RSS Feed

Category Archives: List Of Awesome

Doing Is Awesome!

Posted on

You know what, let me share the List Of Awesome I wrote at the beginning of the year.  This way, if the world knows about it, maybe it’ll happen.

So – by the end of the year, I want to do at least most of these:

  • Camp solo at Floyd Bennett Field. Floyd Bennett is an abandoned airfield at the ass-end of Brooklyn that’s now part of the national parks system – and as such, it has actual campgrounds there: full-on, legit campgrounds, where they give you a patch of ground with a fire pit in the corner and you bring your tent, sleeping bag, S’mores fixin’s, the whole bit.  It’d be my first solo camping excursion, and there’s something comforting about the fact that if something totally goes south I can always pack everything back up and catch a bus and be home in an hour.
  •  Hike in Staten Island.  Staten Island is the most suburban of New York’s boroughs, and there’s a huge network of hiking trails running bang down the middle. One of them is connected to a park that’s part of the same National Recreation Area that Floyd Bennett is, so that’d make for a great double-header. – (I did this – the report is pending.)
  • Hike the Rockaway Beach Rail Line trail in Queens.  I visited this as part of a research expedition for an Atlas Obscura piece; it’s an abandoned track on the Long Island Railroad, and three miles of the trail runs through a couple parks end-to-end; a number of Queens hikers have taken to using it as a park itself, and there’s a grassroots movement to give it a “High Line Park” treatment and make it an official hiking trail.
  •  Hike the Old Croton Aqueduct trail, end to end.  This I may do this spring – hiking the trail that’s been set up along the top of New York City’s first public aqueduct.  The trail also runs close to the Metro-North track up along the Hudson, so a lot of hikers will take the train up to one end, hike until they’re done, and get on the nearest train and come home.  But I want to do the whole thing – heading all the way up north, staying overnight in a hotel halfway, and then getting up and hitting the trail again and walking until I hit Yonkers.  Or maybe follow it all the way into the Bronx and take a subway home.
  • More Neighborhood New York pieces.   ….I swear I haven’t forgotten – the weather has just been shitty and I wasn’t going to go outside during the winter so hell with that.
  • Go see the Perseids under a really dark sky.  I have been trying for years to see the Perseid meteor shower somewhere – get up in the middle of the night at its peak and rent a Zipcar and drive far enough out on Long Island that I can escape the worst of New York’s light pollution and at least see some.  But every time there’s been a problem – either the car’s broken down somewhere near Massapequa, or it was cloudy, or I was sick; once I was nursing my cat through his final illness.  So I’ve always missed it.  But this year I am determined.
  • High Tea somewhere.  There’s got to be a place in New York where I can show up wearing a fancy dress and partake of a real proper full-on Downton-Abbey scale high tea with teeny sandwiches and fancy cake.
  • Tea at 4 on the afternoons I’m home.  Okay, you know how sometimes you have family members who only see you once a year or so and so when it comes to gift giving occasions, they sort of have siezed on one thing about you and always get you that thing?  For me and my family, this was tea.  I thus have an entire shelf of tea in all permutations – herbal, black, green, flavored, medicinal, in bags, loose, you name it.  Not only would getting into a tea-break habit be civilized, it would clean out my damn pantry.
  • Bake something every other week so there’s always something sweet in the house. Gotta have something to eat when I have my tea break, don’t I?
  • Eat through at least half of my pantry in general, and drink through at least half of my wine collection.  I have all this food that I am just plain not using – stuff that I purchased on impulse thinking “that would be good to create meals from”, but I never do.  And I also haven’t let myself drink alone – not because I’ve got a Dark Past, just because I think “it’s just me, what’s the point”, so all the wine that people have given me over the years has just sat here.  It’s time to put up or shut up – time to actually do some of those experiments I wanted to try, and actually let myself enjoy some damn wine.
  • Meet someone famous.  ….Okay, it’s a shallow wish, shut up.
  • Have a picnic during each of the four seasons.   I admit I’ve considered rethinking this during this particular winter, but next week is finally supposed to warm up a bit- I may do something on March 19th and check winter off on a technicality.
  • Leave the state at least twice.
  • Use three-day weekends for trips to either Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Providence, or upstate New York (the Catskills, Ithaca, Albany, the Adirondacks….).
  • Spend at least an overnight on a houseboat, a cabin, or a treehouse.
  • Skinny dip.
  • Take an aimless weekend road trip.
  • Hit up the First Saturday events at the Brooklyn Museum at least every other month.  I’m close enough to the museum that it’s ridiculous I don’t do this more – the first Saturday of the month, the Brooklyn Museum is free from 5 pm to closing, and they also have a whole ton of goofy extra activities planned; concerts, lectures, special exhibits, food, a dance party.  Most of the time I just turn up and take advantage of the free hours and prowl the regular exhibits that everyone else is ignoring because they’re all at the big events; but once I walked into the tail end of some concert where a woman was doing a scorchingly great cover of something by the Doors.
  • Get a proper bra fitting.  My friend E describes this as “the kind of place where little old ladies feel you up”.
  • A day at a spa.  I trust I need not explain why.
  • A bubble bath every other week.  Ditto.
  • At last two each: outdoor summer movies, outdoor summer concerts, events at my local Indie bookstore, and movies in a movie theater.  There are a crapton of free outdoor events every summer and I always make note of all of them, and them promptly forget them all.  Time to do more.
  • One each – a play in a theater, and an outing to a pub quiz.  Two things I haven’t done in a long time and need to do again.
  • Have someone else clean the house, just once.
  • Use more candles.  ….The members of my family who didn’t go with tea do candles.
  • Visit a major museum I’ve not been to before.  Coincidentally the city has just introduced a means to make this easy – to encourage people to sign up with the official city ID card, the mayor has rolled out a promotion that lets people use that card to apply for a free years’ membership in a slew of major museums.  I’ve already got a drivers’ license, so technically I don’t need it, but that is a sweet deal.
  • A visit to Storm King.  It combines travel outside the city, hiking, and art – this is like the perfect Venn diagram of my interests, and it makes absolutely no sense that I’ve not ever been there yet.
  • Write at least two letters on paper, old school.
  • Home renovation projects.  Just some things to pump up my living room – get new drapes for the living room, a new slipcover for my couch, more organization for my bar cabinet and art for this one big bare wall.
  • Try to get out on another photo expo with my friend Colin during the Botanic Garden’s early morning hours.  Depending on those hours, I could probably do this before work, even.  And as he pointed out to me, the light is beautiful, the dew on the flowers is picturesque, and the crowds are non-existent.
  • Take a nap in a hammock on Governors’ Island.  Governors’ Island has its “hammock grove,” but every time I’ve tried to hit that up the hammocks are all taken.  But now – I have my own hammock.  The island is mine.
  • Finish some of my outstanding unfinished knitting projects.  All knitters reading this just nodded knowingly.
  • Make some kind of textile good in general.
  • Hang out in a really stank dive bar one night.
  • Buy myself flowers and chocolate on my “birthday date” each  month.
See?  Way better than a New Years’ resolution list.