I noticed in the last week many bloggers were tackling a year in review. Mine's a little late, but it's still the first week in January, so I'm hoping my loyal readers will let that slide. I haven't been blogging for a full year, but I can say with pride that I did survive the whole year of 2010. Even more amazingly, I actually took pictures. Rather than go through exactly what I did over the course of the last 365 days, I chose a picture from each month that I feel succinctly captures the whole of my experiences. Well, not really, but I did find 12 pictures, and I think that's good enough.
JanuaryJanuary was the month I boldly returned to Astoria after a four-month stay in the bowels of Brooklyn (for the record, I have nothing against Brooklyn...but this apartment truly was an experience). I also participated in my first (and, to date, only) celebrity ping pong tournament. This here is Mike Myers being super Canadian and ponging against a professional table tennis player. You can't see it that well in this photo, but the pro is playing with his smart phone instead of a paddle. Sadly, I didn't make it past the first round and thus never got to bring my dream of going paddle to paddle against New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz to fruition. But at the very least, I raised a little money for a worthy cause (826NYC).
FebruaryThis was the month I journeyed to Austin to see a close friend's show choir rock out.
Sadly, none of those pictures really came out that well. By default then, my favorite picture of the month was this one. I met a friend at a weird "space-themed" fusion restaurant near Union Square. My friend is more adventurous than I and ordered the tacos with lemon pepper crickets (while I ordered the more conservative shrimp). It was one of the more disgusting spectacles I have seen. Be glad I'm sparing you the photos of her with a thorax and hind leg sticking out of her mouth. Being a wimp, I refused to try it, and just took photos of her meal. Weirdly, I was the one who ended up getting food poisoning from this meal.
MarchNot being content with the level of drunken idiocy that usually accompanies St. Patrick's Day in New York, this year I journeyed with some good friends to Dublin for the spectacle. They pretty much force you to adopt leprechaun hats and "Kiss me, I'm Irish" paraphenalia when you step off the plane (my sister was the only one among us who managed to resist the pull of the tiny green headband hat). This is the not the look I ultimately went with, but I feel this picture more fully captures my experience in Dublin than any of the pictures of me thoughtfully posing in front of writers' birthplaces or the Jameson distillery.
AprilApril was the month I took my very first steps to becoming a tin whistle virtuoso when I signed up for that over the Irish fiddle class I originally wanted (because the tin whistle was cheaper and you can carry it in your purse). I also went to the Bronx to see the New York Botanical Garden orchid show. It was there I discovered my camera could take awesome close-up shots if I was just able to hold it still long enough (this seemingly obvious revelation should make it clear what a photography amateur I am). Thus, this is one of about eighty pictures of orchids I took that day.
MayThis was the month I started blogging. Thus all of the rest of these events, you'll likely be familiar with. This one is from my part in the New York dance parade. This was truly the culmination of my bollywood dance experience, although I guess I could always return to perfect my skill at theatrical dancing. I feel this photo best captures my confusion as I try to keep up with the other dancers. I like to think I'm doing pretty much the same thing they are though. Also, the guy who's butt is nicely centered in this photo was not part of our troop. He was one of the super aggressive swing dancers that kept bopping all up in our dance space.
This one is from my June safari to New Jersey. As part of the theme park Great Adventure, there's a safari space that you can drive around in. It came free with our admission to the regular Six Flags theme park where we were able to ride the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. Really when it comes down to it, what can't you do in New Jersey?
In July, I journeyed with my mother to Mexico City to visit some dear friends of ours. This photo isn't actually in Mexico City, but rather a smaller city outside called Pachuca. Pachuca, in addition to having a cute little town center, is the number one seller of pastes in Mexico. Pastes are a traditional pastry filled with delicious meat or beans. They're kind of like empanadas except that the filling isn't cooked before it's wrapped in pastry. I included this picture because I thought I captured that puddle in the foreground quite nicely.
August was super hot. That's essentially all I remember about it.
SeptemberIn September, I painted my apartment and got furniture that matched (albeit from IKEA, but it still looks more like a grown-up space than it used to). More importantly, my parent's visited me and we journeyed upstate to experience the joys of excellent food and presidential house tours in Hyde Park. We also toured the gardens of the Vanderbilt estate there. My dad is a far better photographer than I am, and he captured this photo. These beautiful gardens have given me just the incentive I need to spur me on to become fantastically and filthily rich. Dying house plants just can't compare to sprawling square miles of carefully manicured beauty.
OctoberMy second dance parade experience of the year was in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. I, and a number of others, learned the dance to Michael Jackson's immortal classic "Beat It" and performed it for an eager crowd of thousands along 6th Avenue. Before the parade, me and a couple of friend's posed in our gang member finest. Notice how we all have a far different interpretations of the direction "look badass."
I realize I may have posted this exact photo already on my blog, but it's hard to think of a better image to encapsulate all that Thanksgiving stands for (guilt-free gluttony). I was lucky enough to holiday with this bad boy in Dallas this past November. I was also lucky to spend the holiday with my wonderful family; however, they might have more to say about me posting pictures of them freely on the internet. Oh, and I also finished my young adult novel (er, sort of) in November. Here's hoping to getting more of that done and edited in the coming year.
DecemberDecember was a very busy month (but then isn't it always?). This particular December I spent much time in Texas; however, I also managed a weekend trip to the great metropolis that is Pittsburgh, PA. While there, I went to the Phipps Conservatory where they have an expansive tiny village with several trains running through them. Naturally, when you see a tiny village with trains running through it, you must assume the pose of being Godzilla, ready to destroy the tiny town. I was supposed to threaten the passing train with my gigantic god-like fist, but unfortunately, the train is just starting to come into the shot. So instead, I just look like a crazy person.
That's about it for 2010. It's been an excellent year for me and Dinah (although I realized I somehow made it through a post discussing my entire year without bringing her up--an oversight I'm meaning to correct with this parenthetical). Also, I realized that, as of yesterday, I've lived in my wonderful Astoria apartment longer than any apartment I've ever lived in. Once you trick out a place in IKEA furniture, you're there to stay. Happy New Year, readers!