Getting jostled (and very cold) in Times Square on New Year's Eve is not, thankfully, the only way to ring in 2009 in New York City. Bypass the throngs by taking in the ball drop at a cozy watering hole. 200 Fifth in Brooklyn has 65 televisions, and one of them is bound to offer a pretty good view for the countdown. For good luck, join in a toast at The Bubble Lounge, which serves more than 300 champagnes and sparkling wines.
Of course, you don't have to ring in the New Year with a drink; in fact, you don't even need to stay indoors. Intrepid runners—or those who really take their New Year's resolutions seriously—can head to Central Park for the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a four-miler that also features music and dancing, a costume parade and contest and fireworks. You can also catch fireworks in Brooklyn; start your year with a bang and join in the free festivities at Brooklyn's biggest party in Prospect Park, with entertainment and hot refreshments at Grand Army Plaza.