New Years for the Square set in NYC?
December 21, 2010 2:32 PM   Subscribe

New Years Eve in NYC for the non-partiers?

Yes, we are kind of square and don't exactly want to go to a stupid party and get wasted for the nth year in a row, though a glass of wine might be nice. He is visiting from out of town and I'd love to take advantage of the city though.

I'm looking for cultured stuff, outdoors stuff, nerdy stuff...anything interesting and out of the ordinary to do!
posted by melissam to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Central Park. Better than the Fourth of July Fireworks and the Midnight Run.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:35 PM on December 21, 2010

I think there's a race in central park that is supposed to be fun to do/watch.
posted by bquarters at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2010

The best New Year's Eve I had while living in NYC was running in Central Park -- I'm sure you can walk too (I walked part of it, who can run in the middle of the night like that?!).
posted by backwords at 2:37 PM on December 21, 2010

Nth-ing the Midnight Run! I've done it before and it was one of my favorite races - champagne on the second mile, fireworks at the start, great time. I'm sure it would be fun to wander around and watch the crazy people running too.
posted by kat518 at 2:42 PM on December 21, 2010

Steam whistles at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn! Very loud and festive.
posted by moonmilk at 3:52 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Depending on your taste in music, there may be an appealing rock show (M. Doughty, Guided by Voices, Patti Smith, Butthole Surfers, to name a few). Also Jivamukti yoga will be open for free silent meditation from 9pm to midnight. Lots of people do a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (but not crowds and crowds of people). Dr. Phil is leading one such group this year (you did say square, right?).
posted by xo at 5:16 PM on December 21, 2010

Just to be clear, the person leading the Brooklyn Bridge walk is not the Dr. Phil from tv. Just a guy named Phil who happens to have a PhD.
posted by twinight at 6:56 PM on December 21, 2010

I have seen both the Central Park Midnight run and the Pratt Institute Steam Whistles. The Midnight Run is very fun to watch, as people often run in costume -- they have a whole costume parade beforehand, and it can get silly.

The Steam Whistles are in a really family-friendly, "neighborhoody" feeling part of town (disclaimer -- it's where I live) and always draws a big happy crowd. The backstory: Pratt has a steam furnace, and the guy who tends to it also collects old steam whistles from ocean liners and railroads. He also has a steam carillion, which he can play using a keyboard. He drags them all out onto the quad on New Year's Eve, spends the hour counting down to midnight playing random songs as the crowd gathers, and then at midnight he sounds off everything. The crowd that's gathered is a mix of "local community group types" and "families with kids" and "college students".

But my favorite part is that after midnight, he leaves them set up on the lawn for an hour or so, letting people sound the whistles themselves if they want.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:44 AM on December 22, 2010

Oh -- and here's another video; it looked like moonmilk's was down.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:47 AM on December 22, 2010

The Village Voice published this article on alternative New Year's Eve plans with a huge variety of levels of drinking from an AA dance, to the Film Forum, to the Met Opera, to a Party Bus.
posted by Jahaza at 6:38 AM on December 22, 2010

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