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Sailor

Review of NYE Events

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We had an early dinner at Bar Divani (5:30 seating). It was most excellent. The service was professional yet fun, the atmosphere was sophisticated, and, other than a couple delays (the kitchen was a bit behind by the second course, but we weren't in a hurry, so no worries), the food was flawless. I had the lobster bisque, crab cakes, and lobster tail. The lobster tail in particular was perfectly cooked--tender, warm, flavorful, and not one bit rubbery or chewy.

After that we headed to River City Slims which, despite high hopes, was disappointing. They oversold the tickets, so even though we paid $20 a head to see a music act, they didn't have nearly enough seating. We got there at quarter after 8 for a 9 p.m. show, and all the seats were taken. Rather than stand for five hours, which is okay when you're 21 but not okay at 40, we walked back to Bar Divani, passing the line waiting for McFadden's.

Bar Divani was in the middle of their 9 p.m. seating for dinner, yet they had a table open and very graciously sat us...again. The host was very kind about it and thanked us for coming back, our server had a great personality, and the time passed quickly...especially after the champagne. :alc: We hung out until nearly two. In hindsight we should have done the later seating at Bar Divani and skipped River City Slims, which was a total waste of 80 bucks. (Larry McCray sounded great, but standing for 5 hours wasn't gonna happen with our group.)

It was our first trip to Bar Divani, and our first big New Year's Eve outing since moving here, and we were very pleased. We plan on heading back some night to sit in the big club chairs and do the wine tasting thing. Only two minor complaints: when planning for a huge event like NYE, take a few minutes to touch up the paint on the walls where the chair backs have scraped them down to the plaster. For those facing the walls, looking at easily-fixed wall gouges taints the ambience. Also, with a big crowd like that, someone on staff needs to do more regular "clean bathroom" checks, if you know what I'm sayin'.

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Went to a contra dance in Ann Arbor. I had thought about going to Kalamazoo to play in Tuba New Year (part of their New Year's Fest events) and then head to A2...but had errands to run during the day.

Here's more info on K'zoo's event. (We need one here. Your experience -- paying $20 for a sold-out show-- helps illustrate why.)

"Akins' show at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Kalamazoo Public Library was one of 26 acts in the annual New Year's Fest in downtown Kalamazoo...

All acts in the alcohol-free New Year's Fest were suitable for families. They included an Elvis impersonator, a juggler, a comedian and a variety of music acts that stretched from classical to big band to the blues....

The fest, which had a $5 admission fee for anyone 4 and up and drew about 4,500 people, was the core of the downtown excitement..."

http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo/stories/ind....xml&coll=7

My contra dance took place in a country Grange hall, gently decorated (icicle lights, evergreen boughs). Most patrons wore their normal contra clothing (ranges from jeans or broomstick skirts and T-shirts to khakis and polos). Some of us grlls decked out; I sported three different colors of HAPPY NEW YEAR Mardi Gras necklaces (sold at Fred's). The caller wore a nice tie (his mama made it; Christmas music motif) and his wife on piano had on a red sparkly top.

I've been a groupie for this caller (Glen Morningstar) and his various bands and gigs for 25 years. He didn't disappoint (which is why I drove right past the similar event being held in Lansing). He'd selected a variety of English country dances in interesting formations, lively contras, and a couple of mixers. (The big reason for attending this type of event is: you don't need to BYO partner, and someone will ask you to dance.) At about 10 pm a bunch of new folks arrived, in been out partying attire. They were joining the forming sets of dancers when Glen instructed us regulars to split them up (in his typical genteel way). More people arrived, including a couple from Nebraska and their family from Plymouth.

Refreshments were disappointing. I brought some office holiday gift basket stuff to unload, and it was scarfed up at the first break. By the second break there was not much left besides many big bags of pretzels and chips, and a bowl of tangerines. (Someone needs to understand that holiday stuff goes on sale Dec 26 and you can't provide too many nice cookies. Instead they had trays of generic Oreo-type cookies. Yep, I've done NYEve dances.) Lemonade (tastefully served from an Igloo spigot cooler). Sparkling cider for midnight (this is not a drinking crowd). Admission was $15 (those who arrived after 11 were told "don't worry about it"). Started at 8 pm and wound down at about 12:30 am. About 70 people attended (there was room for more).

Driving back...no plows, overly-cautious drivers crawling in the middle of the freeway, too scared to move over to allow passing. Took a couple hours to reach Okemos.

Here's a video I shot of Glen calling a dance. It's very different from sitting in a venue and listening to a performance.

http://www.ifilm.com/profile/veloise/video...deos&page=1

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Sorry Sailor, but we haven't gone "out" for New Years in about 10 years. Too many amateurs on the scene, who get plowed on two cocktails and then get behind the wheel of an automobile.

According to a WOOD poll, only 11% of Rapidians were planning a special evening out:

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7...56&nav=0Rce

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Sorry Sailor, but we haven't gone "out" for New Years in about 10 years. Too many amateurs on the scene, who get plowed on two cocktails and then get behind the wheel of an automobile.

According to a WOOD poll, only 11% of Rapidians were planning a special evening out:

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7...56&nav=0Rce

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Sorry Sailor, but we haven't gone "out" for New Years in about 10 years. Too many amateurs on the scene, who get plowed on two cocktails and then get behind the wheel of an automobile.

According to a WOOD poll, only 11% of Rapidians were planning a special evening out:

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7...56&nav=0Rce

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Watched Auburn beat Clemson at "Chick fil A" Bowl/Atlanta (f/k/a Peach Bowl in which Auburn beat Clemson 10 years ago). It was myself, my daughter-in-law, the two grandsons (8 year old and 9 month old), friend of my daughter-in-law and her two and 1/2 year old! My son and friends were at the game. For us girls, strawberry daqueri (sp?) per adult! Kids: smoothie, milk and, of course, the youngest with formula! I agree, it's nice not to have to get out on the road and we had a great time - just weigh a few more pounds!

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I guess I'm part of the 11% who plan a special evening out for NYE. Along with 30 of my friends, I had dinner at Ottawa Tavern. We rented out the Pearl Room, which was great for our private party. (No room charge!) The food was good, the drinks were cheap and the service was great. We were there from 6:30 to about 10, and then headed to a friend's condo at Union Square for a party. My husband and I stayed 'til 3:30 a.m., caught a ride home from a friend and slept all day Tuesday. I'm still recovering...but it was a great night.

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We spent NYE on board a plane from Tampa to Detroit, then we were to take the 10:48 PM flight home to Grand Rapids. Our Grand Rapids flight was delayed at first for 20 minutes, then the gate agent announced that a plane that was flying in from Minneapolis to GR was rerouted to Detroit because of the weather in GR. A handful of folks from the Minneapolis plane were able to board our flight. Then our plane was delayed as there was a lack of visibility on the GR runway due to the snowstorm. We finally boarded our plane about 11:55 PM. We almost had to carry our 5 and 6 year-olds on the plane as they'd fallen asleep in their seats in the airport. The plane then had trouble getting air pressure into it's engines, so the plane had to be tugged to the gate for the mechanics to take a look at things. That took about 30-45 minutes. Then our plane had to be de-iced twice. (and then the truck that was de-icing the back of the plane ran out of de-icer, so they had to get another truck). After this, we took off at about 2:30 AM and touched down on the runway at Ford airport at 3:00 AM. The pilot had announced after boarding that the plane would be re-routed to Minneapolis if the visibilities did not improve, which was received by groans from many in the cabin. Many of us in the cabin applauded at touchdown, after a very bumpy flight. My poor dad met us at 3:15 AM to take us home. We didn't get to bed until about 4:30-5:00 AM. But we did very much enjoy our time in Florida.

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Appetizers at San Chez.

Dinner (9pm seating) at Bloom.

After-dinner at Bar Divani.

Gotta love taxis. No driving for us thank you very much.

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Went to Founder's with my brothers, had a couple of pints of Dirty [email protected], and left around 10 (fotoman I think you got our table by the door). Watched the transformers movie and somehow managed to switch to the TV just in time to hear "5...4..."

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Used a 25 dollar gift card to Perkins to take the family out to eat. Food and service was great. My smoked ham was a tad too salty though.

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I had an e-party -- by accident really...

I was planning to have a party here at home and have a couple friends over - I had all the food going in the oven and everything - then my friends called and said umm there's a winter storm warning so we're just gonna stay home.

I ate a lot of food that night. but we both got on yahoo messenger and did the audio chat thing and played a bunch of games - so it was kinda like we were still there.

I went out in 2007 nerd style.

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My self and two friends made a nice dinner for our wives, then invited friends over afterwards at Union Square. The whole building was pretty much in party mode, I seriously don't remember how many units I wound up in that night! One of the advantages of downtown living - built-in holiday parties, and no need to drive!

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I bartended at McFadden's. It was a lot of fun, and pretty busy (heard busiest on our side of Ionia). We did a 1920's theme and I was really surprised how many people dressed to the theme, i'd say 80%+. Everyone seemed to have a good time, but I was actually kind of surprised how trashed some people were WELL before midnight.

We stayed open till about 3:30 and by that point it was mostly water going over the bar (people in Michigan aren't used to hanging till 4am :rolleyes: ). Happy to report there were TONS of people waiting patiently (and some not so much) for cabs outside the bar in the cold after we closed

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Wife and I decided not to go out... NYE is way over blown, IMHO. Everything is expensive and packed, just not worth it!

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I spent NYE two hours east of GR. Saw The Great Debaters (a bit predictable, but overall a good flick) and went to a get together at a friends house. I dominated a sixer of NA beer and hit the road back to the in-laws at about 12:08. Good times :D.

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Wow, lots of variety! :)

We had two friends in from Chicago and wanted to show off downtown, hence the excursion. I *highly* recommend trying a scheduled restaurant seating (e.g., Bar Divani had a 5:30 seating and a 9:00 seating). It completely controls the crowd inside the place. And, for the $$, our dinner was awesome.

I was quite pleased--and surprised, really--to see cabs out picking up fares. There must be a variance in the ordinance (or enforcers turning a blind eye) on New Year's Eve. We live close enough to downtown that if the hail-a-cab thing gets worked out we might just become downtown regulars on NYE.

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