’21 fun salute! Revelers ring in new year with optimism

PHOTO BY BRENDA AHEARN

Charles Dickens could easily have had 2020 in mind when he wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

New Year’s Eve celebrations were not spared the curse of 2020, with more people than not choosing to err on the side of safety, popping the cork at home with family or small groups of friends in their ‘bubble.’ Many ushered in the new year with traditions such as making lots of noise (fireworks were heard all over town) or opening the windows at midnight to clear the way for the new year.

But there were others last Thursday evening who wished to bid farewell – or good riddance – to 2020 in style, opting to dine out and enjoy some bubbly at various local hotspots. In years past, revelers would spill out onto the streets from their favorite haunts along Ocean Drive, but folks reflected on the ups and downs of the tumultuous year differently this time.

Partygoers at Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel and Spa and Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa were rumored to be predominantly hotel guests, whether from out of town or locals taking staycations.

Nearby, other merrymakers rocked the night away at Waldo’s under the luminous Cold Moon – the 13th full moon of the year. Across the street at Grind + Grape, spotlights drew partiers like moths to a flame, all eager to flip the page to a new year.

Earlier in the week, Faces of Eve, a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to honoring and celebrating women, hosted a ‘Virtually Anything Goes Holiday Party’ via the now ubiquitous Zoom platform, to share stories about “how we made the best of a terrible, horrible no-good year and our wishes for the (hopefully better) New Year.”

“A lot of good things have come out of a lot of bad situations,” said Rhonda Ward, who Zoomed in from Connecticut. “It’s been a very interesting year. It’s been a challenging year on a lot of levels, but in everything, I think, there is some good.”

One of the positives has been technology itself, as it has allowed people around the world to safely celebrate occasions such as weddings, birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The same technology that has been blamed for disconnecting us, has now connected us in an unexpected way.

“We are the Baby Zoomers,” declared Jane Bialosky.

“Imagine 100 years ago, when they had that other pandemic, they had no way of communicating at all,” said Neli Santamarina. “Were it not for this technology that we have, we Baby Zoomers, as Jane christened us, would not be able to feel that intimacy that we’ve been able to. I think about how dreadful it would have been for all of us without it.”

But perhaps the best bit of advice came from Ernst Furnsinn, who emailed that a friend counseled: “First rule of 2021, don’t talk about 2020!”

Photos by Brenda Ahearn

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