2011: In review

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein


How about that – Einstein and I have something in common.


Some of the most interesting finds I made in 2011 were random – and local – discovered while walking around the city. As the world struggles through economic challenges, political uprisings and figuring out what to do with occupy-ers, there’s always something new to find and explore from the mainstream to the fringes. Good thing too.

In chronological post order – my 2011 discoveries…

2011 in review, recapping 2011, local, NYC history, happiness explored, multi-lingual Shakespeare, urban farming, unusual weather patterns, numeric sequences

1 > Bard Olympics

Since I penned A celebration of Shakespeare: 38 plays in 38 languages, one dropped. I’ll leave it to you to figure out where I went wrong. Get booking, looks fantastic – maybe the productions will travel.

2 > Happy Smappy

My quest to research the state of happiness continues after discovering that chasing that elusive emotion may be more harmful than we thought.

3 > Cartesian order

How do you keep millions of people, places and vehicles mixing it up on a 12- x 2-mile island, without imploding? And keep a city open to future development? Grids baby.

4 > Politics, Italian-style

Italians proclaimed a big “No” to Silvio Berlusconi’s government and four big “Sí’s” to referendums. The vote may have been the biggest turning point in Italian government in 20 years – leading to Berlusconi’s november resignation.

5 > Adieu Barnes

This year we bid adieu to the fabulous Barnes collection housed in its historic home in lower Merion, PA. While the artwork is being moved into a new museum in Philadelphia, we’ve lost a completely personal way to experience Barnes’ fantastic and eclectic collection.

6 > NYPL @100

Why does an extensive, big-city, free library system covering three boroughs work so well? Find out as the New York Public Library celebrates 100 years of education, research and entertainment for millions of New Yorkers.

7 > Wrong Turn

The buildup to Hurricane Irene was endless, and the preparation – sometimes over the top. Irene shut down major cities on the East Coast, turning them into ghost towns. With all the attention focused there, the powerful Nor’Easter that followed was underestimated.

8 > Taking Root

Urban farming made a huge leap this year in NYC with the sprouting of many new and inventive plots in developing microcommunites. Uptown, downtown and into the boroughs, local restaurants were the beneficiaries of some of the freshest ingredients restaurants have seen in a long time.

9 > Onesies Rule

With only one more numeric occurrence remaining for another 100 years, this year number lovers latched on a string of “ones” in search of mystical and spiritual narratives.

10 > Spinning DUMBO

Jane’s Carousel has finally been moved to its new home in DUMBO: Situated beautifully between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. It seems fitting that one national treasure spins among many other historic New York landmarks.

Onward to 2012.

What was your best discovery in 2011?



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