Posts Tagged ‘2012’

‘Sensation’-al European Dance Music Event to Debut in America This Year

Written by buzz. Posted in Music

Written by: Kristiina Yang

Dazzling European audiences for 12 years and running, Dutch entertainment group ID&T announced on May 31 that it would finally be bringing its popular dance music event ‘Sensation White’ to the United States in October 2012.

The event, which will be called Sensation America, is slated to make its debut in Brooklyn, New York at the city’s brand new Barclays Center, a sports arena that will open just one month before Sensation arrives. Due to anticipated high demand, the event will take place on two back-to-back dates, Oct. 26 and 27.

What makes this event particularly unique is that all of its attendees are asked to wear all white clothing, creating a sense of unity amongst the crowd. Sensation has marketed itself upon the slogan, “Be Part of the Night- Dress in White!” and has consistently sold out its tickets with each event hosting approximately 40,000 to 45,000 attendees, with a similar number expected to be seen donning white outfits at Sensation America.

Sensation Amsterdam

Sensation America is expected to draw a massive crowd all dressed in white, just like this past Sensation Amsterdam '11. (Photo: Sensation.com)

Sensation is one of the foremost electronic music events, beginning in Amsterdam in 2000 and spreading across major European cities and for the first time this year to locations around the world in the United States, South America and Asia. Less known about the event is that Sensation contributes a small portion of its ticket sales to its exclusive charity, dance4life, a worldwide youth empowerment organization.

What has made Sensation so popular and successful is the high production value of the event and the organizer’s ability to recruit talented and upcoming electronic music artists. Sensation has always occurred in indoor spaces with ID&T carefully crafting a unique atmosphere with its enticing decor, lighting design and spatial layouts, greatly contributing to the audiences’ experience at the event.

Further, the spread of Sensation from Europe to America follows the rising popularity of electronic dance music, with greater presence of this type of music on radio airwaves and at various festivals around the world. While in the past, these artists were limited to smaller venues and nightclubs, massive events, such as Sensation, demonstrate their new prominence in today’s popular culture. The artists for Sensation America have not been announced yet, but are sure to be those well-known in the electronic music world.

Some are skeptical, however, about the success of Sensation in catering to American crowds, with thoughts on the event being shared on numerous electronic music websites and blogs upon its announcement. Such skeptics feel that electronic music itself is more appreciated in Europe than in the US and that people may attend the event without having the sense of camaraderie that exists amongst fans of any type of music, rather attending for Sensation’s showiness.

Regardless, October’s Sensation America will prove to be a unique, groundbreaking event bringing a cornerstone of contemporary electronic music to the United States.  For those ages 21 and up, ticket sales begin on Friday, June 8, 2012 on Sensation’s website, where further information can also be found.

We the Tweeple: Twitter and the 2012 Presidential Election

Written by buzz. Posted in Social Media

Written by: Allison Hibbs

“I really think 2012 is going to be the Twitter election.”

That’s what Dick Costolo, CEO of the social media giant, told attendees at a tech conference in California in late January; although the same words might have been uttered by any avid Twitter user who has followed political conversations on the website during the onslaught of GOP debates or the recent State of the Union address leading up to the 2012 Presidential election. Commentary, discussion, fact-checking and ideological rants have flooded the site during these events, involving participants in an interactive political conversation reminiscent of a no-holds-barred town hall brawl.

In fact, among twitterers, trending conversations have often proven to be far more popular than the actual events themselves, a sentiment repeated often during the debates in particular – and with more than a hint of irony.

Twitter appreciation from tweeps during GOP debate on 1/26/12.

Tweets range from inane to insightful, from snarky insults to eloquently phrased questions or impassioned pleas. Anyone looking to get in on the action simply has to add the right hash-tagged phrase to his or her comment to be included in the thread. Keeping up with comments in the heat of the moment becomes nearly impossible, but one has only to go back to the thread when they have time and they can read up on what was said, follow links to related news stories, check the integrity of comments made by those on stage during the event or simply laugh at the more humorous tweets.

During the CNN Debate hosted by John King, opening comments made by Newt Gingrich blasting King for opening with a question about his personal life were widely ridiculed and reposted by active tweeters. While the audience seemed to appreciate his indignation, the twitterverse was not as kind.

1/19/12 CNN debate/ Begala tweet re: Gingrich

It is fairly common knowledge – at least among those familiar with the social medium – that the use of the Twitter platform was an advantage to the Obama camp during the 2008 election cycle: he received far more mentions than his opponent and a disproportionate number of Twitter users identified themselves as democrats. (This doesn’t take into account the number of tweets regarding Republican vice-presidential hopeful, Sarah Palin, who received a large amount of mentions – most of which were unfavorable.) But Twitter has gained significant numbers over the last four years and Republican politicians have increasingly taken to using the platform for their own messaging and organizational purposes. GOP presidential hopefuls employ staff members to follow the tweets during their appearances to find out which topics they are concerned with and which personality attributes or answers they prefer. There is, unquestionably, much to be learned from immediate feedback and they intend to take it to heart.

From the look of it, however, they’ve got a lot of catching up to do if they want to turn the advantage in their favor. During the President’s State of the Union address on Jan. 24, tweets were significantly less scathing and more topically relevant than those posted during the debates. Twitter users still seem to skew further to the left of the aisle than the general public.

Tweets re: GOP debate vs. SOTU

Nevertheless, Twitter has – if nothing else – had the effect of combating political apathy and has brought the public political debate to a whole new level. Those who are chagrined when barred from political discussion in social forums have now found an outlet through which they can share ideas, facts, emotions and hopes – in the hopes of staying informed, sharing information and influencing election outcomes, presidential or otherwise. A new era in politics has indeed arrived.

Welcome to Election 2012, the Year of Twitter.

Obama Unveils America that is Built to Last in State of the Union

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

Obama at State of the Union Address 2012

Obama speaking at 2012 State of the Union Address

Written by: Nick Mingay

WASHINGTON – President Obama gave his State of the Union Address in Washington Tuesday in which he promised to pass legislation to help America continue its recovery, even in an election year.

At a time when the nation is enamured with the Republican Caucuses, a Newt and a Mitt, Obama had his shot to make a pitch to the American electorate and jump start his campaign for reelection. He began by focusing on the troops coming home and the end of Osama Bin Laden, his two biggest accomplishments since becoming President.

Throughout the speech, Obama emphasized the need to work together within Washington. He recognized the frustration Americans had over routine task such as the debt ceiling increase. Obama made it clear he was willing to play ball with either side of the aisle if it helped the country.

“As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum,” Obama said.

Obama also pinpointed the tax code as a major issue in 2012. His major attack was on those companies who outsource jobs to other countries. Obama said he would have those companies take a tax deduction to subsidies others bringing jobs back to American soil.

“From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax,” Obama said. “And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here in America.”

Later in the speech, Obama spoke on growing small businesses by expanded the tax relief to them. He also proposed getting rid of regulations that hinder entrepreneurs from starting their own business. These factors would allow small businesses to gain a foothold in the market and create more competition amongst established companies.

Obama also touched on how Americas reliance on foreign oil. The Keystone XL Pipeline was an obvious setback for this, but Obama laid out other avenues that could help domestic energy production.

He mentioned using hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking,  to collect natural gas as one way to help alleviate America’s crutch on foreign oil. There has been some debate about the detriment hydrofracking has on communities close to the operation because some companies have used diesel fuel in the process. Obama wanted to stop this from expanded into a bigger issue by stating that he will require those involved in hydrofracking to disclose the materials in the solution they use.

Obama finished his speech by noting again that the world will no longer have to worry about Bin Laden terrorizing a nation or about American troops in Iraq in 2012. This was the jumping off point for his reelection campaign. We can only wait to see if Obama’s charisma and political platform will carry him to another presidential election.

The Reasonable Lunacy of Ron Paul Action Figures

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

Super Politician Ron Paul!

What is faster than a liberal? More politically powerful than a lobbyist? Able to leap Ben Bernanke in a single bound? It’s..it’s….Ron Paul action figures! Representing a new wave of politically clever campaigning, the figures are being sold by Revolution PAC with all proceeds going to support Paul’s run for president. And who can blame Paul or his supporters for thinking outside-the-box, considering Paul’s main obstacle in running for the White House.

Since Ronald Ernest Paul first emerged on the presidential spectrum in 1988 as the Libertarian Party’s nominee, equal coverage has always been an issue. In his inaugural presidential campaign in 1988, Paul’s received little attention even within his own libertarian party. Garnering not even 1% of the vote in the presidential elections, nobody seemed to mind as George Bush went on to defeat Michael Dukakis.

A decade later in the 2008 presidential elections, not much had changed. While Paul opted for the Republican nomination that time around, his congressional record in the previous ten years apparently gained him little or no respect, perhaps evidenced  by the fact that FOX News chose to leave Paul off the debate invitee list.

Has the Paul campaign experienced any difference in treatment in 2011-12? Certainly the age of free-social media advertising has helped level the playing field, giving all candidates an equal voice, right? (Did anyone realize that the Socialist Party of California Chairman, Stewart Alexander is running! Or Fred Karger, the first openly gay presidential hopeful?)

In a recent media report published by the Pew Research Center, Texas Congressman Ron Paul received the least amount of news coverage of all, serious, GOP candidates (astoundingly, he was even beat out by Sarah Palin whose presidential campaign this year…..oh wait). While Pew’s report does state that Paul received a great deal of attention in the blogosphere, as well as an overall positive spin, this should not be equated to things like mainstream media coverage, or time and attention garnered in the one too many GOP debates.

Even more damming evidence against Paul’s fair coverage emerged as he announced his “Plan for America.” Contrary to ex-running mate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan or Mitt Romney’s 59 point proposal, Paul’s plan has received little attention even by the endlessly hungry 24-7 news cycle. Maybe it just needs a catchier moniker?

The lack of attention attributed to Ron Paul could easily be attributed to his “radical” ideas, but why hasn’t his vision caught on with more of those dissatisfied with status quo politics? With the continuing malcontent rising in the American voice and Occupy movements, many citizens are completely dissatisfied with “politics” in general.  For instance, in the 2008 election, 56.8% of the voting population turned out, leaving nearly half the nation at home. While that percentage is considerably large relative to past elections and the highest since 1968, it still leaves close to a hundred million people who decided to abstain.

On one hand, they are the apathetic, the disinterested, and the jaded. If a candidate could tap into the lethargic voting base, the political scene could dramatically change in an instant. On the other side of the spectrum, we have the Occupy Wall Street groups whose platform, though admittedly undefined, more closely resembles Ron Paul’s positions than any other candidate on either siade of party lines. Surely the ultra-libertarian Paul and these groups could form a politically strong symbiotic relationship that, if nothing else, should garner Paul more attention than he is getting.

In the past decades of Paul’s political career, the narrative on him certainly has been that he is a “fringe candidate”, a “kook”, and at best, someone whose ideas were interesting but just so crazy that they shouldn’t even be considered a realistic possibility. But as the Occupy Wall Street protesters like to remind us, aren’t we in need of some radical change? If the country is to reverse it’s a trajectory, one in which the majority of Americans believe is going in the wrong direction, it won’t be made at the margins with tax tweaks or spending cuts here and there. Systemic change, the kind President Obama promised yet hasn’t seemed to deliver, is necessary. In which case, taking Ron Paul’s ideas more seriously should be more than just an interesting notion.

2012 Olympic Swim Trials Set to Be Held in Omaha, NE

Written by buzz. Posted in sports

Written By: Jessica Mangiameli

For the second time in a row, extraordinary swimmers from all over the country will come to compete in the Olympic Swim Trials which will be held in Omaha, Nebraska.  The trials will be held at the CenturyLink Center from June 25th-July 2nd.

The winners of these specific trials will earn the right to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics games in London. Omaha earned the right to hold the swim trials for the second time in a row after they hosted the swim trials in 2008 and had record setting attendance. The 2008 record setting meet drew 160,003 attendees over the time span of eight days. When the swim trials were held in Long Beach in 2004, it drew a crowd of 50,000 less than in Omaha, Nebraska in 2008.  In 2008, sixty percent of the tickets were sold to out of town guests. The capacity of the CenturyLink Center is just over 14,000 for each meet, making it a very special opportunity to participate in.

Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Nebraska

Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Nebraska

The CenturyLink Center is transformed when a portable pool is brought in.  The stage for the Olympic trials contains a green waterfall which is the backdrop for the medal ceremonies. There is also fire that shoots up from the deck when a new world record is set. To accommodate the swimmers, an adjacent convention center has a warm up pool and most swimmers stay in hotels within walking distance of the arena.  It is basically set up like an Olympic village which makes it easier for the coaches and athletes to train.

Some of the major swimmers that will be on hand for the trials include Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte for the men’s division.  The women’s division will include competitors Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni and Natalie Coughlin. Phelps, Lochte, Soni and Coughlin are all returning medalists from the 2008 Olympic games which were held in Beijing.  Missy Franklin is an up-coming 16-year-old super star expected to perform very well.

The first couple days of the 2012 Olympic Swim Trials will overlap with the ending of the College World Series Baseball Tournament.  This could cause a few problems for attendees of each event.  The city assures the public that they have everything under control and there should be very few problems.

The Swim trials can also be seen on television.  It is still to early to predict where the 2016 Olympic Swim Trials will be held but it is certain that Omaha will be considered.  Other competing cities will be on hand in Omaha to gather ideas on what their city can do to compete for the right to hold the trials.

Midlands International Auto Show 2012

Written by buzz. Posted in Cars

Written By: Jessica Mangiameli

The International Auto Show 2012 kicks off its tour in Detroit on Monday, January 16th.

One of its many stops is at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday, January 19th through Sunday, January 22nd. The Midlands International Auto Show offers citizens the chance to see new and upcoming models from many different auto manufactures all in one place. The auto manufactures roll out their new models and designs in hopes of attracting potential buyers.

A list of the manufactures that will be presenting their new designs include: Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini Cooper, Mitsubishi, Scion, Smart, Sprinter, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagon.

2012 Gucci Fiat 500C

2012 Gucci Fiat 500C

Some of the hot models offered at the Midlands International Auto Show include the new and luxurious Gucci inspired edition of the Fiat 500C. The Fiat 500C compares in size to the Mini Cooper and is a four seat vehicle. The 2012 Gucci Fiat 500C is expected to appeal to the female population, mainly for the designer logo embroidered amongst the car. The car has been featured in a TV commercial this past winter featuring Jennifer Lopez. Another featured vehicle is the 2012 Hyundai Veloster which is a two door hatchback and is replacing the Tiburon. It is considered to be competition for the Mini Cooper and Scion tC. Another new featured model is the 2012 Buick Verano.  This smaller Buick features all the luxury that people have come to expect from a a full sized Buick.

In addition to the new vehicles being presented, the Midlands International Auto Show will also offer a peek at two storm chasing vehicles. The cars are best known for their use on Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers”. The two vehicles to be featured are the Dominator 1 and the Dominator 2.  The Dominator 1 is built on a 2008 Chevy Tahoe frame while the Dominator 2 is built on a 2011 GMC Yukon XL frame.  These two vehicles are sure to be a big hit for young audiences and old, especially since they are the actual cars used in the Discovery Channel show.

The Midlands International Autoshow will be opened to the Omaha, Nebraska public on Thursday – Sunday (January 19th – 22nd) and is located at CenturyLink Center Omaha 455 N. 10th St.

HOURS:
Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission:
$9 adults (ages 13 and older)
$5 ages 7 to 12
$6 ages 65 and older and anyone with a military ID
Free, ages 6 and younger

Get more information on the Midlands Auto Show at www.OmahaAutoShow.com

Google Celebrates 2012 With a New Doodle

Written by buzz. Posted in Google

Written By: Mufsin Mahbub

With a New Year, Google gets into the spirit with a new doodle on their homepage. Their new doodle shows a bunch of tasks that every household does every year – listening to headphones, exercising, playing a guitar, reading a book and cleaning up the house.

Yesterday’s doodle showed the Google letters dancing and confetti everywhere while wearing party hats and the 2012 glasses. With the celebrations done, some of those New Years resolutions people promise to do will be displayed on the Search Engine’s website. Each letter of Google’s name represents doing something beneficial.

In the beginning of the word, the letter G has headphones on with different ways of saying “hello.” This symbolizes learning a new language as a New Year resolution. The two letter Os show some exercising taking place, which is something that a lot of people are trying to do as their goal for the New Year.

The small G, on a guitar, is strumming a tune – because learning music is another goal for 2012. The L shows the power of reading and taking up literature. After New Years celebrations, there is always a mess afterwards, which the E is doing.

For years, the Doodles were simply fixed illustrations. However, in recent times Google has added animation, video, music, and other forms of interactivity – like the playable guitar on the logo for Les Paul’s 96th birthday.

The letters shown aren’t actually animated or interactive like many of Google’s past doodles. However, by clicking on them it will bring you to a Google search results page for “New Year’s Day,” where you can learn about everything New Years, like trivia and today’s news like the annual polar bear plunge that takes place in Boston Harbor.

Users can also compare today’s doodle with others over the previous years All they have to do is check out the recently revamped Google Doodle website, which lets you search for every doodle by year and country and even offers a Doodle store where you can buy posters, t-shirts, coffee mugs, skateboard decks, and other memorabilia featuring your favorite Doodles over the years since the first one surfaced in 1998. Google has created as much as 260 homepage doodles in 2011, some of which appeared in specific countries and worldwide.

Google has simply found a great way to ring in the New Year and hope to see many more of their ingenious designs in the future.

Environmental Protection Agency on the Ropes In 2012

Written by buzz. Posted in Science

 

Written by: Anatole Ashraf

The Environmental Protection Agency continues to face challenges as another election year begins with 2012. On Dec. 29, Texas filed a motion in federal appeals court to block the Obama Administration’s attempts to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases. Another federal court rejected the state’s petition one day before on Dec. 28.

The move by Texas is merely the latest in what continues to be a difficult period for the Environmental Protection Agency. The Jan. 1 implementation of the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which places stricter federal limits on pollution from coal-fired plants was delayed at the last minute by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit on Dec. 31.

“Texas law does not currently deem greenhouse gases to be pollutants,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has previously claimed that the state was determined to fight the EPA’s intentions. “Once again, the federal government is overreaching, and improperly intruding upon the state of Texas and its legal rights.”

Greg Abbott’s comments reflect one of the greatest challenges facing the EPA—climate change denial. With the 2012 presidential election, doubts and gaps in the science regarding global warming and rising temperatures stand to be frequently highlighted by candidates and politicians to gain favor with deniers.

The increasing fervor of charges against climate change can be traced back to a 2009 incident regarding personal emails circulating between researchers at the Climatic Research Unit of the U.K.’s University of East Anglia, the leading institution focused on climate change. Dubbed a scandal called “Climategate,” the emails revealed increasing frustration on the part of climate scientists, with one admitting that he was “tempted to beat” a skeptic at the libertarian Cato institute. The impact on public opinion was almost immediate, with a poll conducted five weeks later by Yale and George Mason University finding 57 percent of respondents believing that the planet is warming. A similar poll conducted in 2008 found 71 percent believers.

Some say climate change denial stems from negative reactions to new findings. According to political scientist Charles Taber of Stony Brook University, a person hearing about a discovery that challenges deeply held beliefs will have a negative subconscious response which in turn will guide the type of conscious memories and associations. “They retrieve thoughts that are consistent with their previous beliefs, and that will lead them to build an argument and challenge what they’re hearing,” Taber said. (On a humorous note, Mother Jones has compiled a “Field Guide to Climate Change Skeptics”.)

In the face of opposition from climate change deniers and a complicated relationship with lawmakers and politicians, the EPA’s mandate to regulate environmental crime and enforce environmental justice seems to be a challenge. Current administrator Lisa P. Jackson, however, announced at a speech at Power Shift 2011, an annual conference on climate change policy, that she was more energized than ever to “keep America on a path towards a more green and environmentally sustainable future.”

Mayor Bloomberg Brushes Off Newt Gingrich Criticisms as Gingrich Campaign Faces Challenges

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

 

Newt Gingrich criticizes Michael Bloomberg

Written By: Anatole Ashraf

Despite mounting campaign challenges, Republican candidate for the 2012 presidency Newt Gingrich continued to aim criticisms at New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg for a second day while Bloomberg chuckled at the jeers.

At a “Mom’s Matter” forum in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 30, Gingrich cited Bloomberg as a reason for wanting to overhaul the entire electoral system, claiming he did not have the mayor’s personal wealth to buy a seat.

“The current system is a disgrace,” Gingrich said. “When Bloomberg can buy the mayorship of New York and nobody can compete with him because they’re all under various contribution rules, when millionaires go out and have huge advantages, there’s something profoundly wrong with the system.”

Bloomberg in turn brushed off the comments at a press conference designed to advertise New York City’s efforts to increase pedestrian and bike safety on Dec. 29. When asked about the comments, Bloomberg laughed and replied, “What, did he say something?”

“My job is have more events like this to be able to say that bike safety has gone up dramatically,” Bloomberg said, “[that] crime has gone down, deaths by fire, deaths by traffic, that schools are improving, and that is what I am going to focus on.”

Gingrich’s criticisms come at a time when the candidate’s campaign is facing increasing challenges. According to a CNN poll of 452 Republicans conducted from Dec. 21 to 27, Gingrich ranked fourth among voters likely to caucus on Jan. 3 with 14 percent. A similar poll conducted from Nov. 29 to Dec. 6 found the candidate enjoying a 13-point lead over current front-runner Mitt Romney with 33 percent. The issues plaguing Gingrich’s campaign are attacks from other campaigns which the candidate has called “negative,” or super PACs which are supporting other candidates such as Romney.

Following Gingrich’s surge in the polls a month ago, rival candidates Romney and Ron Paul launched several attack ads that some estimate costing as high as $10 million worth. One point of attack has been Gingrich’s mid-1990s affair with Republican staffer Callista Bisek while still married to his second wife Marianne Ginther. The pressure resulting from these ads have led Gingrich to say, “I can’t do modern politics.”

The forum in Des Moines, Iowa also found Gingrich “becoming emotional” about his mother.

“My whole  emphasis on brain science comes indirectly from dealing with…the real problems of real people in my family,” Gingrich said. “So it’s not a theory, it’s in fact my mother.”

New York City Prepares for Gigantic New Year’s Eve Party

Written by buzz. Posted in Travel

Time's Square New Year's Eve

Time's Square New Year's Eve

Written by: Anatole Ashraf

 

New York City is expected to host an estimated one million people in Times Square on the New Year’s Eve ball drop for the biggest party night of the year. Record-breaking numbers of crowds are anticipated to gather for a star-studded lineup for entertainers, including Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

The party—which officially starts at 3 p.m.—will mark the culmination of days of police preparation. In an interview with NY1, Police Commissioner Ray Kelley detailed the process of securing the Times Square area.

“The manholes have all been sealed, the mailboxes have been removed, observation posts have been at least established or identified as the ones that are gonna be occupied, there’ll be several thousand police officers, not only here, but there are other events as well that are going on at the same time,” Kelley said.

As part of the heightened security measures, police officers will be barricading off the area from 41st to 58th Streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Jan. 1. Visitors are warned not to bring any alcohol, large bags or backpacks. Anyone who leaves their spot for any reason will not be allowed back in after 3 p.m.

Most visitors are expected to be tourists. According to a NY1 poll, 97 percent of New Yorkers admitted to not being interested in attending the Times Square celebration. To accommodate local and native New Yorkers, many restaurants and clubs are offering memorable experiences.

Some of the finest restaurants in the city such as Daniel and Per Se are offering New Year’s Eve packages. On his blog the Price Hike, food critic Ryan Sutton has compiled a list of the “Real Cost of New Year’s Eve Dining,” which tracks the often-inflated cost of New Year’s Eve meals after tax and tip for two. Per Se, for example, $1,633 after tax and tip for New Year’s Eve, while regularly a meal will cost $642 for two. Sutton called these markups “an intangible emotional play: you’re paying more because you and your significant other don’t want to be alone when the clock strikes midnight.”

For a more affordable celebration, various bars and restaurants are offering events with no cover charge. The popular Brooklyn destination Huckleberry Bar, for example, is hosting a masquerade ball with free hors d’oeuvres and complimentary champagne toasts at midnight.

Ultimately, celebration options are plenty and varied for almost all New Yorkers and tourists on New Year’s Eve 2012.

Twitter BUZZ