Angela: My New Year’s Eves are always a little low-key, but I would have to say that one of my favorites happened this year when I spent time with three of my best friends. It was like a lesbian reality show without the glamour but with the alcohol, good times and laughs, and was a great way to start off my last (finally!) year of college.
Brooke: Without question ... It was an intimate yet intense Brand New concert at the House of Blues. We drank, danced, indulged in other unmentionables and weirded ourselves out well into 2012.
Carol: My most memorable New Year’s Eve is when my husband asked me to marry him. Corny, right?
Dan: My most memorable New Year’s Eve would be my first with my partner, Kasey. It was only our third date and we shared a magical kiss on a friend’s roof deck at midnight watching the fireworks. On our train ride home, Kasey (who rarely drinks) barfed on the train on the people seated in front of us. Due to the pizza we had eaten earlier, when I looked up, I saw little pieces of pepperoni in the woman’s hair in front of him. Very gross for her, but definitely a memorable New Year’s Eve!
Don: While I have had several really memorable New Year’s Eves, all from the ’70s and early ’80s, none is anywhere near PG-13!
Greg: I showed up after midnight to my girlfriend’s and she broke up with me for being late (Jan. 1, 1998).
Jen: New Year’s Eve always stresses me out because there’s so much pressure to do something fun and it often falls short of expectations. But last year’s was pretty awesome, seeing Brand New in Atlantic City and ringing in midnight with a balloon drop at the concert. But, the night nosedived when our car decided not to turn on at 3 a.m. in the parking garage. Thankfully, strangers took pity on us after about an hour and gave us a jump — it was a long night, but a memorable one!
Larry: I’m a comedian and there’s a gig that I’ve done a few times that is the kind of gig you do for New Year’s when nothing else pans out. In my case it’s called Downtown Countdown in Washington, D.C., which is basically a huge hotel complex with different party zones, including a comedy room that usually features five or six comedians, each doing 10-minute sets every so often. It’s a weird gig for a number of reasons. The comedy room is usually so close to the live-music venue that we have to compete with the noise blasting from that room. Also, the comedy room usually becomes the place where weary partiers go to either eat or sit down because they are tipsy, tired or their stripper-heel pumps are killing their feet. Last year, my expectations were low, but they moved the party to a better hotel, and the comedy room was huge and far-removed from the live-music room, where the big-time act of the evening was Third Eye Blind. Still, the vibe amongst my fellow comics wasn’t too festive. A particularly witty comic with a passion for trading barbs with unruly drink crowds took a bullet for us and did the after-midnight set, which none of us wanted because that is easily the most depressing set to do, performing for the very drunk and exhausted. The rest of decided to have some fun with the gig for a change and while the last comic was performing to a small crowd of stragglers, we ran around grabbing every party favor, balloon and decoration from around the room and chucking them onto the stage while he performed. We figured, if the room had to get cleaned up, they were going to earn their pay. Five minutes into the show he was performing surrounded by a forest of silver metallic balloons. Then we put tables and chairs behind him on stage and sat a couple there like it was some kind of VIP seating. The part of the evening I was dreading became fun somehow. Then they paid us, and we got the hell out of there faster than you could blow a party horn.
Mark: The most memorable New Year’s Eve was Jason and I standing on our roof holding each other in the freezing cold and watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks at midnight.
Prab: New Year’s Eve 2009: Took a late flight from New York and got to see fireworks from up above the clouds. Then awoke at dawn to a spectacular view from the sky of Paris covered in snow. The cheerful flight staff welcomed us with champagne. Alas, instead of being on a romantic getaway, I was on my way to attend a funeral! C’est la vie.
Sandy: My favorite New Year’s Eve celebrations were those of my early youth, circa 1973-’76. My parents would host the parties at our then-teeny rowhome on a small South Philly street, and it would spilleth over with relatives, friends and neighbors — most of whom, even before the inebriation set in, were lined up as my partying pop did that ’70s dance craze, The Bump ... bumping them, one by one, out the front door.
Scott: I don’t have a particularly memorable New Year’s Eve. It’s just a night, and another year starts. Big deal. I do, however, have a tradition of making a pot of chili every year that afternoon or night, depending on what I’m doing. One year I had friends over for games and drinks; for another, it was fireworks on Penn’s Landing; and another, it was fireworks (illegal ones) in South Philly. I have also celebrated on the Art Museum steps with champagne, in numerous bars, in the madness of the Magic Kingdom and the madness at Epcot. Once, I rang it in with some good friends on a beach. I’ve watched the ball drop in Times Square on television, I’ve marked midnight by myself in the peace of Fairmount Park and in Rittenhouse Square with the sounds of celebration filtering through the streets. This year, chili, movies and hanging out on the couch with my favorite guy.
Sean: For some reason, the New Year’s Eve that sticks with me the most was a party before the second Gulf War where, right before the count down, somebody shouted for “a toast for peace in the New Year.” It totally changed the whole mood of the party with everyone waiting for the countdown. When we got to zero, instead of the usual “Happy New Year’s!” everybody raised their glass and shouted, “To peace!” Of course, it didn’t do anything to change the course of world events, but it did give the usual New Year’s party a different, more somber note.
Tim: My most memorable New Year’s Eve was as a high-school senior, when I had my first drink of alcohol. My best friend and I were working as busboys at a nearby country club. There was a festive New Year’s Eve party at the club. We decided to finish off the leftover wine in the pitchers that we cleared from tables. Soon, we were plastered. Our boss pulled us off the floor and demoted us to dishwashers. We didn’t fit in there, either, and somehow managed to jam the dishwashing machine. Then, our boss sent us home. Fortunately, we lived close by. So we just staggered home. Needless to say, my foray into drinking didn’t last very long.