It seems everyone I know falls into one of two camps: those bemoaning what a dumpster fire 2016 was, and those arguing that, despite what everyone says, 2016 was actually pretty great for them. I myself fall somewhere in between: distressed at the state of the world in general, but feeling lucky on a personal level to have had a lot of great experiences in 2016. I traveled more than I thought I would, spent quality time with family and friends alike, and had some amazing dining and theater experiences (hello, Hamilton, you really are worth every ounce of the hype). Here’s how I spent 2016.
January: Went back to work after spending three months in the Paris office. Lunched at Red Rooster in Harlem. Walked the Manhattan Bridge. Flew home to Michigan for my cousin’s wedding. Saw King Charles III on Broadway and Dancing With the Stars Live at the Beacon Theater. Brunched at Clinton St. Bakery and Sweet Chick. Finished re-reading the Harry Potter series for the millionth time. Stopped at Balthazar for a hazelnut mocha on a walk through Soho. Had the lollipop tree at David Burke Kitchen during Restaurant Week.
February: Browsed contemporary art at MoMA PS1’s Night at the Museum. Became obsessed with American Crime Story (that Sterling K. Brown tho). Nommed on the amazing lamb burger at the Breslin. Visited the peaceful Frick Collection on the Upper East Side. Saw a ballet at Lincoln Center. Attended the 25th anniversary revival of Secret Garden (also at Lincoln Center). Felt grateful that I live so close to Lincoln Center.
March: Toured the gorgeous Woolworth Building. Saw Wawrinka, Monfils, Serena, and Wozniacki play tennis in an exhibition at Madison Square Garden. Saw The Crucible and Bright Star on Broadway. Visited NYBG’s orchid exhibit for the second year in a row. Had a Japanese feast with friends at Kenka on St. Mark’s. Headed to Boston for the World Figure Skating Championships. Stopped by the new WTC transportation hub to snap a few photos. Ate waffles benedict and bread pudding beignets at Root & Bone, then took a walk around the Lower East Side and admired the colorful street art. Popped into the Macy’s Flower Show after boozy brunchin’ in Hell’s Kitchen.
April: Watched a ton of figure skating at the World Championships and experienced fleeting internet fame when one of my snaps was posted to the official Snapchat story. Delivered an oral argument – my first appearance in court! Saw The King and I at Lincoln Center and American Psycho on Broadway. Voted in the New York primary. Admired the cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Flew to France for vacation! Went to mass at Notre Dame, took a crepe cooking class, had a feast at Frenchie, and spent a lot of time in the Marais while in Paris. Toured the replica medieval castle being built at Guédelon. Fell in love with the small town of Bourges. Explored Château de Chambord. Went wine tasting at Château de Selles-sur-Cher.
May: Swooned at the sight of the beautiful Château de Chenonceau. Wandered daVinci’s gardens at Clos Lucé in Amboise. Woke up with the sunrise on Mont Saint-Michel. Toured the D-Day Beaches. Took a million flower photos in Monet’s dreamy gardens at Giverny. Fended off the crowds at Versailles. Brunched at the Smith with my mom on Mother’s Day. Ascended to the top of the CN Tower, wandered down Graffiti Alley, and toured the Bata Shoe Museum on a Memorial Day weekend jaunt to Toronto.
June: Bought a Hamilton ticket and enjoyed every second of the show. Visited the Manus x Machina costume exhibit at the Met. Spent a Sunday morning at the Cloisters. Went to the top of One World Observatory. Played in a roomful of balloons at the Park Avenue Armory. Saw Waitress on Broadway and fell in love with it. Saw Eclipsed no Broadway and found myself wowed by the entire ensemble (Lupita of course included). Admired the views of Manhattan from the Top of the Rock. Spent a weekend with my family in Michigan. Danced along to Beyoncé as she rocked a performance at Citi Field.
July: Caught a ballet (Sleeping Beauty) at Lincoln Center. Grabbed a post-work dinner at Ma Peche on a random Tuesday with a friend who was also having a quiet day at work. Spent quiet Sunday mornings at Two Hands and the Butcher’s Daughter. Made tennis ball cupcakes for Breakfast at Wimbledon. Had fancy drinks at Baccarat with coworkers. Admired the views of the city from the top of The Standard. Walked the High Line. Saw the Rockettes in their Summer Spectacular. Enjoyed the caramel popcorn ice cream sundae at ABC Kitchen. Spent a weekend in Michigan for a bachelorette party.
August: Grabbed dinner at Empellon Cocina with my friends during Restaurant Week. Strolled through Central Park. Had chicken & waffles at Loosie’s Kitchen in Williamsburg. Made my way to Flushing Meadows for opening night of the US Open. Binge-watched incredible amounts of the Rio Olympics.
September: Spent a weekend in Michigan with family to say goodbye to our beloved Grandma. Saw Adele in concert at Madison Square Garden and had a few cathartic cries. Bought my dad a Milk Bar birthday cake (and somehow managed to transport it intact to Michigan). Took a day trip up to West Point. Had a weekend getaway in Charleston, where I ate all the food, took all the photos of colorful houses, and visited the swanky, eccentric Calhoun Mansion. Ate the amazing roasted chicken at The Standard Grill.
October: Traveled to Atlanta to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding. Had a tasty pancake breakfast at Le Coucou. Listened to the New York Symphony Orchestra perform Scheherazade at Lincoln Center. Enjoyed a delicious contemporary Mexican dinner at Cosme. Traveled to Greece for vacation. Took a culinary walk through the Plaka and climbed the Acropolis in Athens. Relaxed in a room with my own private hottub in Imerovigli, Santorini. Went wine tasting in Santorini. Spent a few days exploring the magical town of Oia and admiring its sunsets.
November: Walked through Central Park to admire the fall colors. Unexpectedly got sent to Paris for work. Visited the gorgeous Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette, strolled through Palais-Royal, and ate the incredible lamb with sweet potatoes at Grand Coeur. Woke up on a Wednesday morning in Paris to find that Clinton had lost and felt a bit lost myself. Flew home to Michigan for Thanksgiving. Binged on the new Gilmore Girls episodes with my family. Watched Michigan lose another heartbreaker to Ohio State. Dined at Eataly’s rooftop restaurant with my mom.
December: Attended a Q&A with Lauren Graham at the 93rd Street Y. Admired the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. Had afternoon tea at Bergdorf’s with my mother and sister. Saw Waitress on Broadway, again, and loved it just as much. Visited One World Observatory with my mom. Attended our office holiday party at the Rainbow Room. Got sent back to Paris for work, where I Christmas shopped at Le Bon Marché, had the amazing oysters at La Bourse et La Vie, and attended the Paris office’s glitzy holiday party. Spent Christmas in Michigan and painstakingly piped icing onto sugar cookies. Ate a super delicious breakfast at Toast with my dad. Flew to London to wind up the year. Had afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, watched Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on stage, and visited the Harry Potter studios in Leavesden.