Michael Buckman’s Blog: Celebrating New Years Eve

For the past 8 years since I graduated college, I’ve lived abroad and traveled extensively. I have not spent a New Years Eve in DC or even the US since 2011. Most years I would go to Spain and visit my friend’s family in their town in the La Mancha region of Spain. New Years in Spain is not like New Years in the US. In fact, the way the Spanish celebrate New Year’s Eve is more on par with Thanksgiving. Families get together and have a huge dinner, a near feast. At 11:59 pm, they eat 12 grapes (or one grape every five seconds) for good luck in the New Year. Then, everyone kisses and hugs. In my friend’s house they have a tradition of burning bad news. Usually his parents save newspapers with bad news and burn them on the New Year!

So, what does this have to do with DC? Now that I am a realtor in DC and write a blog about DC, I thought I would tackle my lack of New Years Eve plans by writing a blog article about a few activities DC has to offer for New Years Eve.

Surprisingly, a number of people prefer a low-key night with a family member, pet, or partner. However, if you want to go out, you have a couple of options.

Most bars in DC either have a cover charge or an open bar. You must call your preferred watering hole to inquire about their plan. Remember that a majority of bars in DC will be packed and crazy so be prepared for all-out debauchery. As for concert venues and clubs, most will have a concert or party with a band. You need to check in advance to see if tickets are still available. If I had to choose, I would choose a party at my favorite club/music venue in DC: the Black Cat. The Black Cat will be having its usual event, a swing orchestra playing hits from the 30s and 40s and a DJ spinning downstairs. The redroom bar will be open for business as usual so if you don’t want to shell out the $30 or pay a cover, then this is the place for you. The Black Cat is located at 1811 14th Street NW. The easiest way to get there is by taking Metro to the U Street Station and then walking over. Getting home may be difficult on Metro so be prepared to take a taxi or Uber.

Another option is dinner. Now I don’t know if most restaurants will have a party until midnight, but I did notice that my favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Ethiopic, on H Street still has tables available for New Years Eve. Ethiopic is located at 401 H Street NE. Since Ethiopic is at the far end of H Street near Union Station, it would allow for post-dinner dancing or drinking. My favorite place nearby is the Rock and Roll Hotel. This year, the Rock and Roll Hotel is offering an open bar and two floors of dancing and DJs. Doors open at 8pm. Advance tickets are between $65 to $86, but tickets at the door are $100. Make your plans in advance if you can. The Rock and Roll Hotel is located at 1353 H Street. If the Rock and Roll Hotel is not to your liking, a stroll down H Street will give you many other options of where to go or what to do. Both Ethiopic and the Rock and Roll Hotel, as well as other H Street bars and restaurants, are on the new street car line and the X2 bus line. They are also within walking distance of the Union Station Metro.

If you do go out, remember that you shouldn’t drink and drive. Most taxi services offer free rides on New Years. To get a sober ride, don’t call the taxi services directly. Instead, call 1-800-200-8294.

So, no matter what you plan to do on New Years, have fun, be safe, and be smart. And, if one of your 2017 New Year’s resolutions is to buy or sell real estate, email or call me: or 202-251-8721.

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