title taken from "ID (Stamp Yuh Name)" by Ricardo Drue
SoHo Grand Ball
I may be biased, but New York City does New Year's Eve partying better than anywhere else. There's something here for everyone. You can turn up in a party with strangers, head to Times Square with drunk tourists, or watch the ball drop on television with family. I usually ring in the new year at a soca fete in Brooklyn with about 500 fellow socaholics. However, sometimes I like to switch things up. On December 31st, I decided to attend the masquerade ball at the SoHo Grand Hotel in Manhattan.
The SoHo Grand Ball is a hot ticket for New York's upscale crowd. Limited tickets are sold and there is a strict dress code based on theme. This year's theme paid tribute to Truman Capote's Black and White Ball, which meant Venetian-style masks and black tie attire.
Although the guest list was limited, there was still a line that extended down the block. This was not for profiling's sake or to show Instagram how many people a promoter can get to an event. The line was held to clear out the welcome room where guests checked in. Once the rooms were clear, people were again able to enter the main floor of the hotel. Unfortunately, this took about 30-45 minutes.
After a few pictures around the Christmas tree, I grabbed my complimentary glass of champagne and headed to the second floor main party hall. White balloons on long strings floated to the high ceiling. Waiters passed with tiered trays of hors d'oeuvres for those with bar seating tickets.
My first stop - the bar. I've been to other events where they say they have a premium open bar, but SoHo Grand kept their word. I was able to enjoy my favorite whisky, Macallan, while others ordered top-shelf spirits and champagne cocktails. How could I not be in a good mood after that?
I will say that the bartenders had better mixing skills than the deejay. Unlike other balls, there were no breakout rooms playing different music so we were all at the mercy of the main deejay. The good thing about everyone enjoying free-flowing liquor is that they did not notice how bad the deejay was. I'm a party blogger, so this must be noted. The music ranged from Frank Sinatra at midnight - an homage to the theme as Sinatra was an honored guest at Capote's ball - to JLo to Jay-Z (lots of Jay-Z for some reason).
The SoHo Grand Ball does come at a hefty price with tickets ranging from $200 to $300, but I can honestly say that I got my money's worth. The venue was beautifully decorated and well ventilated, the bar was fully stocked, and everyone was incredibly friendly (read "wasted"). It was a great way to ring in 2017.
As for New Year's Day, however.... Let's just say that Chic provided a very different experience.