The following is a list of the best books, albums, podcasts, gyms of the year.
12. The Planet Fitness Near My Apartment
In the past, I’ve had to go to a gym near my office, which isn’t ideal because then you’re either arriving at work very early (tired) or sticking around midtown super late (not a lot of fun).
The Planet Fitness near my apartment is awesome because it’s just a few blocks from where I live. The machines are fine.
11. Bodega Boys
Bodega Boys is such a funny and vital podcast. Bronx-based Desus Nice and The Kid Mero have become the most hilarious social commentators of our time. No joke.
10. Emma Alpern’s Tweets
Emma Alpern, while originally a friend of mine, has remained a friend because her tweets are so good. One is a photo of a squirrel eating something with the caption, “I saw a squirrel eating a strawberry or another squirrel’s still-beating heart — not sure.”
Alpern is obsessed with language and always has the perfect response, insight or mixed media message to share with her followers. She takes too many photos for my taste. Like, we’ll be walking and she’ll want to stop and take a photo, which is annoying, but then I see the tweet and I’m like, “Oh yeah, basically worth it.” Follow her.
9. Bon Iver’s New Album (i know, i know, i know)
I just really think this is a great record. He hides behind a lot of production and experimental tricks to make things sound grainy and hidden away. The actual melodies and other words to describe why songs sound good are all there. I recommend it.
8. One Slack Thread at My Old Job
This might be a little too inside baseball, but I had a Slack DM group with three coworkers (Feroze Dhanoa, Liana Messina and Kelly Pivarnik) that included a lot of funny GIFs and the three of them always had interesting things to say.
7. The Life of Pablo
Such a great album, right?
6. I Finally Started Reading Janet Malcolm
I think she’s the most interesting nonfiction writer of the last 50 years. So incredible. I read In the Freud Archive and some of the essays in Fifty False Starts and about half of The Silent Woman and Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession. All great.
5. Light Ice
Places put too much ice in stuff. Just say ‘light ice’ next time.
4. NPR: Please Bring Back Tell Me More
I keep catching NPR segments hosted by Michel Martin and she’s so great. It’s really dumb that NPR canceled Tell Me More in 2014. It featured stories by and about people of color, as well as great reporting, interviews and panel discussions. Be better, NPR.
3. My Reading Series
My reading series is great. Sometimes I just hate New York, but then I go to my reading series and hear these excellent writers sharing their work. It makes it all worthwhile. It’s honestly a little crowded so I’m not going to tell you the name of the series or where it’s located. Don’t come. The audience is just the right size for my taste. We could even lose a few people. It’s fun, though.
2. Taking The Metro-North To New Haven That One Time
That’s the only traveling I did this year. I really enjoyed it, though. It’s nice to get out of New York.
1. Reply All
Reply All had a few really fantastic episodes this year, such as Boy in Photo and the one about the taxi cab scam. Check it out.