Bringing in the New Year This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I'dlike to start off by saying that no matter what you decide to do on New Year'sEve, you are bound to be disappointed. Anything from going out and partying totaking a trip to the city, or simply watching the infamous ball drop on TV isbound to flat out flop. Being happy and rejuvenated because of the New Yearusually manages to slide into being physically cold and mentally anguished aboutjust how stupid this holiday is. However, as disappointing as it may have been, Istill have managed to have an interesting New Year's.

I was one of thebold (and apparently stupid) ones who decided to go to New York City on NewYear's. It all began when a few good friends and I were wandering the mall,squandering our Christmas money and gift certificates in typical teenage fashion.We began discussing our plans for New Year's and quickly realized that we hadnone! Well, I did, but I pretended not to with the hopes that my friends wouldsuggest something better. Sure enough, my friend Vanessa said it: "Let's goto the city!"

Ah yes, the city ... the one and only place on earthwhere one can travel many hours and spend irreconcilable amounts of money inorder to navigate through millions of drunken revelers, police officers andswerving cars only to discover that unless you are very lucky, you can't goanywhere or do anything in New York City on New Year's, with the exception ofhopping through puddles of nasty slush and dodging psychotic cab drivers. None ofthis, however, entered my mind, or anyone else's.

The prospect of goingwas exciting enough to void whatever other plans I may have had. Lucky for us,Vanessa has very nice parents who were willing to come with us and get us roomsat a rather posh Manhattan hotel.

After a few days of anticipation and afew fibs to get out of my previous engagements, we departed for the city withVanessa's parents at the wheel early New Year's Eve. After arriving at the hoteland doing a bit - well, a lot of - gawking at just how nice it was and how nicethis girl's parents were to pay, we took a trip to Chinatown for a late lunch.Needless to say, we ate Chinese, and then browsed through the various illegalimitation handbags, watches, swords, pets, etc, that one can find there.

After that rather interesting experience we went back to the hotel andchilled for a while until Vanessa's very nice parents took us all out to dinner.We walked around Grand Central Station looking for a place to eat and found atable was ready for all nine of us at this place I've never heard of simplycalled "The Michael Jordan Restaurant."

We sat at our table,and our waiter promptly handed us menus. But this guy was not just any waiter.His name was Kaiser and he had a thick European accent and was clad in a veryexpensive desert beige suit. That kind of dropped a hint to me that something wasnot exactly normal about this restaurant. When I actually decided to look at themenu, my suspicions were confirmed. Let's just say that it would probably havebeen cheaper to raise and slaughter my own cow from birth than have a steakthere. Fearing that purchasing a normal-sized meal at this place could result indestabilizing the world's economy, we kids figured bread and water would suffice.But after some stubborn insisting by Vanessa's very, very nice parents, we allordered a normal, albeit expensive, meal.

I ordered chicken. Not fancybourbon chicken, not covered-in-funky-sauces chicken or with weird European namesto make it sound extraordinary, just plain old chicken with a side of mashedpotatoes. All I can say is, WOW! I don't know what they did to that poor chickento make it taste so good, but it was better than any I'd ever had. The mashedpotatoes might as well have been caviar. Even the water was somehow better thanaverage.

After that mouth-watering experience, we went back to the hoteland worked out our plans for the evening - going to First Night held near theIntrepid on the other side of Manhattan. Being ignorant suburbanites, we figured,heck, you can walk anywhere in Manhattan. We'd just walk from the hotel nearGrand Central Station and cut through Times Square.

At this point, it wasnine o'clock. Your typical group of idiot teenagers would have realized we had asnowball's chance in hell of getting where we wanted to go and would have juststuck around for the party the hotel was throwing for guests. But we aren't yourtypical group of idiot teenagers, and we began the trek. We walked. Then wewalked some more, and we still walked a while more. All the way we were greetedby very irritable police officers telling us that we would basically have to walkthe entire island of Manhattan before we could get to the Intrepid. But we werestubborn, and Vanessa's very nice dad did some negotiating with an off-duty cabdriver stopped at a red light.

After a brief, uncomfortable ride, the sixof us arrived at the Intrepid and unpacked ourselves from a four-passenger cabonly to find that they weren't allowing any more people into the First Nightcelebration. Wonderful. Absolutely splendid.

After a few sighs, and a fewexpletives, we waited around in the slush for half an hour and somehow got a cabto pick us up. It was an hour's drive back to the hotel, which got us there justin time to change and go to the hotel party and watch the ball drop. The band wasdecent and a good time was had by all through the night, but I won't go into thedetails on the grounds that it may incriminate me and my friends.

WhenI returned home the next morning, I was glad to discover that after a day and ahalf in the city and spending the night at a posh hotel and eating food soexpensive it would increase the value of my clothing if spilled on, I was onlyabout ten dollars poorer than when I left. Not bad.

I still contend,though, that no matter what you do on New Year's, no matter how great ormemorable an experience you have, you are destined for disappointment. The key tohaving a truly wonderful, not disappointing time on New Year's Eve? Go to bed.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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