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Ted Greenberg Reflects on His Top 5 New Year’s Eve Experiences

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Posted: December 26, 2011
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“What is the meaning of life?” is not the most pressing existential question. Any New Yorker will tell you, it is, instead, “What should I do on New Year’s Eve?” Great plans = a fabulous year ahead. Lousy plans should be avoided at all costs.
 
With less than a week to figure out how I will ring in 2012, I offer a look back at my five top previous New Year’s Eve experiences.
 
Mexico City

 

5. SOUTH OF THE BORDER SURPRISE
Earlier this decade, I celebrated the New Year in the strangest of ways — getting a traffic ticket and nearly spending a night in a Mexico City jail. The upside: the points didn’t count toward my New York license.
 
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24

 

4. RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK
Maybe now is the time to mention my man crush on Kiefer Sutherland. C’mon he’s an Emmy winner. I’m an Emmy winner. Emmy winners gotta stick together. In honor of my bond with the Kief, I rang in 2003 with a 24-hour marathon of his spell-binding TV show’s first season. Watching two-dozen episodes of “24” in one sitting was more adrenaline-pumping than any night at a New York City club.
 
Central Park at Night

 

3. MIDNIGHT RUN
I love to run. I love New York City. The New York Road Runners Midnight Run, a four-mile race in Central Park on New Year’s Eve, is a fabulous way to say goodbye to one year and hello to another. This year’s event, sponsored by Emerald Nuts, features a laser light and fireworks show as well as dancing.
 
Film Forum Marquee

 

2. DOUBLE FEATURE
Sometimes I prefer a laid back New Year’s Eve. On those occasions, I head to one of New York’s treasures — Film Forum — for a double feature. For 40+ years, Film Forum has offered independent fare. For going on four years, I have performed my throughly independent show. Fun fact, for five years (1975-80), Film Forum was located at the Vandam Theater, now known as the SoHo Playhouse where I perform Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer every Saturday night. These days, Film Forum is situated on West Houston Street only a few short blocks from its former home and my current one SoHo Playhouse.
 
Times Square on New Year's Eve

 

1. THE HEART OF IT ALL
Most New Yorkers, quite honestly, avoid Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but I highly recommend everyone spend the holiday — just once! — with the horde of freezing, drunken revelers at the crossroads of the world. Just once. There is nothing like watching the glittering ball drop live. Nothing. Side note: go when the weather is nice; sub-freezing temperatures are hard to shake off hours after you are inside.  And unlike my show, do not expect a cab ride home.
 
What are you doing for New Year’s Eve this year? I’m still figuring out my plans and taking all suggestions. Maybe we can party together?



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