2019 in Review

As with every year when I write these, I’m not quite sure where the time has gone. Looking back on the year, it’s a bit of a mixed bag: there are lots of things I didn’t achieve, but there are also plenty that I did. I read 52 books, visited four new-to-me countries (Barbados, Latvia, Estonia, and Japan), and paid off 100% of my student loans. All in all, I will call that a win. Bring on the next decade!

January:  Began my year in London, where I admired the last of the Christmas decorations, visited a modern art exhibit at the Southbank Centre, had several afternoon teas, explored a 1930s fashion exhibit at the Fashion & Textile Museum, wandered through Notting Hill, had an incredible meal at Gymkhana, saw Hadestown at the National Theater, browsed Broadway Market, saw the Fashioned by Nature exhibit at the V&A, and spent a morning at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Back in New York, I tried out a sensory deprivation float tank for the first time. Brunched at Balaboosta. Saw Pretty Woman on Broadway (haaated it). Saw The Prom on Broadway (liked it). Went to Detroit for U.S. Figure Skating Nationals.

February:  Spent a relaxing morning in the thermal baths at Aire Ancient Baths. Brunched at Shoo Shoo (gotta love those knafcakes). Spent a very relaxing long weekend in Barbados, doing literally nothing except soaking up the sun. Had chicken ‘n waffles at Sweet Chick BK. Tried the sushi donut at Poketeria (not that great). Visited the reading room at the NY Public Library. Had dinner at Rahi with my sister.

March:  Fought through the crowds at the Warhol exhibit at the Whitney. Saw Oscar Isaac while waiting in line at food truck outside my office. Travelled to Las Vegas, where we saw both Celine’s and Cher’s shows and had a lovely dinner at Momofuku. Baked chocolate chip zucchini bread. Made my annual visit to the Orchid Show at NYBG. Worked far, far too much.

April:  Finally finished reading War & Peace. Had my busiest month of work EVER (by a lot). Rewatched the Great British Baking Show. Spent a Saturday morning in Washington Square Park enjoying the cherry blossoms. Spent a Sunday morning in Central Park, also enjoying the cherry blossoms. Went to Roosevelt Island for – what else??? – the cherry blossoms. Took a lovely spring walk along the High Line.

May:  Took a few days off work to recover from April’s insanity. Spent a peaceful Thursday morning at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (I’ve never seen it so quiet!). Ate the amaaaazing burger at Au Cheval. Hosted my mom in town for a weekend where we climbed the Vessel, had afternoon tea at the Baccarat Hotel, saw the Cher Show on Broadway, and visited Alexander Hamilton’s grave. Visit the “Camp” costume exhibit at the Met, then had drinks on the Met rooftop. Had Japanese fluffy pancakes and ice cream in fish shaped cones at Taiyaki. Traveled to San Francisco, where I ate an amazing burrito (and lots of other great food), visited the Japanese Tea Garden, and strolled along the waterfront.

June:  Saw Hadestown on Broadway. Had dinners at Atoboy and Blue Hill. Went to a Mamma Mia sing-a-long in Brooklyn (SO fun). Ate a delicious cinnamon roll from Fabrique. Wandered through the West Village and saw all the pride flags at Stonewall. Day tripped to Delaware to see The Crown fashion exhibit at the Winterthur Museum. Traveled to Riga, Latvia, where I wandered its Old Town and enjoyed its many parks. Traveled to Tallinn, Estonia, where I explored the pastel-colored Old Town, became obsessed with the brown bread, and hung out in the hipster neighborhood of Telliskivi.

July:  Spent a week in London, where I visited the fantastic Dior exhibit at the V&A, watched tennis on Centre Court at Wimbledon, visited the Royal Horticultural Society flower show at Hampton Court Palace, took a million rose photographs at Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, walked through Kew Gardens looking for Chihuly sculptures, and had many great meals. Went home to Michigan for a weekend. Saw Burn This on Broadway. Sweated through disgusting New York weather.

August:  Took a weekend staycation at the Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn. Saw Moulin Rouge on Broadway with my sister. Enjoyed an awesome dinner at Nur. Attended opening night of the US Open. Finally watched Fleabag and completely fell in love. Visited the Taylor Swift pop-up in the Meatpacking District. Took lots of walks along the High Line. Tried out the chorizo and cheese at Mercado Little Spain.

September:  Made a fantastic wine and cheese spread for a rooftop picnic with a friend. Attended the INCREDIBLE US Open final and lost my mind when Rafa finally won the match. Saw the Downton Abbey movie. Traveled to Boston for the weekend and saw Six the Musical. Saw the bizarre but excellent Oklahoma revival on Broadway.

October:  Traveled to Japan with my sister! Survived Typhoon Hagibis, explored Harajuku, ate amazing ramen, and had an incredible omakase in Tokyo. Visited ALL the temples, attended a traditional tea ceremony, walked through the Bamboo Forest, and visited with monkeys in Kyoto. Took a day trip to Nara Deer Park to feed the deer. Explored Dotonbori, visited the castle, and stocked up on Kit Kats in Osaka. Checked into a fancy ryokan and enjoyed our own private onsen in Hakone. Back in New York, enjoyed the fall foliage in Central Park and had an omakase at Sushi Noz after immediately missing Japanese food.

November:  Visited the Cloisters and admired the autumn colors in the gardens there. Bought a new artificial Christmas tree after my old one died (we had a good decade together). Decorated my new Christmas tree, and continued to buy way too many ornaments. Spent a weekend in Savannah, where I explored the historic center of town, did some holiday shopping, and had lots of good meals. Went home to Michigan for Thanksgiving. Visited the Christmas tree at Campus Martius and saw Hello Dolly in downtown Detroit. Paid off my law school loans!

December:  Enjoyed Christmas in New York: shopping at the Columbus Circle market, visiting the trees at Lotte New York Palace and Rockefeller Center, and exploring the new light installations at Hudson Yards. Watched the first Harry Potter movie with a live orchestra provided by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. Said goodbye to one of my oldest friends who moved away from New York. Went back home to Michigan for Christmas, where I decorated a gingerbread house, watched a lot of Great British Baking Show, and generally relaxed. Flew to Paris to end the year, where I took lots of long walks, visited the Yves Saint-Laurent museum, and bought gourmet cheeses.

(And in case you missed them, a look back at 2011, 2012, 201320142015, 2016, 2017, and 2018)

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