Without the fireworks and traffic along The Embarcadero, last Sunday night would have felt like any other weekend night. That it was New Year’s Eve only seemed incidental…
By midnight, I’ve already forgotten about the holiday. Walking into the Hilton on O’Farrell, I’m taken aback by the small but rowdy crowd in the bar/reception area counting backwards.
In the restroom, it hits me.
“Oh yeah,” I say aloud, my voice echoing off the tile.
I’m not alone though, as a flushing toilet drowns out the cheers from the lobby.
Back on the street, the doorman at the Nikko flags me and deposits an older couple in my backseat.
“What’s going on?” the gentleman in the leather suit asks me.
“It’s the New Year,” I reply.
“Yes.” He laughs. “But where are all the people?”
“Still home for the holidays?” I suggest.
They’d been at Bix, where they’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve for the past 20 years.
“We always book months ahead of time,” he says. “But this year, the bar was only half full.”
“It was very odd,” the woman adds. “We left early, thinking the traffic would be dreadful.”
Ahead of us, Market Street is wide open, hardly a vehicle on the road and barely a soul on the sidewalk.
Read the rest here.
[photo by Christian Lewis]