Tonight, people around the world will gaze into their TV screens, as the iconic glittering ball drops onto Times Square, ushering in a new year. But this time, that big bright ball of celebration will be powered by energy generated from New Yorkers on Citi Bikes.
That’s right, from Saturday through Monday, pedestrians were invited to hop onto one of 6 stationary bikes at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue to pedal their little hearts out. Through sustainable innovation (and magical science-y brilliance) the kinetic energy from those pedal-strokes was converted into electricity that will power the New Year’s ball’s 32,000+ LED lights. Continue reading →
Haven’t got your bubbly for tonight? Meg at Dandelion (153 Franklin St) can help:
When I think of celebrations like New Year’s Eve, I think of sparkling wine and I’m in good company.
During WWII, Winston Churchill is famously quoted as saying “Remember, gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!”
And we can’t forget Brooklyn’s own Notorious B.I.G. lyrics in Juicy: “Birthdays was the worst days /Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay”.
Here’s a crash course in sparkling wine to help you choose wisely:
But first! How can we avoid the champagne headache?!?
Meg says: “Hot Peppers!”
Cremant: Sparkling wines from regions in France outside of Champagne but made in the same method are called Cremant. Generally a better bargain than Champagne, many are made from the same varietals in the same way, but in regions less heralded. A versatile bunch, the sparkling Chenin Blancs from the Loire Valley are killer with oysters and the Cremant de Jura stands up with some of the richest Champagnes. $15-$32 - Magnums available!
Petillant Natural: A pet favorite of mine, “pet-nat’s” are sparkling wines fermented mostly in tank then bottled right before fermentation ends, creating a delightfully tiny bubble and often a fun, funky flavor commonly associated with natural winemaking. Ranging from bright white to cloudy red, pet-nats are often lower in alcohol and shorter in shelf life than other sparkling wines- so drink now, and drink often! $16-$24.
Italian Sparkling Wine: The generic name for sparklers from many regions in Italy is Spumante, and that generally refers to wines made in the traditional Champenoise method. Everyone is probably more familiar with the fun and easy Prosecco wines. Proseccos are made from the grape Giera in the Charmat method. It’s a less expensive, quicker way to make sparkling wine, which is why bottles of Prosecco are affordable options. Prosecco range from very dry to quite sweet, and can be found in both white and rose varieties. Some of the fruitier styles are amazing with spicy asian dishes, and rumor has it hot peppers help avoid a “champagne headache.” Our go-to, Beatrice, is one of the best selling bottles in the shop at $13!
Cava: Spanish sparkler hailing from the Catalan region, generally made from the grapes Macabeu, Perrellada, and Xarel-lo in the traditional champenoise method. Available in both white and rose varieties, Cava can be dry or sweet. Great with tapas, and a fraction of the price of Champagne. $13-$19.
Other: There are delicious sparkling wines from almost every wine-producing place in the world, but generally fewer rules and regulations organizing them into categories. In the US, bottles are generally labeled as “Sparkling Wine” and often denoted as being “Methode Traditional” if made in the style of Champagne or Cava, although I was recently served a bottle of “California Champagne” at a Korea-town Karaoke bar, a label that is actually illegal. We have bubbles from South Africa and New Mexico, two places you may not think to look to for your celebretory wine, but both are Champagne-style wines made with the same grapes, similar growing climates, and totally delicious, and both are under $20.
Champagne: A sparkling wine made in the small Champagne region of France following a specific set of guidelines set by the Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité. Champagne can be made from 100% Pinot Noir, 100% Pinot Meunier, or a mix of the two, known as a Blanc de Noirs, 100% Chardonnay, known as a Blanc de Blancs, or any combination of those three grapes resulting in both white and rose varieties. When any year’s grapes are especially good, Champagne will be made from a single harvest and labeled with the vintage. The best Champagnes have a persistent bubble and are the most well balanced- as “bready” as they are dry and citrusy. Champagne pairs with everything- the dryer styles are excellent with shellfish while some of the sweeter varieties, in my opinion, can’t be beat with cake. $40-$110
Whatever you choose this New Years Eve, I think the most important thing of all is who you’re drinking with. Cheers to good wine, good company, and a happy 2013!
Are you thinking it is too cold to leave the hood for this NYE? Did you not make any plans but now want to do something fun (that’s me!)? The good people at Boulevard Tavern (579 Meeker Ave) have you covered!
Ring in 2013 with good friends and great fun. Boulevard Tavern’s New Years Bash is always a blast and the biggest bang for your New Years Eve buck!
No Cover: Free champaigne, free munchies, DJ Spaz, ball drop on the bigsceen! Hat and noise makers too!
This edition of What’s Happening is dedicated to NYE events in or around Greenpoint!
Beloved (674 Manhattan Ave) No Cover, 10pm, $5 Gin and Tonics/$8 gimlets and free champagne toast at midnight, DJ Stephen Pandolfi (a/k/a Kids with Snakes), More Info Teddy’s (96 Berry St) No Cover, Festive dinner menu, reservation req, DJ’s (Girlsoul/Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus), Midnight Ballroon drop & toast. . More Info Matchless (577 Manhattan Ave) No Cover, Backroom: 8pm Broken Comedy and 10pm NYE Speakeasy, welcome all dames and dapper dans to this public dancehall hootenanny, No Cover. Front Room, 10pm: DJ, free champagne and other swag. Secret Project Robot (389 Melrose St) $10, 9:30pm, Free Champagne fountain, cheap bar, ballroon drop, burlesque, DJ’s (Veronica SO/ADiDi), Live Music (Dust/Gla22,Mind Dynamics, Frank M. Jones) RSVP Cameo Gallery (93 N. 6th St) $40, 9:00pm, Brazilian carnival decorations, play along and dress in a fitting fashion, Ian Pooley/Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem)/Ron Morelli/Deep Woods. Tickets Manhattan Inn (632 Manhattan Ave) $50, 6-11pm, 3 course New Year’s Eve prix-fixe menu. After dinner, DJ Eric (from Saturday’s weekly Romantically Uninvolved party) takes over for a dance party! Full Menu/More Info t.b.d Brooklyn (224 Franklin St) $30, 10pm-2am, Open Bar, DJ Bengey and watch the ball drop on 4 screens! More Info Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave) $35, Murray Hill’s Annual NYE Extravaganza doors at 9:30pm, variety show and dance party with New York’s finest, wildest and wackiest performers! Tickets Papacitos (999 Manhattan Ave) 11pm, Colin Schiller and the Reactions/Hiawatha/Plus more Greenpoint talent, drink specials. RSVP 285 Kent Ave (285 Kent Ave) $20 8:30pm-1:30am, Ad Hoc NYE: Speciial Guests/Merchanise/Blance Blance Clance/Tonstartssbandht , Tix Aquarius (Crn Greenpoint Ave & West St) $10-25, 9pm, Celebrate the coming of the new age with a celestial celebration of the masses. Ahmed Hashim/Maroje/DJ Amourette/Lukelogic, open bar 9-10pm Tix Union Pool (484 Union Ave) $15, 10pm, FREE TACOS, drink specials, Reverend Vince & His Love Choir/DJ’s/Plus special guests. RSVP