What a nightmare of a New Year’s Eve.

For those who want the quick quick version I will say only this: never, EVER, consider going to Tavern on the Green for a New Year’s Eve party. It was the worst run, worst organized party event that I have ever been to or could even conceive in my wildest imaginings.

And let me tell you why.

First, know that I paid $150 per ticket (plus service charge) for these tickets. The location seemed great, the place was open bar (top shelf) and I had to believe the food would be good. The fireworks in the park are right there. And the place would be full of hot chicks in formal wear (especially mine). So, it sounded like a good deal.

The doors were to open at 9pm. We arrived at about 8:45 and were greeted by a line of about six or seven hundred party goers which snaked around the circular driveway and went all the way to Central Park West. Well, I suppose that’s to be expected. But what really started to piss off me and everyone else was how people just kept walking right up to the door, completely ignoring the hundreds of people already in line, and crowding in a chaotic mass near the doors.

The crowd started to really get riled. There was sporadic yelling and shouting to “get the f*ck back in line!”. I have to say, after I couldn’t take anymore of the constant stream of assholes trying to cut both the long “General Admission” line AND the VIP line, I started heartily participating in the chants of “ass-holes, ass-holes” whenever groups of people started walking up toward the door past all the people standing in line.

Losing your temper is like breaking some seal: once you’ve done it, it’s impossible not to be just generally pissed off at everything.

Two things particularly enraged me while I was standing in line freezing my ass off.

The first was the fact that they didn’t open the doors until 9:45. No one, not even for the people who paid $350 for “VIP” tickets, was let in until then. And it was freaking COLD outside.

The second thing that sent me into a homicidal fury was the organization. The stupid assholes running the place didn’t even have the wits to set up one of those tensor barriers to establish some kind of order toward the front of the line. As a result, all the pushy, assholish New Yorkers who decided they deserved to be in before the hundreds of people who had patiently queued in the freezing cold for over an hour just pushed up toward the door and generally made a mess of the entire system, taking away any incentive for anyone to behave civilly.

A simple rope barrier that would establish the fact that, yes, you have to stand in line you stupid motherf*ckers who get out of taxis at the front door and pretend not to see close to a thousand lined-up people.

It just enraged me. A simple rope, that’s all that was needed. But they had nothing.

It took us another 40 minutes to work our way inside. We got in line at 8:45 and got inside at 10:30. That is f*cking ridiculous. And, as Lynn pointed out earlier as we were freezing our asses off outside and wishing horrible deaths on all line-jumpers, it puts everyone in a bad mood once they get inside.

And it didn’t get any better once inside. The place was packed, standing room only, there were too few bars, the bartenders were acting like they were all fighting the effects of sedatives, and people were pushing and shoving and everyone was pissed off. Having not eaten anything all day but sandwiches, Lynn and I made our way to the buffet, along with half of the entire party. It was so crowded that it was hard to figure out where the line for the food was, and I think we committed the cardinal sin of cutting the “line” a bit ourselves while trying to get some food, but I honestly tried to find the line and get in it.

And then people kept sticking their hands through me to get to the plastic plates and silverware so they could then walk up the line and cut in somewhere else. When the third person did this I walked right up to him and shouted “get in the fucking line”. His four-foot tall Latina girlfriend immediately told me to get out of her man’s face, which was so hysterical that it would have broken the spell of fury that I was under if not for all the rage built up inside of me from all the injustices of the evening.

Words were exchanged. Things along the lines of “back the fuck off” and “get in the line or I will punch you in the face” “bring it my friend” “any time you fucking prick” etc. etc. In the end the invaders were beaten off and I was one second from beating my chest and howling with victory. Hey, treat people like animals long enough and they start to reply in kind.

We reached the end of the line with our tiny plastic plates that had one or two pieces of pasta on them, they ran out of carving meats. Typical. While waiting for our ration of meat there was a big commotion behind us as two stocky men locked arms in a shoving match about somethign to do with the food line. I knew just how they felt.

We ate standing up as people streamed around us, since there was no place to sit down and not even any standing-height tables we could put the plates on. My fury at the event organization of Tavern on the Green knew no bounds and I angrily considered what kind of a prison sentence I would get for demolishing some of their crystal chandeliers and throwing something through their glass walls.

We saw two other fights that night, one while I was standing right at the front at the bar trying to order a drink and two guys crashed into the whole group of people, upending the entire bar table and sending all the bottles crashing to the floor. All just seconds before I was going to place my order.


In due course the year ran out of time, the fireworks went off and we watched them through the skylight of the VIP room for twenty minutes. Lynn consumed a few too many strong gin and tonics in too short a period of time and then decided she wanted to dance (which really meant that she wanted to twirl uncontrollably around the packed dance floor until getting so dizzy she couldn’t do it any more and then proclaiming, “I want to go home now”).

Music to my ears.

Tavern on the Green can kiss my ass. The event staff and the promoters can all burn in Hell (after long and protracted terminal illnesses).


You have been warned.

Categories: New York


Enrico · January 4, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Brian I’m with you! I stood in line until past 11 pm, just to quickly realize how pathetic the situation was inside.
By 11.30 pm I was out, and that was the smartest move I could possible make.
I contacted the organizers asking the money back, of course I haven’t received any reply. Is there anything we could do? The party was simply a scam! Let me know.

Cheers and happy new year,

Maurits · January 7, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Hi Brian,
Sounds like a party from hell. Hope that New York isn’t all crappy appartments and parties. I hope 2008 will be more kind for you on the housing and party-front. Happy Newyear!
Cheers, Maurits

jenn · January 9, 2008 at 12:51 am

My sincerest apologies for being the one to suggest this new year’s to you Brian. I am generally against new year’s anywhere in NYC, but that’s what people wanted this year and I went with the flow. The thing is, once Tavern on the Green was suggested, I really believed that because we were paying to go to a reputable place, that we had a shot at a decent new year’s- at least at good surroundings and food. But you have echoed my sentiments exactly – a similar entry would have shown up on my blog, if I hadn’t spent ALL of 2008 laid up with an upper respiratory infection which I got from being forced to stand outside tavern on the green for an hour and a half in the freezing cold. They are on my shit list, and they are getting the nastiest letter from me. They have gypped me out of the first eight days of my year, of any hope of getting a jump on projects at work, of starting exercise and other new year’s resolutions, and last but not least, the snowboarding trip I had planned for this weekend – the only fun thing that was going to happen to me this month. Fucking assholes.

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