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Say Hello to the New Year

Eleven ways to kick off 2011.


Brave the cold with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.  

1. Cut your hangover short.
Prepare in advance for the morning after by stocking up on rejuvenating teas that will jolt you out of your Champagne-induced stupor. Third-generation tea company Harney & Sons (433 Broome St., nr. Broadway; 212-933-4853) sells more than 200 varieties to help you detox. For a proven remedy, go to online retailer l'Âge de Thé, where coupon code NYCHomeDelivery gets you home delivery on January 1 of their Herbal Detox tea, an antioxidant-rich blend designed to purify your skin and liver.

2. Relax with a restorative massage.
Get ready to sweat at the 118-year-old Russian & Turkish Baths (268 E. 10th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-674-9250), where you can rid yourself of toxins from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on New Year's Day. A fee of $30 buys you a full day of admission and access to a variety of saunas and steam rooms, an ice-cold pool, and your own robe and slippers. Special treatments like Swedish massages and sea-salt scrubs cost extra, but they're worthy indulgences.

3. Head to the movies.
Catch two new buzzy indie flicks at Angelika Film Center. Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine portrays the complexities of a troubled marriage, but it's mostly garnering attention for the battle over its NC-17 rating (which has since been reduced to R). Another Year, directed by Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky, Topsy-Turvy), was a critical favorite at Cannes and looks at a year in the life of a happily married couple visited by a series of unhappy friends.

4. See a Broadway musical before it closes.
Buy an 8 p.m. ticket for one of the handful of shows closing January 2 so you can see them before they take their final bows. Elf is family-friendly holiday entertainment, while Tony-winning West Side Story is a bold revival of the beloved musical. Audiences love Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth, and Molly Shannon in Promises, Promises, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was one of the season's few critical hits.

5. Take an icy plunge.
Dive into the frigid Atlantic along with members of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club for their annual New Year's Day swim starting at 1 p.m. There's no fee to participate or observe, but donations to Camp Sunshine are encouraged. Bring warm clothes, towels, and friends who can photograph your freezing adventure.

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