There are different types:
- The house party in the suburbs (belonging to a friend of a friend) where I don't know anyone and don't meet anyone interesting, where I end up watching the Ball Drop in Times Square at midnight on TV, sitting on a couch with a couple of other strangers who also feel awkward while a handful of others are getting shitfaced in the kitchen.
- The low-end package deal, which includes dinner (maybe a spaghetti with rolls and side salad, and a couple of free drinks) and a marginal cover band. These are very much like an economy wedding reception except that I, again, don't know anyone other than the other couple we are with. I don't polka and gave up disco in my 20s. The band will play Proud Mary, Love Shack, Start Me Up and will finish the night with New York New York.
- The higher-end package deal, which will include either dinner or hors d'oevres, a glass of champagne at midnight, a marginal cover band (see: #2 low-end package deal), and a hotel option. These affairs always made me the most uncomfortable because everyone is trying to "outdress" each other, the line for the bar will be looong (and that is where you will spend a lot of time - either that or your date will be in the line while you are alone). The hotel part does rock though. I hate being in a car after midnight on New Years.
The only thing I like doing on NYE is spending time with people I know and like, or doing something special - just for its own merit, not because it's NYE. Back in 2008 we went to Momo's for the last public Austin performance of one of our favorite bands: the South Austin Jug Band. They went out in style, bringing in as many ex-members as they could, and it was fantastic. I thought of it today when one of the band members posted this video of mine from that show on FB - it was a tribute to our favorite music club which closed its doors abruptly this week (the club where they and many other favorite bands got started) - more gentrification taking place in that location (no doubt). Momo's will relocate (they say) and musicians keep going but some things will just be memories... for auld lang syne.