It’s been quite a year for all of us, hasn’t it? For the past few months, I’ve been referring to 2009 as The Year of the Grind. It pushed us to our limits and definitely made us stay on top of our game. If you weren’t prepared for it, this year quickly swept you under its current. But now at the end, most of us are still here, heads above water, ready to take on the next wave.
There was a lot of tragedy and hardship this year, and while in the midst of it, most of 2009 seemed pretty hopeless. There were many a great thing that happened; 2009 just made us work extra hard to see them. From the deaths of our close friends that continuously plagued us to the empty wallets and rising prices that mocked us as we struggled to survive in one of the most expensive cities on earth, 2009 was definitely not an easy burden to bear, but we’re here now. Just a little more than 24 hours left and a beautiful new decade is upon us to create a fresh start.
In 2009, a lot of dreams were deferred, a lot of dreams were revised and lot of new dreams were born. I believe this past year taught each of us a lot about ourselves and I’m excited to see what the New Year has in store, what new things we’ll learn and, what’s more, I’m excited to see each you continue to grow. One of these days, we’ll have it all figured out, right?
Personally, it’s been a rough year for me. As most of you know, I spent about 10 months unemployed. Quitting my job last December to pursue a career in nonprofit, I never imagined that my time as a “lady of leisure” would last quite that long. The future seemed very unpredictable, if not extremely bleak. Fortunately, I was offered a position at a fashion accessory company and began work back in October. Not really what I set out to do, but this company is wonderful and I fit right in. But not one to give up hope, I’m still pursuing nonprofit opportunities and know that everything will work out the way that it’s supposed to. This was also the second year that I’ve been without my mom and I’m still trying to deal with everything that comes along with losing a parent. I can’t believe it’s been two years already. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and I can only hope that if she were here, she’d be proud of the decisions I’ve made. Luckily, I have a wonderful father who's been my biggest supporter and has always kept me focused, grounded and driven. I've been so fortunate to spend more time with him and the rest of my family than I have in recent years.
All of that aside, this past summer was easily one of the best times I’ve had of my life. Dare I say it came close to the revelry that was 2003-2005? I met an abundance of amazing people that I’m happy to share futures with and I have a multitude of great memories to take with me to 2010.
So with that being said, much like New York magazine, I have compiled a list of things that I loved about the city this year. Please feel free to add on:
1. because we think that right after a blizzard is the best time to go to the beach.
2. because it’s the only city that Madonna is NOT “triple A list” at a restaurant.
3. because it’s the only city you can run into Jay-Z and Beyonce playing Buck Hunter at a dive bar.
4. because it’s the only place that a bowling alley can get away with being an upscale lounge.
5. because a person covered in tattoos isn’t automatically assumed to be a low life degenerate (although they usually still are).
6. because no matter how retarded you dress, there’s ALWAYS someone that looks worse than you.
7. because pizza.
8. because our mayor is a billionaire and everyone is secretly hoping that one of these days he’s going to give us some of his money.
9. because our governor does not give a flying fuck if you sue him!
10. because getting hit by a car is the new getting mugged.
11. because it’s really easy to stalk Robert Pattinson.
12. because no other city is as obsessed with food as we are.
13. because the sight of the city as you cross over the bridge still takes your breath away.
14. because paying $90 a month on a metrocard is still cheaper than paying $90 a week on gas.
15. because you know that no matter how “safe” your neighborhood seems, there’s probably someone tied up in a basement right next door.
16. because we hate gentrification, but still really love being white!
17. because the rest of the world thinks Lady Gaga is insane, but we just think she’s what you see on an average Tuesday night in the west village.
18. because a movie being shot in your neighborhood is really fucking annoying, but you still love bragging about it to your friends back home.
19. because you pass by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale with their children without any body guards in union square.
20. because Top Shop.
21. because buying clothes from Target is cheaper than buying clothes from Good Will.
22. because even if you make $70,000 a year, you’re still just middle class. (keep that blue collar street cred, bro!)
23. because these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you.
24. because Andrew WK.
25. because cab drivers are finally getting better about driving out of Manhattan.
26. because back home you were the weirdo, but here youre the normal one.
27. because your friends are the biggest super stars that the rest of the world has never heard of.
28. because when a club is dead at 1 am, we know it’s because “it’s still early.”
29. because pregaming is an art form.
30. because every single one of your friends is on OK! Cupid and you just don’t know it.
31. because the cash back option at Whole Foods make for a really great (and fee-less!) ATM.
32. because you’ve accepted that the little, old chinese woman WILL get that seat!
33. because gawker.
34. because what better place to have a rave than a chinese restaurant?
35. because you can go out with 20 of your friends and none of you will have a drivers license from the same state.
36. because while some of our newspapers may be tabloids, the others are THE standard around the rest of the world.
37. because we’re the only people in the world that were sad that Gourmet magazine got shut down.
38. because Century 21.
39. because the Shake Shack line is a right of passage.
40. because the Yankees FINALLY won the world series and now we actually have a real reason to be arrogant assholes about our team.
41. because buy backs.
42. because everywhere else is scary as fuck.
43. because brunch is a way of life.
44. because if you never wanted to leave your house for anything ever again, you don’t have to.
45. because where else can you get away with charging $26 for a burger and have it be your most popular item?
46. because it’s ok to be pasty white here.
47. because you know to stay home on Puerto Rican Day Parade day.
48. because can you just imagine what Chelsea’s going to be like once gay marriage is legalized?
49. because AT&T clearly has NO idea what to do with us.
50. because Brooklyn. <3
If I had to do this year all over again, I’d gladly do it with all of you by my side. Keep hustlin’, y’all.