New Year's Eve: Dance

What the hell happened last night?

Sway
Vito Fun is a very busy man these days. When he isn’t shooting stunning pictures of every single party you missed this past year, he’s coming up with brilliant ideas and forgetting them just as quickly. And he’s a DJ, too. On any given night, you can find him out there, using his audio imagination to the fullest and making the masses move. Like a slightly fey Batman without a driver’s license, this nightlife antihero has saved many a gay man from a night of shitty music. And the straights dig him, too. He’s a confident man in uncertain times—and he’s DJing for you this New Year’s Eve. 305 Spring Street, 212-620-5220, swaylounge.com, $25 entry with champagne toast at midnight, call for table packages

Highbar
There’s something about standing 16 floors in the air, surveying the twilight Gotham skyline while partying with the beautiful people, that makes you feel like you’ve really got your shit together. From the moment the elevator doors open, it’s easy to have all of that glamour and glitz go straight to your head. Let it—you’ve had a tough year. It’s no wonder that this place holds Joonbug’s No. 1 New York City Penthouse Loft Party for New Year’s Eve, and if that sounds like a mouthful, it’s because it is. Open bar from 9 p.m. through 2 a.m. with bottle service for Platinum VIP guests, 251 West 48th Street, 212-956-1300, highbarnyc.com, $85–$185

Santos’ Party House
Still one of the best DJ spots around, Santos’ is reprising its series of OPEN parties by kicking off 2011 with ReOPENed. With two floors of classic hip-hop, house, soul classics, electro-disco, and reggaetronic to be explored, you’ll get your 10 bucks’ worth. Multi-platinum producer Just Blaze will be honoring his Friday residency, along with DJ Soul, Max Glazer, Micro Don, and DJ Gravy. Doors open at 10 p.m., 96 Lafayette Street, 212-584-5492, santospartyhouse.com, $10 before 11 p.m., $20 after

What posses were meant for
Tone
What posses were meant for
Way more fun than the Donner Party
Way more fun than the Donner Party

Webster Hall
With this year’s 125th anniversary of Webster Hall, the mother of all New Year’s Eve parties is still on top of her game. Come December 31, the bold and the beautiful will flock from all corners of the globe to attend the world’s largest balloon drop at our oldest and most storied nightlife institution. The stage shows are epic, and the crowd is always down for whatever. With four floors of nocturnal playland to discover, aerial performances, fire displays, and eight different DJs throughout the night, there is no better bang for your New Year’s Eve buck. The best part: This party serves liquor till 8 a.m. Bloody Beatroots take over at 3:30 in the morning. And if you can’t make the main event, at least you know where the after-party is. 125 East 11th Street, 212-353-1600, websterhall.com, $99 and up

Roseland Ballroom
When I was in high school, there was nothing better than sneaking out of the house with friends to catch a killer DJ lineup at the Roseland before dragging our wasted carcasses to class the next day. The Giuliani dragnet years were a joyous time for those of us who didn’t get arrested, and for all of his bullshit, he did manage to prove our point: The harder you push against New Yorkers’ God-given right to party, they’ll just push back twice as much and with far more creativity. Steve Angello will be spinning the best house on the main stage till dawn. Show him some love. Show starts at 9 p.m., 239 West 52nd Street, 212-247-0200, roselandballroom.com, livenation.com, $76.50–$140

Mason Dixon
Bourbon tastes good, and it’s good for you. That last part is debated in some circles, but not at this bar, which offers the largest selection of the gushing brown nectar in New York City. And everyone knows that nothing goes better with bourbon than mechanical-bull riding—they really know what the hell they’re doing here, like doctors with soft hands. For $85, you can get your dance on to the music of the Ohio Party with ample help from the five-hour open bar and the champagne toast. If you’re going out hard this year, they offer top-shelf booze, unlimited bull rides, and a special tasting menu prepared by Michelin-rated chef Wayne Nish for $200. 133 Essex Street, 212-260-4100, masondixonnyc.com, $85–$200

Mehanata
There was a time when I would tell people that I only listened to world music and soft jazz so they would stop asking me what I was into. It worked for years. Then one day, it didn’t anymore—people would get really excited and pelt me with names of bands I’d never heard of. Since I am a serious journalist, I dug. And I found Mehanata. A longtime favorite of Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz, this place has been a haven for trans-global punks, belly dancers, and anyone with a passion for vodka-flavored hotties and anti-Balkanization. This year, the urban-gypsy-phonic Japanese rockers of Kangero will invade 2011 fast and dirty. Show starts at 9:30 p.m., 113 Ludlow Street, 212-625-0981, mehanata.com, nominal cover

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