I am sure you have heard it a million times already since last night, but let me once more wish everyone who reads my blog a happy and prosperous 2009, filled with laughter, love, health, and success! xoxo
Now, what did I do for New Year's Eve? Overnight the temps dropped dramatically, and it was so subzero outside that I nearly stayed home. The day opened with blowing powdery snow which did not stay. It was so windy that every time there was a gust, the sofa would move as I was sitting on it. The WNW wind gusts took the clouds away but then there were patches of black ice where the snow had melted against the salted sidewalks. The wind chill was way down at ZERO fahrenheit (-17C)!!!
I had been invited to join friends at Don't Tell Mama, on 46th between 8th and 9th, for a piano bar singalong evening. I am glad I went, even though I have a sore throat now - not from the singing; more likely from the dry cold.
It was quite an adventure getting there. The subways were running very well, but none were stopping at 49th/7th. So...I had to brave the crowds at 42nd St/Times Square, where security was tight for the crowds who were there to watch the brand new ball drop (11,000 pounds of Waterford crystal with multicolored kaleidoscopic effects, 12ft across, double the size of the previous ball).
It took me about a quarter of an hour to exit Times Square station alone, as many exits within the blockaded area were closed - I suppose if you were watching the ball drop you would have been there with a ticket hours earlier. Even following directions to the special exits, I circulated around the station at least 3 times passing the same cops again and again, until by some chance I found my way out.
The streets and avenues surrounding Times Square were blocked with barriers and police cruisers and guarded carefully by police officers, so if you had to get into a venue you needed proof of entry. Well, I thought I was going to 7th/8th so I approached the three cops at the gate. When I couldn't get my friends on the phone, one suggested to the other that he escort me in, so I went for a walk with one of New York City's finest and we had a pleasant chat, but it turns out I was one block off and should have been on the unrestricted block at 8th/9th. I felt silly but he laughed and said it was no problem. I thanked him for walking with me, and he thanked me for allowing him to take a walk. I did feel sorry for the thousands of NYC cops out in force last night, bundled up to their eyeballs and carrying the weight of their belts and their training into the streets. At times like this the city belongs to them, and people were really well behaved, no shouting, no disorder, no obvious drunkenness just people going where they had to go, albeit in silly hats.
Under my seemingly civilized evening wear I was wearing some pretty cozy layers. Then I put on a long wraparound cardigan to go under the coat, plus my fur accessories, yet I was still not quite warm enough...
A Max Studio top which I didn't like until I put the belt on. Belt, cocktail ring, velvet trousers from London. 1928 necklace from NYC. Crystal earrings from my friend Amy, 2007. Mother's vintage Rado watch.
Kenny Davidson at the piano. Singalong to "New York, New York"
It was delightfully informal with a selection of rooms to sit in. Kenny played for 4 hours straight, including some of his own compositions. We sang along to anything we wanted, wrote requests on napkins, and even audience members who were professional or amateur singers could get a few minutes at the microphone. The bartenders too were singers and comedians.
There were many pop songs, oldies, crooner classics, and Broadway tunes from Natasha Bedingfield to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody to Showboat. In fact, by the time we left the pianists had swapped rooms and a younger guy would be singing some Beatles numbers until 4am.
It got crazy when waiter George took over to ring in the New Year and it got bawdy - in fact there were moments when even Kenny at the piano would call out a warning, "Now then, George..." Every year George customizes his apron - last year it was Michelangelo's David - well, this year he had sewn on a flap which lifted to reveal a pop up p*nis made of pantyhose and foam complete with matching beard. No wonder he worked so hard to get us all drunk before midnight! Whatever else happened in the room, stays in the room - I guess now I know why it's called "Don't Tell Mama"!