Ask typical New Yorkers what they’re doing for the New Year and most will tell you they’re staying home or getting as far out of town as possible.
And options are growing ever slimmer for those who plan to linger in the Big Apple, as “Celebration 2000,” the lavish and highly publicized New Year’s Eve bash planned for the Javits Center, was abruptly canceled this week due to lack of interest.
The planned celebration, which was set to feature Sting, Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, Enrique Iglesias and Andrea Bocelli, was a victim of poor ticket sales. Prices were steep, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 a head.
In being shuttered for Y2K, the Javits Center joins Broadway theaters and a host of top Gotham restaurants — Balthazar, Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, Mercer Kitchen, Tabla, Judson Grill and Le Bernadin among them.
The general consensus among top restaurateurs has been that staying open on the New Year isn’t worth the trouble of paying double for security — especially anywhere near the Times Square area where 1.5 million are expected — and top dollar for wait staff.
Indeed, whether or not the Y2K computer bug lives up to its apocryphal hype for Manhattan hotels, restaurants and entertainment spots, Y2K itself has yet to deliver a spending free-for-all. So far, while restaurant and hotel reservations have been better then past New Years, one can still get a room at the Marriott Marquis or Waldorf-Astoria and still book a table at Le Cirque 2000 or the Russian Tea Room without much trouble.
As for Celebration 2000, event producer Steve Leber is trying to mount a scaled-down version of the party at a smaller Gotham location, but has yet to secure a venue.