Another list we don't have to be embarrassed about topping!

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New Orleans ranks high in yet another national list. This time, The Los Angeles Times reports Priceline.com's top New Year's Eve destinations, with New Orleans (Downtown, specifically) making the cut at No. 5, just under Miami, New York and Las Vegas (at No. 1). It even beat a couple more New York destinations, friggin' Chicago, Boston, and our own French Quarter, which appears at No. 8.

Our NYE short list includes annual big-ball-dropping festivities, fancy-dressed boozing on the riverwalk, dance parties stretching both ends of Decatur, infinite bar specials, bourgie black-tie parties and absolutely no parking spots.

Worthwhile, free or on-the-cheap (or a little somethin' extra) events, for those who may be checking out the city after this top five recomendation, include:

The venerable DJ Soul Sister at Mimi's in the Marigny; DJ EF Cuttin' (and free Champagne) preside over the newly reopened and moved-down-the-street Hookah Cafe; The NOLA Art House hosts another treehouse party with a "future" theme for $25 before midnight and $10 after; R. Scully and co. rock the Hi-Ho Lounge; and Dumpstaphunk and Papa Grows Funk headline Howlin' Wolf (the $70 ticket includes an open bar and buffet).

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