We entered the Gladstone hotel to the warm inviting smell of freshly popped popcorn and newly spun cotton candy. Purchasing advanced tickets makes the process of going to a party so much better as you don't have to fret about arriving early enough to get in or wait in line. However, one look at the coat check line and it was clear that we'd need a beverage in order to endure that wait. As we got closer to the front of the line, we realized that the popcorn and cotton candy stands were in the same place as the coat check and that's why there was such a commotion. They might want to consider spacing these things out for next time.
There were three areas with DJs and dancing. The main ballroom had your regular club hits, the melody bar played the oldies and hip hop was spinning on the second floor. There was something for everyone. The second floor was also set up with fun house mirrors and carnival games, which became increasingly difficult with each trip to the bar. You try precision throwing after a couple cocktails. Not easy.
There was a champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight followed by a circus performance. We watched as the special effects guy balanced a knife on his chin, fit his body through two tennis rackets and lay on a bed of nails. We were then dazzled by the magician as he intertwined and separated his metal rings. The show concluded with the acrobatic stylings of two lovely ladies. The show wasn't terribly long. It's hard to keep the attention of party goers for longer than 10 minutes anyway. It was however nice to be able to add an element of spectacle that wasn't just your drunk friend acting a fool or being the person passed out in the bathroom at 11:30. (to the girl in the orange dress: I hope your friend is OK.)
We had a fantastic time and the Gladstone Hotel did a fabulous job of creating a unique environment and a special evening for us to ring in the new year. And in a New Year's Eve miracle, we caught a cab right away.
Happy 2014 everybody!