Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surviving the Nightlife Holiday Marathon

By Gamal Hennessy

For the nightlife native, going out several nights a week is a normal part of urban living. We hit several venues a week in the same way other people hit Starbucks every day. It’s not something that we put too much thought into.

But December can be taxing even for the seasoned patron. All the different events, from Thanksgiving Eve, to your office party, your client’s office parties, your friend’s office parties, office parties of people you don’t even know, family gatherings, promotional events, New Year’s Eve parties and your own regularly scheduled hustle can take a toll on your time, your sanity, your wallet and your liver. We could all use a little help to digest all the holiday cheer.

I have learned a few techniques while sliding in and out of parties over the past few years. Hopefully some or all of these tips will help you look good in those FB pictures, stay safe and most of all, have fun…

“Eve Events”: Decide on your “Eve events” (Thanksgiving Eve, New Years Eve) in advance, so you can shop around, get tickets in advance and guess how much money you’re going to spend (See the Money section below). Our list of top New York Nightlife Sites will help you figure out where to go

Coordination: Hit up your usual suspects (significant others, clients, friends, family, lovers and other co-conspirators) as early as possible and get their scheduled events into your smart phone (if they decide to invite you, of course). Because you are so popular, you will inevitably be double or triple booked, but the earlier you know what's going on, the more time you have to decline some invitations or plan a whirlwind tour.

Exercise: It makes sense to reschedule your workouts for earlier in the week during December. Holiday parties tend to fall later in the week and you might not have the energy or the motivation to hit the gym after a night of club hopping. Exercise earlier in the week will help you maintain some sort of consistency in your workout.

Fashion: When getting dressed, keep in mind that you might be moving from freezing street corner looking for a cab to hot crowded dance floor and back again several times in one night. Dress accordingly so you can maintain your sexy without catching pneumonia or passing it to someone else.

Recovery: Give yourself time to recover after a long night. If you have sick days or vacation days left, plan to use one after a particularly heavy weekend.

Rest: If you don’t want to look like something out of the Walking Dead in your FB pictures, remember that Red Bull is not a substitute for actual rest…and Four Loko is no longer an option

Open Bars: Try and figure out which of your events will have an open bar and which ones won’t before you get there so you’re not surprised when the check shows up.

Higher Prices: Keep in mind that some venues add in automatic tips

Added Costs: Remember there are incidental costs beyond just liquor (multiple cab rides, covers charges (or donations to whatever charity the party might be for) and of course Red Bull)

For God's Sake...Eat: Since you already know you will consume large quantities of liquor, it make sense to plan accordingly. If you eat something substantial drinking and/or something light during drinking and your stomach will have something to absorb the liquor you are drinking. Drunkorexia is not a viable long term solution.

2/1 Split: Some of my friends and I utilize the 2/1 split when drinking to modulate our intoxication levels. Basically, we order one glass of water for every two drinks we consume. Advanced natives use a 3/1 split, but if you have 4 or more drinks before you have a glass of water, it probably won’t help.

Hangover Prevention: At the end of the night, I have found that 2 Tylenol and another glass of water before bed prevents most of my hangovers. This might be because the Tylenol reduces swelling of the brain and the water keeps me from getting dehydrated, but you should use the hangover prevention system that works for you.

Getting Home: While you are out having fun, you also want to make sure that your people get home in one piece. Confirming transportation, “I’m alive” texts at the end of the night and the other general tips for a good club night can be very helpful here.

Female Safety: For ladies, the Tips for Female Safety in nightlife are even more relevant during the holidays. Using ideas like group movement, designated watchers and responsible indulgence can mean the difference between a party and a tragedy.

Have fun: Remember to enjoy yourself. The goal is not to see how many parties you can go to or how much you can drink or any quantifiable measure. The goal is to have fun.

Fanatics: Figure out where the amateurs and fanatics are going to be in your personal list of events. Don’t let them spoil your experience. Decide in advance who you can deal with and who you need to avoid.

• If you’ve been doing this all year, then all this won’t be new or stressful, but it’s a little late to suggest that now. Keep it in mind for next year though. December will be here again before you know it.

Have fun.

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