New York is a thriving, exciting city. Everywhere you go, there is someone with a camera (or GoPro, or any sort of photo-taking device) and a guidebook in hand. Now, New York for New Year’s is simply the worst. Hordes of tourists emerge from places you did not know were there. You cannot even think of going for lunch at a decent hour because lines will queue in every diner and food cart. Let alone visiting any museum. How did I survive this holiday, then?

In New York, I am half tourist, half business person. Although I have always come to visit my brother, I don’t feel as a much as a tourist as I am elsewhere. Maybe it is because I know I will be back. I admit it is a fun place, cosmopolitan, enchanting, and breath-taking. But I prefer London for those characteristics. I cannot stand the skyscrapers or the waiting times for more than two or three days. That said, I came recently for a conference, right on the holidays. Being this my fourth time in fourteen months, I did not feel I needed to go on Top of the Rock or did not even venture to go far into 86th street and say hi to my favourite museum, the MET. Instead, I strolled through the Village and peeked at the MoMA store when tourists would be less (not that there were not any).

I spent NYE in Queens, with family and friends, away from the craze of Time Square. Last year I was also here and did not go to the ball dropping. I have a good reason for those of you who think this is outrageous: I am not very fond of crowds, especially those huge crowds that hysterically stand for hours in the cold, agitate whatever balloon or signs they are given, and claim five seconds before cameras. Instead, I went to the roof of our building for ten minutes, where the champagne glasses almost froze, toasted for a happy 2015 and went back to the warmth of indoors. Cities like NYC, then, offer these possibilities of celebrations unavailable in other touristic destinations. Wanna be on TV? Go to Time Square. But you can also attend any of the parties or have a drink at any bar, or simply hang out with your beloved ones at home.