1999 Dec 31

RNB Millennium party at the Irish Rover

All that anticipation and excitement about the end of a Millennium during the year was tainted by more hype about the Y2K Bug and its possible disaster-inducing ability. By December, all I heard was the Y2K bug and what to do when it happened. There was little talk about what big name DJs to arrive on our soil. Yes, I've seen flyers saying how the organizer has been preparing for this end-of-Millennium bash since whenever but when New Year's Eve actually comes, there really isn't that many interesting choices to choose from. At the office, most people prefer to stay home when New Year comes. I do understand that there is a kind of uncertainty in the air that kind of make one cautious of what might happen; a kind of catastrophic vibration lurking behind, with all those people waiting in Times Square in New York and Harbour Front, Lakeshore. There could be riots, accidents, terrorist attacks, kidnapping, looting, crowd stomping, swarming...

By the evening, I almost wanted to stay home but the thought that there could and hopefully would be only one end-of-millennium New Year's eve in my life, made me decide to go see the fireworks by the waterfront.

When P. and I board the TTC, people inside were all excited but not THAT excited. In fact, I didn't see people behaving any more animated than any other New Year's eve. They were not that dressed-up either. We got off at Union Station and followed the crowd. There was that fear of being trampled if anything unexpected happened and the crowd turned hysterical . But people were quite orderly amidst the whistling and shouting. There was also less people than I expected.

We walked over towards the East where the stages were but the fireworks seemed very far away. The amplifiers were either cheap stuffs or there was not enough. We could hardly hear the tacky techno, classical and What a Wonderful World that were played. What's worse was we didn't even know New Year had arrived until we saw the first sparkle in the sky above . There was no count down! And worst of all, was this panhandler, who was quite neatly dressed (for the occasion?) , who stood in front of P., turned around at the very moment the first sparkle was seen in the sky, and asked P. for money. I was worried he was more than just a panhandler and stared at him until he walked away. P. did not give him anything and that was understandable. With the crowd being around, he could easily be a robber if we pulled out our wallets. After he left, we struggled to concentrate on the sporadic fireworks above us. With a lame soundtrack, and an
ordinary line up of firework tricks, we were completely disappointed. There was hardly any sense of awe as we watched. In fact, the people around us were not that interested either. Many looked around as if wondering if there was anything more interesting to do. Some talked a great deal. Some lovers kissed but the New Year spirit was simply not there.

As the firework died down, we walked further east to the Irish Rover pub where the RNB party was held. The short walk from Lakeshore east to the pub was a deserted, industrial, run-down, abandoned strip of land. This really wasn't the sight I had in mind for the year 2000's dawning. P. and I was quiet all the way. We both wished we were somewhere else.

But then, once we entered the Irish Rover, things seemed a bit more tolerable. The Irish Rover is a house built in the middle of nowhere, among the highways and by the side of a short bridge going towards the industrial shore of the lake. There were only a few people at the door and once I walked in, I could hardly recognize it as a pub --- a huge tent was set up outside the pub to accommodate for the crowd. Regardless, it was a warm and welcoming atmosphere. One dance floor was indoors and the other one was on sandy ground inside the tent where the music was special. We even heard YMO remixed which was a delightful surprise. There we danced a bit and we moved to the indoor dance floor and had a pretty good time.

A girl approached us and we kissed and hugged like people should during New Year's Eve. We chatted politely for a bit and left not too long

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