Dear friend Fredly Bronson returned to NYC once again as the writer for ABC-TV’s “New Year’s Eve With Ryan Seabreast,” and tonight brought together a fab posse of his pals for dinner at NYC’s iconic Sardi’s… including “American Idol” finalists Diana DeGarmo and her fiance Ace Young, and my beloved Kimberley Locke. Can you imagine a more festive way to usher in 2013? *
Man, New Year’s Eve can be such a fussy affair, can’t it? This year, my pal Alex came up from Washington, D.C., and we joined my NYC extended family for what turned out to be an absolutely perfecto event. Met many friends at East Village dive rock bar Manitoba’s and hung… complete with seating, no overtly unnecessarily loud mayhem and an ideal festive welcome to a new year. That felt oh so right! *
Ayhan hosted a festive gathering in the East Village Friday night for longtime friend Ulf, who was an Ambassador to Sweden in Turkey when Ayhan first composed his musical “Swedish Style.” Ultimately, their connection led to Ayhan meeting Bjorn & Benny from ABBA, one of the highlights of his career.
Ironically, his equally long-lived pals Emrah and wife Punar from Turkey were simultaneously in NYC… It was, in fact, Emrah who collaborated with Ayhan to connect with the Swedish Embassy at the time… Quite a reunion, complete with a spread of combination Swedish & Turkish culinary delights. *
There was certainly no mistaking that Saturday, December 15, was New York’s annual Santacon celebration, as I moseyed through Times Square. The “non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason” packed NYC’s densest neighborhood with thousands of twentysomething Santas, elves and other Christmas disciples of every shape and size.
I was incorrect in believing that Santacon is a bar crawl. Its webbie notes that “every time you call it that, a sugarplum fairy dies.” Whoops. It’s actually, in part, a food drive, with designated stop where, yes, you eat and imbibe. In 2011, Santacon raised $10,000 for Toys for Tots and donated more than 6,000 pounds of food to Manhattan and Brooklyn food banks.
The route this year began at 10 a.m. at Pier 84 on the very West side of 42nd Street, then made its way through Midtown, the East Village and into Brooklyn, with sponsored stops along the way.
Some 20,000 Santas participated in Santacon last year… along with such celebrations around the world. It originated in 1974 in Copenhagen; spread to Austin, Texas in 1978; San Fran in 1994; and since… has become a national event in cities worldwide.
Despite my ongoing apartment renovation that just tipped into its eighth week (albeit, with delays from Hurricane Sandy, a gas crisis, and a hasty snowstorm), I have been able to get out and about now and again.
Here’s the week’s catch-up on socializing with my peeps. Thank god I’ve had them throughout this. Sanity is on the brink, given the fact that wifi is intermittent and dust continues to prevail. The good news: Finale is Monday! *
Above: Happy Hour Friday in the Lower East Side; below, book release party with Leo…
On Monday, friend excursion 2.0, as I met Trix Moose, son Jack and sis Chris for the traditional Ruby Tuesday outing—always a highlight, since a kickin’ salad bar just ain’t to be had in NYC. Didn’t hurt a bit that our waiter Eric was a fetching fellow.
After din din, I was invited to join Trix and Jack—who has suddenly evolved into a high school senior and a handsome 17 year old (I remember when the critter was a roly-poly 9 year old) at their home to decorate the Christmas tree!
That was a spectacular event for meese, since I no longer fix up my apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Now that I’m a bachelor, it’s just not the same to decorate for the holidays for the sake of Abby & Spencer. They’d probably view the tree as a relief post, anyway.
A lovely family holiday celebration, as good as any of the seasonal Hallmark Channel flicks I watched over the past week with my mama. *