25 Ways to End the Year
Plus: Every Person in New York
|1) See Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick, about the life of a 17th century Dutch woman who lived half her life in Malaysia and half in Flatbush.
2) Read From Rags to Riches: The Dirty Story Behind Sugar Refining in 19th Century NYC, one of the intriguing, unpredictable articles from the just-launched Vintage Magazine, inspired Fleur Cowles' Flair, which retains a cult following more than 60 years after its brief publishing life.
2) Trying to sort through the long arm of family? For a look at the phenomenon, read Penelope Lively's new book Family Album, in which the author, with her customary brisk insight, anatomizes the house and home of one large British family. No matter where you come from, some of it is bound to hit home.
3) An unlikely picaresque hero: the title character of the O'Horten, a Norwegian film of enormous charm (extremely quiet charm) available on pay per view (the international channel) or from Netflix, about a retired railway motorman who finds life in later life.
4) Last chance for Robert Frank's The Americans at the Met Museum, which closes 1/3. By the way, the Met will be open on a rare Monday, 12/28.
5) Jump-start your resolution to add running back into your life: buy a copy of Running for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield.
6) There's still time for Brief Encounter (raves reviews all around) extended at St. Ann's Warehouse through January 17th.
7) Hoist a heady (9.5% alcohol) yet easily quaffed Westmalle Tripel or one of the many other worthy offerings at the beercentric Amity Hall in the West Village.
8) At Bargemusic, a classic(al) Christmas or New Year's Eve: Goldberg Variations for the former, the Brandenburg Concerto for the latter.
9) Great choices at the Museum of the City of NY: Saarinen, images from Look mag, and the city's parks photographed by Joel Meyerowitz.
10) Circle Mirror Transformation, a play by Annie Baker about the travails of amateur actors, was a favorite this year among theater people (and many theatergoers). It's back for a brief return engagement, through January 17th.
11) It's becoming a welcome new post-Christmas tradition: Dar Williams at Southpaw, Sunday, December 27th, 8pm.
12) Help the city's pet population and kick in some cash to The Toby Project, which deploys five mobile vans providing free spay/neuter services to the communities that need them most.
13) Frank Rich's Sunday summing up of this past decade (short version: it sucked) dovetails nicely with the The Upright Citizens Brigade show The 2009 IT SUCKED! Awards on 12/28, 9:30pm, $5.
14) On the other hand, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer can make the world seem like a rather nice place to be.
15) Vinegar Hill House isn't much of a secret any more, though it can still feel like one. Tuck into the 'cast iron' chicken – a lot of pleasure for $15.
16) A suggestion from Mommy Poppins: Christmas Day Klez for Kids,
11am, at the Museum at Eldridge Street. It's a family concert and celebration featuring klezmer music, singing, dancing and Yiddish lessons for children and parents.
17) Walk on the High Line, the best thing to happen to the city this year.
18) Another nice thing that happened to NY this year was Sorella in the LES, a wine bar with small plates.
19) Get into the Holiday Spirit: Feed, Teach, Build, Save, Heal, Strengthen, Pledge.
20) Don't let the recession burst your holiday bubbles: instead of a Champagne, go for an Alsatian Crémant, like the Boxler from Crush. At $25.95, not Trader Joe's cheap but lots of value for your money.
21) A suggestion from Patell and Waterman's History of New York: read The Battle for Christmas, which they call a "highly entertaining narrative."
22) Take kids to The Flaming Idiots at the New Victory.
23) Add some Noguchi to the holiday mix.
24) Get organized with Evernote.
25) Don't stifle a generous impulse.
[That's it for us this year. Enjoy the holidays and we'll see you
on January 4th]
Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.