Spank me, it’s New Year’s Eve! Those not aiming to lose half their rent and all their dignity at a sweaty club in West Chelsea—where, let’s see, at least one party is being hosted by Carson Daly and attended by a Simpson (no, we don’t know which one, and we don’t care) have several options: Patti Smith, the woman we most want to be when we grow up, plays the Bowery Ballroom (yep, CBGB’s is still a T-shirt shop on St. Marks); in pricier happenings, the indefatigable Messieurs Batali and Bastianich stage a grand “it’s the perfect slightly old-world New York New Years’,” seven-course gala at Del Posto for a mere $250 a person! Explained Mr. Bastianich, who is in the process of expanding his formidable dining empire to the far shores of London, Las Vegas, and Foxwood’s Casino: “Those experiences of dinner and dancing are far and few in between these days, and it’s one of my personal favorite things.” Hence, Mr. Bastianich will attend the extravaganza himself: “I have a table with my mother and my wife.” And what of Mr. Batali? “I don’t know what he’s doing.” Mr. Bastianich explained his countrymen’s New Year’s traditions thusly: “In Italy, the big holiday is New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve is just kind of a big family dinner, and then you go to bed. It’s a family holiday. But that doesn’t really apply to promoting our New Year’s Eve festivities, now does it?” And Mr. Bastianich doesn’t usually celebrate Italian-style anyway: “Usually I’m skiing in the Dolomites.” Us, too! Weird, huh? In the meantime, bonus excerpt from the menu, which can only be called culinary porn: “Molto Mario’s own pork sausage recipe, sliced tableside, Castelluccio Lentils and 25 yr. Aceto Balsamic Traditionale.” Then open wide: “Puffed Bittersweet Chocolate, Brandied Amarone Cherries and Vanilla Gelato.” Oh my … oh, oh, NEXT! The New York Road Runners, aware that what we all really need on New Year’s is to move our widening asses, stage a four-mile run in the middle of the night. The run is now in its 29th year! “We feel that it’s become not only the signature race on our yearly calendar, but one of the signature events on New York City’s New Year’s Eve calendar,” said Richard Finn, spokesperson for the group. “We have music, dancing, a costume parade, and this year we are very pleased to announce that we’re having New York’s first-ever New Year’s Eve fireworks countdown, Gucci-style!” And! “We have a non-alcoholic champagne stop in the middle of the race.” But getting back to those costumes: “You get anything from the New Year’s Eve baby—somebody dressed up in some sort of diaperish outfit—to Old Man Time, to one year there was a group that came as snowflakes,” said Mr. Finn. “In 2000 we actually had a whole group from Long Island who dressed as the bridge to the new millennium. Twenty-five people dressed as a suspension bridge! Then you run in your costume, which is actually the fun part.” Sorry, sir, but we’re still a little freaked out by the thought of adults running four miles in diapers.
[Carson Daly’s Official New Year’s Eve Party, Gypsy Tea & The Madison, 33 West 24th Street, 8 p.m., www.joonbug.com; Patti Smith, the Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 9 p.m., www.ticketmaster.com; Del Posto, 85 Tenth Avenue, 212-497-8090; Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park, East Drive near 68th Street, 10 p.m., www.nyrr.org]