15 New Things: Whoa, We’re Halfway There

Greetings, dear readers! With June officially coming to a close, we have reached the halfway mark in 2015 (crazy, I know). And so this seemed like an apt time to check in on my resolutions/goals/new adventures for the year. I started this year off with a list of 15 new things I wanted to do, see, try, learn, or generally accomplish in the year 2015. Here’s how I’m doing so far.


1. Find a signature cocktail and learn how to make it. Thanks to our new series “Eat This, Drink That,” I have officially embarked on the first resolution on my list! I busted out my Mason shaker and muddler for my first foray into the world of shaken not stirred: Mamrie Hart’s Show Thyme. It was summery and delicious, but a bit sweet for an everyday drink. Next up on my list is BOURBON PEACH DRINK — a peach, tea, and bourbon iced drink that sounds like Kentucky summer in a jar — and that Kentucky classic, the old fashioned.


7. Try at least one new bar/restaurant every month. This continues to be my most successful resolution thus far. To be fair, I’ve had a few visitors over the past few months, which has helped spur my culinary explorations. In one of the highlights, I finally tried quintessential hipster pizza joint Roberta’s and was surprisingly impressed; normally I find these places don’t live up to the hype, but the pizza was fresh and delicious, with some of the best crust I’ve ever tasted and scrumptious cocktails to boot. And my new favorite from this week is Melt Shop, a Midtown spot that I can already tell is going to be a favorite lunch spot due to their winning combination of grilled cheese, tater tots, and puns.


11. Go to more museums. I have not yet made it to any of the three main museums in my original post yet (I did actually set foot in the Natural History Museum, but it was only to use my work ID to get my visiting friends free tickets before I myself departed for work). But I did make it to a spot that, while not on my blog list, was way up on my New York/life bucket list: Ellis Island. I went a couple weeks ago with my mama, who was visiting, and there was a strange kind of déjà vu to walking halls that many of my ancestors also walked, not so many generations ago. My inner historical fiction nerd child was doing cartwheels as we strolled the halls (side note: if anyone would like to start an adult Dear America book club/appreciation society, please see me and Scout after class). And even though most of the actual museum artifacts have been temporarily moved off-site as they rebuild the climate control systems destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, it was still an incredibly cool, and educational, experience. And as a bonus we got to visit the Statue of Liberty AND ride a ferry, which gave me what I’m calling a half-check for number 8 on my list: ride the Staten Island ferry. (Note: Ellis Island also has the bonus advantage of being a surprisingly good deal: $18 gets you ferry rides from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty, from there to Ellis Island, and then back to Manhattan, as well as admission to the museum and audioguides for both islands. It’s very un-New York of them. So thanks, National Park Service! Leslie Knope would be proud.)


I still have a long way to go before I can consider this list accomplished, but I do feel good about the way I’ve adhered to the general sentiment of the thing: take advantage of being in New York and profiter de my life here. This is a more intangible resolution, one that seeps into most items on the list even if it isn’t written explicitly, and every show I’ve gone to and concert I’ve attended, every day I’ve spent strolling the park with a friend or reading in my favorite coffee shop, puts another check in the yay column. So my goals for the rest of the summer are pretty simple. The museums and TV binging can wait for a grey and rainy day. For now, I want to spend time with good friends, doing fun things, and soaking up as much sunshine as I can.

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