Money may be tight, but that didn’t stop the crowds from heading downtown to bring in 2009 just right. The venerable old Gaillard Auditorium was transformed into a modern, posh nightclub for Club NY, with bright lights dancing behind sheer curtains and VIP tents, and thumping music from DJ Natty Heavy. After checking out the main dancefloor and watching break-dancing group Hypnotik Bodyrock perform, we worked our way upstairs to peep the different rooms designated for each genre of music — hip-hop downstairs, salsa and merengue to the right, and house and lounge music to the left. DJ Luigi of Latin Groove was spinning tropical music for the salseros while Fuse was bumping lounge for those who simply wanted to chill. Tables were full of flickering candles and free party favors for the New Year. At 11 p.m., the crowd centered around the stage where Dub Island Sound System got their rasta on, and the midnight countdown was shared by a hugely diverse Charlestonian crowd. —Reina Gascon-Lopez

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