It’s New Year’s Eve and you know the drill: Fork over $100 for a couple of drinks, two wilted hors-d’oeuvres, and a grim resolution to not spend a dime until your next paycheck. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Our resolution in these trying times is to party hard (certainly), but keep the green in our pockets. That’s why our crack GO Brooklyn team has whipped up a list of year-end blowouts that’ll keep you out all night, and save your checking account from sharing your inevitable hangover:
It’s a grab bag of freedom at Water Street Restaurant and Lounge’s annual “Procrastinator’s Ball”: a glass of champagne toast, noisemakers, a live DJ, big-screen TV coverage of the ball drop in Times Square and dessert — all for free. Owner Jeffrey Rodman (best known for his burgers and his ping-pong prowess) doesn’t even jack up the prices at an annual celebration that is so rocking that you’ll probably break more resolutions than you make.
“We’re gonna pack the place out — and the prices on the menu won’t change for the occasion, either,” said Rodman.
Reservations are requested, but it’s called the “Procrastinator’s Ball” for a reason. Come as you are.
Water Street Restaurant and Lounge [66 Water St. between Dock and Main streets in DUMBO, (718) 625-9352]. For info, visit waterstree
It might as well be Pete Townshend smashing his Gibson right before your eyes as the clock strikes midnight — except that it won’t be a guitar, but a ukulele.
And the borough’s own Sonic Uke will perform rather than The Who.
Oh, and the stage is actually a brownstone stoop, not a stadium.
But who cares? The sixth annual Ukulele Drop in the South Slope will start with the traditional “ukulele drop” 15 minutes before midnight, followed by the mini-acoustic rock show of the year — free. It’s BYOB on this one, but the bodega down the street isn’t raising its prices for the night (not that we condone public drinking at all, mind you!).
Ukulele Drop [in front of 321 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues, (646) 257-3747]. Show up at 11:45 pm. For info, visit sonicuke.com.
The self-proclaimed “biggest party in Brooklyn” kicks off at midnight at the Grand Army Plaza, where you’ll be bombarded with musical guests, hot (low-priced) refreshments and a dazzling fireworks display. Yes, the explosions are expensive — for the main sponsor, Borough President Markowitz — but for you it’s all free.
The fun starts at 11 pm.
The best vantage points are in Grand Army Plaza or the top part of Prospect Park West.
New Year’s Eve fireworks in Grand Army Plaza [Union Street between Prospect Park West and Flatbush Avenue, (718) 965-8999].
What do you get when you invite glass-eating, fire-breathing, snake-charming freaks to a no-cover party on the last night of 2009? The Coney Island Circus Sideshow with keister-kicking musical guest Bad Buka, that’s what.
See how even the freaks get freaky when they converge at Radegast Hall in Williamsburg, and feel good knowing you won’t have to pay a dime. Throw in a free bratwurst with every $5 half-liter beer and you’ve got yourself a full-on horror flick — with carnies!
Coney Island Circus Sideshow at Radegast Hall and Biergarten [113 N. Third St. between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3973]. Music starts at 10 pm. For info, visit www.radega
Don’t get caught clinking glasses with a couple buddies in a cramped apartment because the neighbors hate loud music. The Old American Can Factory in Gowanus is about to transform into a sweaty and swanky disco club without the shaking fists of your neighboring nemeses.
For only $15 (if you reserve in advance), you’ll get free bubbly for the countdown, cheap booze and at least five DJs — Eleven, Ayres and Cosmo Baker among them — spinning funk, soul, disco and hip hop throughout the night.
There’s no dress code, but organizers promise such a packed house that you should be prepared to “lose your s—t,” hopefully a reference to the need to doff your duds rather than the work of wily thieves.
Warehouse dance party at the Old American Can Factory [232 Third St. between Third and Fourth avenues, (212) 843-2400]. Show starts at 9 pm.
Whether you’re hosting a hoity-toity snootfest or a midnight toast for two, your guests should at least be drunk enough to disregard the fact that you didn’t throw a Benjamin at one bottle of bubbly. Here are five great bottles — from four great wine shops — at about $15:
• Luvee y Campf ($13.95 at Red, White & Bubbly): Persistent, fine bubbles and a nice, dry finish makes this sparkling wine a raw deal with a glitzy taste. They’ll never know.
Red, White & Bubbly [211 Fifth Ave. between Union and President streets in Park Slope, (718) 636-9463].
• Proseco Blend Pink Sparkler ($15 at Picada y Vino): This rosy bottle boasts a flavorful blend — a slightly off-dry taste with hints of pear and banana candy notes.
• Paul DeCoste ($13 at Picada y Vino): A sparkling wine that represents the quintessential blanc-de-blanc (that’s 100 percent Chardonnay to you). The bubbly features a slight peach undertone with excellent minerality.
Picada y Vino [327 Fifth Ave. between Third and Fourth streets in Park Slope, (718) 499-2392].
• New Mexico Gruet ($14.95 at Long’s Wines and Liquors). It’s dry, it’s crisp and it’s toasty. This champagne’s got all the power of an expensive bottle, with nice steps from fruity and acidic to dry that makes it drinkable for everyone.
Long’s [7917 Fifth Ave. between 79th and 80th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 748-6505].
• Spanish Cava ($15.75 at The Greene Grape). This one’s got a fruity, “orange-peely” taste as employees described, and it’s not dry to the bone. If you’re looking for sweet (don’t worry, we’re talking champagne sweet, not Carlo Rossi stay-up-all-night-and-vomit sweet), this is the bottle for you.
The Greene Grape [765 Fulton St. between Portland Avenue and Oxford Street in Fort Greene, (718) 797-9463].
Nothing says New Year’s Eve like a big steaming pile of beef. The Fairway Market in Red Hook’s got you covered for that do-it-yourself meat mountain at a low price. At $4.99 a pound (at press time), the whole, trimmed filet mignon is the ultimate beef experience — and the butchers will custom cut it for free.
For best results, don’t bother with butchering. Cover the entire loin from tip to tail with salt, pepper and butter and pop the whole roast into a 500-degree oven for about 20 minutes (for a normal-sized tenderloin) — or until a meat thermometer registers 125 degrees.
Fairway Market [480 Van Brunt St. near Reed Street in Red Hook, (718) 694-6868]. For info, visit www.fairwa