Hi friends, Happy New Year! I think it’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to a new year ahead and are pleasantly welcoming the beginning of 2021 today. We made it!
I don’t know about you, but I’m entering this new chapter feeling a little lost, confused and weird, but also very hopeful and optimistic to see how the next chapter unfolds … for all of us!
I’ll be sharing more about reflections, the lessons I’ve learned, and the intentions that I’m setting for the new year next week. Today we’re keeping things extra casual with a recap of our New Year’s Eve!
Since we planned on keeping things extra low-key at home to watch the ball drop this year, Scott and I took advantage of Skyler being in a half-day at school yesterday with a little day date in the City.
Instead of the traditional favorites today, this recap highlights my favorite parts of our holiday that I wanted to share. As always, I would love to hear what you’ve been up to in the comments below! Did you go out or stay in?
We did a little bit of both!
City Updates and Mandates
I guess you could say that things are semi-closed here in New York City. To outsiders, it seems like we are completely locked down, but to me, it’s been the same for a really, really long time. The only real difference that I’ve noticed is the mandate that restaurants are now outdoor and takeout dining only, which is a bummer.
Our gyms have remained open (which actually surprises me), schools closed temporarily for the holidays, and things like movie theaters haven’t been open since March. But, for whatever reason, indoor shopping and some malls are open again. It’s all so strange to me!
Scott and I take the state of the virus very seriously, and we take necessary protocols that include wearing masks, socially distancing, and testing often. That said, we made a decision to get out and explore (when and where it feels safe) again during the summer. We spend a lot of our time outdoors (still in masks, mind you), and I am not exaggerating when I say that I only remove it to sip a coffee, eat, or take a quick photo.
New Yorkers are very serious about masking up, and so are we!
Now that we have that talk out of the way, here’s what we were up to yesterday. All small things, but also worth documenting.
Day Date in Manhattan
We dropped Skyler off at preschool and took our time getting out the door to hop on the subway by 10:30 a.m. We got off of the F train at 14th Street and walked the the Meatpacking District and all throughout Chelsea.
We came up to the High Line, which is always something cool to do. Since we just walked it this year, we decided to skip it and keep moving. We walked through the Chelsea Market and it was so cute. Things might be “closed”, but there is still plenty to keep you busy if you’re up for strolling around.
(Shout out to La Peri Bakery this adorable outdoor garden eating area!)
We make a loop through Hudson Yards, and the shops and restaurants are awesome. The mall is still decorated for the holidays, and it is stunning with rows and rows of white twinkle lights top to bottom in a lot of spots.
We grabbed a coupon for buy one get one at a new-to-us burger spot Scott had been wanting to try, so our only real plans for the day included a trip to Hell’s Kitchen to safely dine outdoors. It was chilly, but the restaurant provided space heaters and it was still a treat.
If you’re local or visiting the NYC area, you should definitely stop into one of the handful of 5 Napkin Burger locations. The restaurant has rave reviews, and now we completely understand why. Everything was fantastic!
It was hard decide what to order (everything looked drool-worthy), but Scott went for the signature 5 Napkin Burger and I chose the Turkey Burger with spiced Italian turkey burger, smoked mozzarella, balsamic peppers, and tomato jam. We also shared a big side of green chile-cheese waffle fries because … why not. Seriously, everything was so, so good.
Wanting to walk a bit more after that heavy lunch, our curiosity got the best of us and we ended up by Times Square. As many of you already know, the big Ball Drop was a lot different this year, as New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was closed to the public and a small invite-only experience for select essential workers.
While the streets are normally packed with mostly tourists anticipating the countdown to Midnight, we were two of the very few who snuck around the side streets to take a peek at the ball and quickly move on.
It’s so weird to see it this empty, right?
This is the exact spot that Scott and I rang in 2020 with a million other people, and I would bet this estimate to be literal. (Check out last year’s highlight for photos!) So, it felt even crazier to stand in almost the exact same spot a year later with literally no one around.
It was wild! We took it in for a minute and then walked to the train to get home and grab our dude for the next part of our day, a low-key “party” for just the three of us in our living room.
New Year’s Eve At Home 2020
I would imagine that this year’s festivities looked a lot different for all of us. I really love going all out and getting dressed up to go out most years, so we still kept some of those elements alive at home.
We planned to watch the Times Square Ball Drop, and I polled my friends over on Instagram for ideas on what else to do to make staying in a little more fun. Y’all had some great ideas, and my favorites that we incorporated include a cheese and charcuterie board, bougie cocktails, and a champagne toast at midnight.
We stayed comfortable, but got “dressed” up for just being our living room by stepping it up just a smidge. I put my nice leggings on (lol), did my hair and makeup, and finished it off with a bold lip (also on sale here!) because I’ll take any chance to do so these days.
Believe it or not, this was my first real attempt at a charcuterie board, and it was more than plenty for two adults and a toddler. (We actually put more than half of it up about thirty minutes later.) I had plans to accompany it with a veggie tray, but it wasn’t needed!
We had leftover balloons to blow up from Skyler’s birthday, so we deemed that our “party” with cheesy New Year’s Eve hats, noise makers, a fun New Year’s Party playlist and a few games to keep us busy. We messaged some loved ones, video chatted, and made it up to the rooftop to catch whatever fireworks were on display this year right after Midnight.
This view is something that I will definitely miss if we move out of Brooklyn, and being up there on big nights like New Year’s Eve is always really special. It’s like you’re a part of the big city events, but not in them, ya know?
Skyler didn’t make it to Midnight, but he impressed us by dozing off at 11 p.m., so we were up for a quick toast and back down with a video monitor in hand. And just like that, 2021 arrived.
I’ll be sharing more about my thoughts and goals for January and beyond soon! Until then, I want to thank you for being here today and always.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Stay safe and healthy my friends!
Now I’d love to know …
Did you go out or stay in this year?
Do you have any more activity ideas for parties at home with your family?
Have a great weekend!