I’m feeling optimistic about the new era that lies ahead. Each of us has more power than we realize—one only has to look to Greta Thunberg, Lin Manuel Miranda, Christine Blasey Ford, Jose Andres, Colin Kaepernick, or Hannah Gadsby to see just a few examples of people whose courage, dedication, and unwillingness to give up on what matters to them has changed the way the rest of us think and live our lives during the past ten years. I’m not setting the bar that high for myself, obviously, but I’d like to spend less time worrying and more time living by my own rules in the 2020s, and that actually feels doable at the moment.
So bring on the twenties, and let this be a watershed moment in every conceivable way! We’ve got lots of happenings we’ve found for you to mark the end of 2019 and the beginning of a fresh, new decade, ripe with the opportunity for all of us to discover how to edge our way closer to happiness and fulfillment and peace. Happy New Year, everyone, and please join me in ringing this one with some extra enthusiasm.—K.H.
Priests, a Washington, DC-based rock band, has announced that their NYE show at Rough Trade in Williamsburg will be their last, maybe ever! I haven’t had the chance to see them live yet, but it looks like they put on a great, energetic show. Tickets are $25, plus about $11 in fees. If you want to stick around Williamsburg for some fun after midnight, get tickets for Sleigh Bells’s DJ set at Brooklyn Bowl. Doors are at midnight, and tickets are just $15 in advance.
The music-filled celebration at Public Records in Gowanus includes at least eight DJs and three live performances. For their New Year’s extravaganza, you can get an evening and morning pass for $69, which includes one nighttime drink voucher, a selection of late night snacks, and your choice of coffee, plus a pastry or breakfast cocktail in the AM. That’ll take you from 10pm through 8am—and beyond. You can add on further with a dinner reservation at 7pm, for $65 per person plus fees. A morning pass ($28.75) covers the Ambient Cafe portion of the celebration, starting at 8am on New Year’s Day.
Meanwhile, at Gowanus watering hole Parklife, you can compete is a special 2019-themed trivia event starting at 7pm, after which Donwill will supply tunes for a NYE dance party starting at 9pm. Tickets start at $25, which includes drinks, tacos, a champagne toast when the ball drops, and admission to an afterparty at littlefield if you are still standing.
For a classy dinner in Greenpoint, make a reservation at Glasserie in Greenpoint. For $98 per person, you’ll get a five course meal; they’ve promised tunes and “good vibes,” too. Maison Yaki in Prospect Heights, sister restaurant of Olmsted, still has a few reservations open for their three course, prix fixe menu, at $75 per person.
Brooklyn Cider House is getting in on the roaring twenties action, hosting an open bar and dance party from 10pm-2am in its taproom. Flapper attire is encouraged, and there will be a buffet station featuring delicious snacks, cider catching, a champagne tower toast, DJ sets, and live entertainment. Tickets are $100, but if you want to make a full night of it, you can also make a reservation for a 3-course prix fixe dinner beforehand.
Got a couple of minors you’re hanging out with when you ring in 2020? The Time Out Market in DUMBO is throwing a party that’s open to children of all ages, complete with Manhattan skyline views. a live band, a DJ, and a screening of the ball drop, from 8pm-12:30am. Or you could bring the whole gang to Grand Army Plaza for the annual NYE fireworks show and celebration, which attracts tens of thousands people every year, and is free to attend with registration.
For something a little different, head to Coney Island Brewery for its speakeasy-themed 2020 Prohibition Fire & Ice Party starting at 8pm. Tickets are $85 each, but that includes 4 drink tickets; side show performances from Sage Sovereign, Fibi Eyewalker, and others; live jazz music from Stan Killian, Lauren Lee Jazz & Bryan and the Aardvarks; a photobooth; late night eats; and post-countdown fireworks on the boardwalk. Depending on how the evening goes, you might even be up for the 116th annual Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day at 10am.
If a boozefest at a bar sounds a little aggressive for your New Year’s this year, there are still tickets available to see The Strokes and Mac DeMarco at Barclays Center, or you could see one of the Oscar contenders, like Parasite, Little Women, Knives Out, or Bombshell, at BAM. But if you truly want to kickoff 2020 in peace, consider heading to Brooklyn Zen to eat noodle soup and sit zazen before 108 bells are rung to celebrate the arrival of the new year.