I have to admit, I was tempted to skip my annual year in review blog post. Instagram, Facebook (via Statigram), even Google+ wrapped the year up in their video photo montages, so I thought about playing hooky. At the last minute though, I caved. There’s something fun about clicking back through the calendar and seeing just what it was that made this city seem so electric for the last 365 days. There were so many things I almost forgot about that it made all the time it took to pull this together more than worth it!
There were countless fabulous meals. There were restaurant week outings to Lure, Spice Market, and Benchmark. None were as out of the ordinary (and as least likely to be repeated) as trying live octopus at Sik Gaek in Queens. So. Chewy. And T and I celebrated 2 years with a fabulous dinner at Marea, a long-standing member of my “to try” restaurant list.
I attended a special McDonald’s Chef Event linked to their announcement of their new menu. The event featured an entire meal of upscale food created out of ingredients from the McDonald’s pantry. It was a fun opportunity to join an assortment of people from the New York City food scene for an evening unlikely to be repeated in the fabulous Three Sixty° event space. I had the chance to attend the closing day of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which was a fun chance to take a peek into a whole different industry.
As always, 2013 was a year full of music. The absence of Tori Amos shows didn’t mean fewer concerts, that’s for sure. There was Passion Pit at Madison Square Garden during Winter Storm Nemo. We managed to enjoy both a show and another restaurant week meal as everyone was scurrying home in the midst of the snowfall. Chilly, but fun! I hiked out to Nassau Coliseum to see Pink with JB and took L as well to see her when she recently came back through to Brooklyn. I went with T to see John Mayer on Live on Letterman and was totally surprised when we had the chance to meet him and sit to the side of the stage for the final show on his tour. T and I went up to Yankee Stadium in crazy high temps (just shy of 100 degrees) to see Justin Timberlake and JayZ. What a show. L and I went to see Fiona Apple at the Beacon Theatre, and she proved that even small people can have a large stage presence. Mesmerizing. We also went to see “Fair Play” at 54 Below, which featured members of the original cast of Once.
When it comes to the arts, there were a number of shows of all sorts. T and I went to see the one man show of Macbeth with Alan Cumming. It was amazing to see one person be able to carry an entire Shakespeare play in such a unique way. I thought he was an amazing performer before, but wow. This was so much more than I ever expected. We went out to Citi Field to see Totem, which turned out to be likely my most favorite thus far of the various Cirque shows I’ve seen. We saw the sold-out Ballets de Faile, a unique series by the NYC Ballet based on the works of the street artist Faile. Since we really loved the times we went to Sleep No More, T and I tried two other immersive experiences – Then She Fell and Speakeasy Dollhouse. I enjoyed Then She Fell, though it was a much slower and not as detailed of an experience as SNM. Speakeasy Dollhouse was a fabulous concept, though the space where it was performed (the usual Back Room speakesasy in the Lower East Side) made for a complicated space to follow the action during the performance. And T and I were lucky enough to get to attend the special Citi ThankYou Sleep No More event hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. No personal photos were permitted, but NPH was a great host. We had the opportunity to speak with him and he was as personable and chatty as you would think.
It was a year of trips ranging from day trips to international (too little, as always, of the latter). There was the Poconos for Memorial Day weekend, with a group of friends. There were 2 culinary retreat weekends in Vermont, where I fell in love with the incomparable Good Commons. For the 4th of July, T and I took a super long weekend trip to Ireland, where I don’t think we met anything less than a smiling face and we tried tons of amazing local food. I escaped from the city for a bit in September for my birthday for a trip to Destin with my family, confirming it is in fact still my favorite beach. There were several trips to Long Island for fun weekends including wine tasting and apple picking.
There were sporting events spread out through the year. There were Mets games – Mets/Dodgers, Mets/Nats, and finally Mets/Yankees! I was surprised to learn one of our agencies was taking us to the All Star Game, which more than lived up to the hype. I also went with a group to root for the home team and see the Nets. And after countless unsuccessful attempts, I caught my layout towards the end of the year.
Of course, the year had its challenges, many I would have never seen coming. But overall, it was a great year. Here’s to hoping for more wonderful adventures, smiles, and amazing people in the year ahead!