeous.P1150075 P1150078 P1150081

There was also a mini stage, where we listened to proud Park Slopers talk about their neighborhood and celebrate their local officials, who grabbed the mics and wished revellers the best for 2014.P1150085

There was no pushing or shoving and no sequins or snogging sessions in sight. For some, that might be a shame, but for me, it was a winner.

We’d arrived about 15 minutes before midnight so were stunned when they suddenly started counting… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…20140102-172617.jpg P1150132

Then Ryan and I got down to some dancing while music played on stage. Eventually, with our whiskey unable to keep us warm, we agreed it was enough excitement and trudged back to South Slope… where I opened my birthday presents (yes, Today’s the Day I turned 28!).

Now this is how you do New Year’s Eve. It’s not going to win any prizes for creativity or adventure, but it was perfect: Going to a free event filled with friendly people who love their neighborhood, before watching fireworks and having a dance. That’s a pretty great way to start 2014, I reckon.

Happy New Year everyone! Only one more day to go and then I’ll have completed my year of daily new New York experiences!

We're in there somewhere...

We’re in there somewhere…