Do you have a new year’s resolution yet? Me neither. How about we just resolve to figure out what to do on New Year’s Eve, and let fate take care of the rest? After all, finding the right place to be on December 31 is as much of a challenge as giving up smoking, drinking, or any other guilty pleasure. And it doesn’t have to be a huge thing, either. Los Angeles is an enormous city, with a number of opportunities to sing “Auld Lang Syne” without getting drunk and club-hopping. Because who wants to squander the first day of 2018 taking disco naps and getting a DUI? In fact, there’s a resolution we can all support. You know, start small.
New Year’s Eve Aboard the Queen Mary
Is there a classier local landmark than the Queen Mary? Since sailing into Long Beach harbor in 1967, she’s never left — and neither has her spirit. This New Year’s Eve, the grand ol’ lady is breaking out of her old-fashioned rut with the venerable Sir Mix-a-Lot and the Selena tribute project, Los Chicos del 512. It’s all topped off by a glorious fireworks display to help ring in 2018.
“Another Hollywood Classic” at the Hollywood Roosevelt
The Spanish-style Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel first opened in 1927, financed by film producer Louis B. Mayer and actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. In 1929, it was the site of the inaugural Academy Awards ceremony, and it’s since housed guests like Marilyn Monroe, who famously posed near the Roosevelt’s swimming pool. (The pool now features an underwater mural painted by none other than David Hockney.) With this kind of pedigree, it’s an ideal place to usher in the new year with what’s become a signature Hollywood event.
New Year’s Eve Flamenco Party at El Cid
Before its current incarnation, Silver Lake’s favorite flamenco-themed hideaway was the site where D.W. Griffith filmed scenes of Birth of a Nation (1915). Then it was a cafe designed to look like a jail (serious), then the Gateway Theatre and finally, it’s evolved into the charming spot we know today. For NYE, El Cid presents its famous flamenco shows, so get ready to bust out those wingtips and giant hair ornaments and time-travel to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
N.Y.E.L.A. at Grand Park
Grand Park has become a hotbed of cultural activity, with a steady stream of must-see music and other live performances. Now, the open-air promenade connecting Bunker Hill and the Civic Center, located between City Hall and the Music Center, is throwing the biggest NYE jubilee of all. The free, family-friendly event features live music, art installations, and food, ensuring that if 2018 is going to be anything like your New Year’s Eve, you know it’s gonna be good.
Gothic New Years Eve at the California Institute of Abnormalarts
A filmmaker, artist, club-owner, and former mortician, Carl Crew is the mastermind behind this NoHo-based makeshift bigtop: the California Institute of Abnormalarts. The “other” CIA is a 21st century revival of the old-timey sideshow experience, serving up stage acts with modern-day freaks. Witness the CIA’s trademark brand of oddball entertainment, tinged with an unexplained brilliance, at this unparalleled New Year’s Eve jubilee.
Adapted from my previous work for LA Weekly because I own the rights to all my own stuff, ‘k?