New Year’s Eve Festivities Kick Off Around the Globe

Are you drunk yet?  Better put on your cardboard hat and wacky glasses and get started toasting with a bottle of champagne.  It’s New Year’s somewhere. Here’s how things are going down around the world.

Samoa and Tokelau jumped ahead a full day on Thursday in some sort of government sanctioned time warp to bring them in line with Asian trading partners.  They may have lost a full 24 hour period of their lives, but they did get to be the first to ring in 2012. Worth it?

Auckland was the first major city to kick things off, doing so with fireworks much like those in Sydney, Australia who watched a 15-minute multi-million dollar display.

Beijing celebrated its first-ever western-style countdown with a light show at the Taoist Temple of Heaven, reports the BBC. No word on if paper noise makers were sold nearby at a pop-up concession stand. 

Meanwhile, giant hanging bells have been ringing in Japan all day to  purify the world of evil and bring good luck. In Tokyo, people released helium balloons with their wishes attached reports the AP.

And in New York City, home of The Ball and center of the NYE universe, crowds have already started to gather.  The NYPD started shutting off the streets at 3pm, so if you plan on going get there fast.

Have a great night!  

Lindsay Lohan Ends the Year with Threats of Legal Action

If you are in Dubai and were for some inexplicable reason super-psyched to be toasting 2012 in the vicinity of a VIP room holding a drunken-though claiming to be sober-Lindsay Lohan, sorry it’s not gonna happen. She has turned down the appearance on an ocean liner and is threatening the company with legal action for promoting her attendance.

Fresh off her  "boobs, ass, and vag" Marilyn Monroe-styled Playboy issue, she is apparently trying to spend some time out of the spotlight.  In accordance with the rule of celebrity paradox, she must first step into the press once more in order to get out of it.

TMZ reports that Lindsay’s reps have sent a cease and desist letter to the Dubai party planning company claiming that the star "will suffer harm and damage" if the company continues to use her name.

It has to be reassuring to know she is still a bankable draw somewhere. It’s nice to see her on the other side of the potential lawsuit for once. What a way to kick off 2012! 

Hyde Bellagio Opening: the Ten-Fact Countdown

With Las Vegas expecting record crowds this New Year’s weekend, Sin City must make room for its revelers.

 
Opening New Year’s Eve, this Italian villa-inspired new club overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio is the first nightlife venture in Las Vegas brought to you by designer Philippe Starck and sbe, the group behind LA’s The Abbey, Cleo, the SLS Hotels, and more. And with a day-to-night New Year’s Day celebration featuring an intimate performance by three-time Grammy Award-nominated DJ Paul Oakenfeld, Hyde Bellagio is off to a very good start. Ten-fact countdown, commence.
 
10. The Hyde’s signature cocktail: the Cucumber Watermelon Margarita. 
 
9.  It’s open nightly from 5pm-1am, and opens and closes extra late on Friday and Saturday, 11pm-4am. You could put it in a full workweek here. Partying is a full-time job. 
 
8. The club is 10,000 square feet. That’s as large as Jenny Craig’s house!
 
7. The wine menu includes 1,500 bottles from Bellagio’s award-winning wine program. Come thirsty. Leave…at some point.
 
6. The outdoor terrace is inspired by a Tuscan garden. Lined with olive trees and flanked with sumptuous sofas and an outdoor bar, here is your front-row view of the Fountains of Bellagio. Bring popcorn.
 
5. There’s a fireplace. In the salon.
 
4. Be vain without shame at the upper living room’s vanity-inspired bar. Made of high-gloss black carved wood, the bar features assorted artwork and photography.
 
3. A private study (for studying?) features more wood-covered walls with bookshelves (for reading?) and a desk where books, festival masks, and candles are up for sale, as well as history-filled trinkets left behind by the space’s previous owner.
 
2.  Drink and eat with small plate offerings from the Strip’s home-style, NY-native Tuscan restaurant Osteria del Circo. Kobe beef sliders and Ahi tuna taratar cones. Mmmm.
 
1. The club fits 714 people. That’s the entire population of Tuscola, Texas!

Hyde Bellagio Grand Opening: the Ten-Fact Countdown

With Las Vegas expecting record crowds this New Year’s weekend, Sin City must make room for its revelers. Cue: Hyde Bellagio.

Opening New Year’s Eve, this Italian villa-inspired new club overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio is the first nightlife venture in Las Vegas brought to you by designer Philippe Starck and sbe, the group behind LA’s The Abbey, Cleo, the SLS Hotels, and more. And with a day-to-night New Year’s Day celebration featuring an intimate performance by three-time Grammy Award-nominated DJ Paul Oakenfeld, Hyde Bellagio is off to a very good start. Ten-fact countdown, commence.
 
10. The Hyde’s signature cocktail: the Cucumber Watermelon Margarita. 
 
9.  It’s open nightly from 5pm-1am, and opens and closes extra late on Friday and Saturday, 11pm-4am. You could put it in a full workweek here. Partying is a full-time job. 
 
8. The club is 10,000 square feet. That’s as large as Jenny Craig’s house!
 
7. The wine menu includes 1,500 bottles from Bellagio’s award-winning wine program. Come thirsty. Leave…at some point.
 
6. The outdoor terrace is inspired by a Tuscan garden. Lined with olive trees and flanked with sumptuous sofas and an outdoor bar, here is your front-row view of the Fountains of Bellagio. Bring popcorn.
 
5. There’s a fireplace. In the salon.
 
4. Be vain without shame at the upper living room’s vanity-inspired bar. Made of high-gloss black carved wood, the bar features assorted artwork and photography.
 
3. A private study (for studying?) features more wood-covered walls with bookshelves (for reading?) and a desk where books, festival masks, and candles are up for sale, as well as history-filled trinkets left behind by the space’s previous owner.
 
2.  Drink and eat with small plate offerings from the Strip’s home-style, NY-native Tuscan restaurant Osteria del Circo. Kobe beef sliders and Ahi tuna taratar cones. Mmmm.
 
1. The club fits 714 people. That’s the entire population of Tuscola, Texas!

Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: To Drink

You may have noticed a significant omission in our last New Year’s Eve story—after all, how could we write a party round-up without including one of the biggest party cities of them all? But that’s only because what’s planned in Las Vegas for 2012 is so big, it required its own day. Herewith, our guide to the best of New Year’s Eve festivities in the hotels on the strip:

For a straight up club experience, the Spectacular Spectacular at The Palms sounds like it will be just that, with Paul Oakenfold playing at Rain, the John Legend afterparty (more on that later) at Moon, Miss Nevada USA hosting at Ghostbar, and a horde of Playboy bunnies taking over the Playboy Club. Naturally we’d suggest the VIP pass, for unlimited access to a selection of top-shelf liquor from 10pm to 1am at all the venues. At the Venetian and Palazzo, there’s a similarly comprehensive situation, with their five combined bars hosting Midnight Mix from 10pm to 2am, while DJ Sam Ronson spins on the terrace at Lavo, in the Palazzo, from 9pm to midnight, finishing up with a major fireworks display.

For a loungey experience, the heavenly bodies of Cirque du Soleil will be lighting up the room at Gold Lounge at the Aria Hotel, while the heavenly bodies of the Kardashian siblings will be spread around town, hosting (for better or worse) what are sure to be hot tickets: Kim at Tao at the Venetian, Kourtney and Scott at Chateau Gardens at Paris Las Vegas, and Rob at Tryst at the Wynn. And make room for some nostalgia: Pamela Anderson will host at Studio 54 at the MGM Grand, a big goodbye bash at the 14 –year-old venue, which will be closing early next year, while starlet Taryn Manning will be hosting at Tabu with DJ Kid Jay.

Stay tuned for our guide to Las Vegas’ most lavish eateries, up next…

The New Year’s Eve Hotel Roundup

Planning on getting out of the house for New Year’s Eve? Of course you are. And if you don’t feel like going home that night (falling into your own bed can be a little anticlimactic after popping bottles all night, don’t you think?) it’s the perfect night to indulge in a hot hotel escape. There are a lot of offerings around the country, but these are come of the most exciting.

For their friends in New England, Boston.com rounded up some great last-minute deals. All Kimpton properties, like the modern boutique hotel Nine Zero are half-off on Jan 1st to make the most of your long weekend, while the upscale XV Beacon is offering a bottle of Taittinger to stay in and enjoy in front of your in-room fireplace, after checking out the city’s First Night festivities or else a reception in their wine cellar and fireworks on the rooftop terrace, followed by brunch at Mooo and late checkout at 2pm. They’re also featuring some deals at the Hyatt48 in New York, and The Joule in downtown Dallas.

Another Southwestern property we can always count on to go big for a holiday is the W Scottsdale, who’s making a weekend of it with their $2,012 “New Year’s Eve Fiesta Bowl VIP Experience.” Football fans kick off the four-night weekend stay with top hats and Champagne in their room, a vintage-circus themed party throughout two of the hotel’s venues (be sure to get onto the terrace for the midnight fireworks) entrance to the Fiesta Bowl block party on January 1, and two club level tickets to the game on January 2. It’s just one of the many W-hosted New Year’s soirees; check out your local location for details on theirs.

The club hoppers at Guest of a Guest have put together a great roundup of parties for the night in New York City, including several hot hotels—it’s showgirls and circus performances before an indoor ball drop at the Tribeca Grand, Debbie Harry hosting at the Standard, and a massive open bar at the Empire Hotel rooftop, as well as other festivities at the Jane Hotel and the Soho Grand.

Kathy Griffin Reveals her Plans for New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper

Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper’s New Year’s Eve broadcast is always funny.  Each year Kathy does something to get fired only to be brought back again the next time the ball drops. What can viewers expect from this year’s show aside from watching Cooper try and stifle a case of the giggles?   If the D-lister has her way, Ryan Seacrest better start running now.

Griffin was on Kimmel this week joking about what she’d like to see happen.  Take a look at the video below to hear her talk about trying to get Cooper fired and her wish to expose her boobs.

Let’s Pretend ‘New Year’s Eve’ Is a Good Movie

New Year’s Eve is terrible; let’s just get that out of the way. We’d love to spend time writing about how bad it is, but nearly every film critic in the country has already done that. Like Jack and Jill, New Year’s Eve is the kind of movie critics love to utterly annihilate. It allows them to craft their pithiest insults and smugly shake their head from above, wondering (in 750 perfectly chosen words) why someone would ever make such a movie.

Don’t get us wrong, there are some immaculate takedowns of this piece-of-shit movie; we’re just not going to focus on those. Instead, below is a list of out-of-context and manipulated quotes from critics’ reviews to make it seem like New Year’s Eve is a good movie—Warner Bros. will need them for the back of the DVD box when it comes out in stores next month.

“A…monument to Hollywood. Robert De Niro makes an…appearance,” writes Sara Stewart of the New York Post.

“This is an affair…to remember,” declares Stephen Holden of The New York Times.

New Year’s Eve may be the…movie of the year,” says Mary Pols of Time.

"There are plots in New Year’s Eve," attests David Hiltbrand of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Finally, Newsday’s Robert Guzman calls it, "Perfect."