New Year’s Eve in New York. Some things never change — by the time the ball drops, most New Yorkers are safely out of town — but each year is always a little different.
Mustique, the classic New Year's scene for the city's chicest residents, this year has been decimated by one Lady Gaga, whose December 31 performance at the Fontainebleau has become this year's definitive New Year's experience. Peter Davis says he is going to see what she’s wearing; Ally Hilfiger because she’s “a really interesting creature to watch, it’s like seeing Madonna in the eighties.” It will be Hilfiger's first New Year's not spent in Mustique, where she's become accustomed to watching the sunrise with everyone lined up on Macaroni beach. But this year, everyone's going to be in Miami anyhow: “My friend Harif Guzman, Sabrina Bacon, all the D.J.’s that I know, Mark [Ronson], I think Lindsay Lohan, I think everybody’s going," she says.
Gaga's not the only reason to hit Miami: Answering the call of jet-set elders left cold by the phenomenon of the Lady but eager to get in on the A-list poolside action is none other than ... Phish. No word on whether the aging jam band will rock the vacuum machine for the encore.
Another New Year's hot spot will be relocating to colder climes: It will be below freezing in Moscow, where Simon Hammerstein is transporting his nightclub the Box for the season, maybe longer. The Box in Russia? It’s all very mysterious. "I guess I just know that it's happening,” chirped fashion writer Derek Blasberg, who sometimes visits his friend Princess Dasha Zhuvkova. "And that in and of itself scares me!" The Moscow Box, designed to suck up oligarch dollars, is said to be less raunchy than the American version, which is easy to imagine. It may be the first installment in Hammerstein's vision of a worldwide chain.
Elsewhere abroad: "London Call " read the subject line of the e-mail Amy Sacco sent out Friday, inviting anyone who might happen to be in London to stop by her Vegas-themed party at Bungalow 8 over there. “PS.,” it blared on, “SAVE FEB FASHION WEEK FOR THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF THE NEW BUNGALOW 8 NYC!”
Less chipper is the yachting set, whose New Year's fleet week in St. Barts is on the wane: The dismal economy has taken the gas out of the conversation and put a bit of a pinch in the pose. “I’m hearing a lot less about people chartering yachts and renting private planes,” said Jamie Mulholland, CEO of Cain Leisure, which manages various clubs and is a leading purveyor of high-end entertainment across the globe. “People just aren’t feeling it.”
All this might make for the best New Year's in New York in years, however. The reason? It's cheaper, comparatively. At Goldbar, Mulholland's club downtown, all twelve tables — which begin at $2,000 and go up from there — have already sold out. The Boom Boom Room is expecting the landlocked masses to pony up for the musical stylings of Courtney Love — tickets went on sale Friday and range from $250 to $1,000. André Balazs, who typically is in St. Barts, is said to be staying for the occasion.
“Usually everyone leaves,” Mulholland says.