Hello Free Spirits,

My New Years was wild. Read along. First off there were 2 million people expected in the times square area for New Year Eve. For your information this area covers most of the territory from 40th Street to 53rd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues. That is not a lot of space… So I thought I was going to get hurt or die or something tragic. The logical side of the brain was telling me to stay away from that area and move my plans elsewhere. But my actual brain was like “Nicole, this is a once in a lifetime thing you will have a blast.”

And so I followed my own advice and it turned out to be the best decision ever.

Everything for me was last minute that day. I had a large group of 50 students to take care of for most of the day. I showed them Central Park, Grand Central Terminal and the High line. Yes it was totally possible to do those activities given the days chaos!

Here are some pictures from the first half of the day!

The original plan for the celebration was to stand in times square area and wait for hours to see the ball drop. But I did not want to spend my night in a diaper, so I opted for a night at cool bar with friends.

I have no idea how we made this happen New Year Day but we managed to book a table for 10 people. Wajiha and I were screaming of joy when the restaurant( NYC District Tap House) had space for us to stay from 9pm till the ball drop!

Before our reservation we walked around the streets of manhattan and on the way found a vegan restaurant.  I know my vegan food and I could say that this was pretty good stuff. The restaurant was “Franchia Vegan Cafe” for those interested in going.

We ordered Vegan “Chicken” Wings and assorted dumplings.

After our vegan meal, so around 7:30 pm we started walking towards the Bar.

Leaving early was a good idea. The streets were crowded with people and vendors were all over the place selling New Years Eve accessories.

The streets surrounding the ball drop, were guarded by Police. And in order to get onto a street in the district you had to show the police proof of a dinner reservation or hotel booking.

(Wajiha and I) were very nervous about getting past the officers because we weren’t sure if the phone reservation was enough proof to get in. So I memorized the whole name and she memorized the address and off we went. When the officer asked where we were going, without blinking an eye and with my serious game face on I let him know.

The officer proceeded to tell us that we can just skip showing the reservation and walk through on 37th street.  All that stress for nothing.

We got in nice and early we enjoyed our dinner and drinks at the bar. A few minutes before the clock striked 12 for new years the bar gave us all a glass of champagne to toast!

Champagne in NYC

During the last few minutes of 2016, I remember watching Maria Carey struggle with her performance on TV.

As soon as midnight struck we all cheered and I ran outside with Wajiha to cheer with the street crowd.

People were blowing their horns, dancing around, I recall a guy popping his champagne on the street. Some people were climbing the wall railings and all the street vendors were giving their stuff out for free! It was a fun celebration and the energy of the crowd was amazing.

We continued our night by taking a spontaneous trip to Greenwich village. One of my favourite places in NYC. As soon as we got off the subway we decided to do some bar hopping. We saw a gay bar on the street and walked right in.

We met a few cool people in there and chatted with them for a bit. We got more drinks there and danced the night away to some awesome music. Mainly top 40 with a few throw backs to Britney Spears and Maria Carey.

My friend Giordano kept getting hit on by a few gay guys at the bar. And it was nice that for once I was able to go to a place without having guys excessively hit on me. I remember people being very friendly there and were very excited when we were all dancing together. When I was in line for the bathroom a guy pulled another guy in there to have sex with him. Ive never seen that happen before so I found it kind of interesting. There was also a weird dynamic between a few guys at the bar. There was one guy that kept making out with like 3 different guys that same night. And a particular nerdy looking guy got very jealous of him. He kept questioning his actions and appeared sad whenever he saw him with another guy.

Pieces washroom

In the funky bathroom

We left the bar at around 3pm and decided to go somewhere else. We walked into some other bar which we decided was too formal for us so we walked over to McDonalds.

Two hours after that we decided to head back to the hotel and call it a night.

I hope that you enjoyed reading my blog post about my new years celebrations in NYC! It was such an amazing experience and I am happy to have the opportunity to do so with my wonderful job as a tour leader!

I wish you a wonderful new year my free spirits!

Love, Nicole


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