It’s the 25th anniversary of First Night Virginia, and the list of New Year’s entertainment options (see First Night 2007 guide in this week’s C-VILLE) is as long as your bar tab ought to be by the night’s end (if you choose to cap off your First Night Virginia experience with a few spirits, that is). C-VILLE expects you to drink deeply (figuratively or otherwise) of everything thrown at you—to live like a king or a Hollywood heiress for a night, a Tommy Lee or a Paris Hilton on the town. To party like the stars and avoid the tabloids, however, you need a few pointers. (For instance, try not to chase a round of shots with a videocamera and a “sexy idea.”) We’ve gathered the details on every snazzy party, swingin’ concert, swanky dinner and bar special in town, not to mention some words of wisdom on dealing with the usual pitfalls of New Year’s Eve—hangovers, houseguests and getting your sloshed self home. So read on, plan your night and then throw caution to the wind. As Ms. Hilton says, “I don’t think, I just walk.” Words to live by. Cheers.—Brendan Fitzgerald
Hosting New Year’s?
Are you crazy?
Well, aren’t you brave! You looked at the calendar, picked the most traditionally Dionysian evening of the entire year, and invited 300 of your closest friends over to drink with reckless abandon and do things they’ll regret in the morning. (They won’t regret them half as much as you will, though—consider putting all rugs and upholstered furniture directly into storage. Seriously).
Unless you want to begin 2007 with a month or so of painful self-flagellation, we urge you to cancel your plans immediately. (Qualms about retracting invitations? That is so 2006.) If, foolish—er, courageous—readers, you insist on throwing this party, now is the time to enter combat mode and start getting ready.
First of all, it’s important to realize that your “guest list,” by about 6:30pm on December 31, will have become a complete fiction. Barry’s gonna bring his roommate Jimmy whose girlfriend dumped him on Christmas Eve, your co-workers will drag along their not-so-appealing children, and your closest friends will be attending other parties hosted by people they barely know. (This is an act of kindness to you; consider it thus.)
Secondly, your task as host is different for this party than for any other. Put plainly, it is to protect yourself and your possessions. Lay plastic sheeting over the floors. Install locks on the doors of the TV cabinet and, while you’re at it, all the bedrooms. Stash valuable papers, photos and medications in a safe place, like for example your cousin’s garage in Chicago. Assume, valiant reader, that everything will break. Take photos on the 30th to send to your insurance company on the 2nd. Invite the neighbors as a form of fair warning, so that they can get tickets to South America in ample time.
As for your guests, you will be relieved to know that their needs will be simple. Booze, pretzels and a number of plastic buckets should do it. If you value your good cookware and utensils, provide noisemakers. For the sake of disease prevention, choose the twirling type, not the blowing type.
A final, essential word of advice: Nobody really knows the words to that song. Just skip it.—Erika Howsare
Soundtrack for 2007
Once the ball drops, the beats don’t stop
When the needle settled into the warm, worn grooves of your overplayed Kool and the Gang record and “Celebration” kicked on at the dawn of 2006, did you hear shouts of “C’mon!” or weary groans of New Year dance vets that have heard it all before? When “Auld Lang Syne” gets a bit too “auld,” revitalize your dance party with a few new classics and overlooked gems, courtesy of C-VILLE.
Death Cab for Cutie “The New Year”
ABBA “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight)”
Jackson 5 “Dancing Machine”
Justin Timberlake “SexyBack”
Beck “Where It’s At”
The Jam “That’s Entertainment!”
Paris Hilton “Stars are Blind”
R.E.M. “It’s the End of the World as We Know it”
Beastie Boys “Hey Ladies”
Eric Clapton “After Midnight”
Britney Spears “Toxic”
Kevin Federline “Lose Control”
Missy Elliot “Lose Control”
U2 “New Year’s Day”
Daft Punk “One More Time”
View Year’s Eve
Start 2007 the way you spent 2006: in front of the TV
“New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”
Dick Clark and his heir apparent, Ryan Seacrest, once again co-host the pre-eminent New Year’s TV special. If you’re hosting any kind of party, then this is your best bet for background noise and the big ball countdown. Plus, you get musical guest Christina Aguilera, who’s been a lot less slutty this year, so it’s kid-appropriate. The “celebrity guests” include Vanessa Williams, Tori Spelling, Katharine McPhee, Nicole Richie (who, one hopes, won’t be driving her 85-pound self home tonight), William Shatner and Tommy Lee. Appropriate, given that motley crew.
“New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly”
For a couple of years, I actually forgot that Carson Daly existed. Those were good times. Daly is apparently NBC’s attempt to attract a younger audience for New Year’s, but I guess the suits didn’t get the memo that it’s 2006, not 1996. I mean, who cares about Carson Daly any more? It’s bad news in Hollywood when your ex has a higher Q rating than you, and especially bad if that ex happens to be Tara Reid. But maybe the kids will tune in for musical guests Panic! At the Disco.
“Garrison Keillor’s New Year’s Eve Special”
In a decidedly different—and welcome—departure from the typical Times Square hoopla, “A Prairie Home Companion” mastermind Keillor hosts a live broadcast from Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. In addition to quirky “Com-panion” regulars like Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, musical guests include Emmylou Harris, Robin and Linda Williams, and Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. Chances are Keillor will offer a couple of yarns about Lake Wobegon, too.
“New Year Sing-Along Bowl-Athon”
7pm, Disney Channel
Since the rugrats will inevitably beg and whine to stay up late with the grownups, here’s something to keep them occupied while you get snockered on the sly. And I strongly advise alcohol consumption for the adults, as the special will feature both bowling and singing with the stars of such ’tween shows as “Hannah Montana,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” and “That’s So Raven,” plus viewer-choice episodes of shows as well. Great stuff if you’re 13 or younger, but anyone who’s experienced puberty will find brains leaking out their ears.
So you’re alone on New Year’s Eve, sitting on the couch in your pigsty of a living room, ashtray full of butts in your one hand, empty container of Ben & Jerry’s in the other, wondering why even your too-big sweatpants are feeling a little too small. It’s O.K. Put down the gas pipe. The fine folks at TLC realize that some of us might be looking to the new year as a time for change, and have a mini-marathon of this makeover-style series to give you a kick in the lazy ass. Tonight’s episodes include “Get Organized,“ “Quit Smoking,” and “Lose Weight.” Watch, weep, and steel yourself for some hard work in 2007.
Live vicariously through Vince, Eric, Turtle, Johnny and Ari as they party it up Hollywood-style in this Season 3 marathon. Catch all 12 episodes back-to-back. It’s a solid season, with Vince finally making it big thanks to his starring role in James Cameron’s Aquaman movie (oh, if only…) and he and the gang taking full advantage of all the perqs that fame and fortune provide. At midnight, make sure to raise a glass of Champagne to the boys in honor of their recent Golden Globe nod for Best Comedy Series, and especially for the delicious Jeremy Piven (above), who was singled out for his stellar work as ruthless agent Ari.—Eric Rezsnyak
Move over, hangover
Start 2007 by not regretting 2006
Dr. Neil Silva of UVA’s Elson Student Health Center tells us that only time and hydration cure a hangover, but many a regretful soul has sought relief in all manner of morning-after remedies. C-VILLE is happy to provide you with a few to start the New Year right.
This is the mother of all hangover cures.
1 Tbsp. tomato juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
1 dash vinegar
1 pinch black pepper
Combine the tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar in a short glass. Stir. Add the egg yolk, taking care not to split it. Sprinkle the concoction with black pepper. Pinch your nose, tilt your head back and swallow it all in one gulp.
Invented by bartender Fernand Petiot in the famous Parisian hangout Harry’s New York Bar, this classic cocktail will have you feeling no pain the morning after a night on the town. Hit the December 31 brunch at Fellini’s #9 to practice on the Bloody Mary bar.
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. tomato juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 dashes of salt
2 dashes of black pepper
2 dashes of cayenne pepper
1 stalk of celery
Cover the bottom of a shaker with the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the shaker and add ice. Put in the vodka and tomato juice. Shake, strain and pour. Garnish with celery.
The “It Has to Be Good for Me” Smoothie
Making this sweet and easy concoction is an admission that yes, you need vitamins and water, and yes, you’re in no condition to manage doing anything else.
Ibuprofen, to taste
Gather all the fruit, yogurt and juice lying around the kitchen. Combine ingredients in blender and add ice. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Drink over the kitchen sink. Chase with ibuprofen.
Makes 2 servings.
½ lb. bacon
2 slices bread
Scramble and cook the eggs on medium-low heat. Fry the bacon in its own fat. Butter and toast the bread. Sit next to your one night stand, chew everything slowly, and agree that, yeah, last night was pretty crazy. Avoid eye contact.—David T. Roisen
Your free ride on New Year’s Eve
Please give a big tip to Charlie Taylor: He’ll spend New Year’s driving your sorry, sloshed butts home.
In more than 25 years of experience as a cab driver—all but two spent with Charlottesville’s Yellow Cab Company on Sixth Street—Charlie Taylor has adhered to his quota. More often than not, this means that Taylor drives on New Year’s Eve. Until the ball drops, Taylor plays the roles of tour guide for the eager and guardian angel for the intoxicated.
“I get the occasional obnoxious drunk,” says Taylor. “But most people are good spirited.”
From the time the sun sets to the last seconds of the year, Taylor fields specific requests—most for First Night, “country music and karoke”—and patiently caters to his customers. “It’s like if you’re lost—ask a cab driver,” says Taylor. “We’re in the streets all the time.”
All right, taxi driver: What sort of requests do you get?
Four or five years ago, Taylor picked up a couple at their hotel on New Year’s Eve at 11pm and asked where they were headed. Their New Year’s Eve plans had changed last minute, and they needed a way to celebrate. With somewhere between 200 and 8 million options in the city, the couple simply asked Taylor to drive them around town to ring in the New Year. Taylor played chauffeur for the couple until 1am.
Besides the occasional sappy romantic drive, most locals have very basic demands. “People congregate around the Downtown Mall,” says Taylor.
And this gentle giant of a man is willing to drop you off at either end, and anywhere in between—so long as you don’t crowd his cab. Taylor is fine with festive riders, so long as they cram no more than four gyrating bodies into his cab at once.
“I can legally hold five people, in addition to myself,” says Taylor. “But I prefer to keep it to four.”
A lot of phone calls don’t come from drunks on New Year’s Eve; they come from cops. “I get calls from local cops who don’t want to make arrests; they’d rather take drunk-but-not-disorderly people home.”
Any problems in the cab?
“The cops always make sure that the individual has a license and a way to pay for the cab,” says Taylor, and chuckles.
Taylor sacrifices December 31 for all the right reasons: “Fares are good through the holidays, and you can stay busy.” Most of his friends are cab or truck drivers as well, and so they throw parties to suit their schedules.
Thanks to Chandler Law Group, Yellow Cab offers a free ride home to anyone within a 10 mile radius of the city from December 19 through January 1. Party safe, use your free ride options and, if you get Charlie Taylor, ask him to take the scenic route.—Brendan Fitzgerald
No dirty driving, people!
C-VILLE can’t tell you what your limits are, but, on New Year’s Eve, it is safe to assume that some folks may kiss their limits goodbye with the rest of 2006. Rather than slosh and stroll around town, call a cab.
AAA Cab Company, 975-5555
A&J Taxicab Service, 975-8294
Access Taxi, 974-5522
City Cab and Courier, 961-2685
Farmer’s Taxi Service, 960-7106
Skyline Taxi, 981-2477
Yellow Cab Company, 295-4131