Like most cynical-but-still-pretty-aspirational people, I grudgingly (but behind closed doors, fervently) buy into the whole "New Year's Resolutions" thing. I also buy into the idea that if you're dying to change some aspect of your life, you shouldn't wait until January 1st to do it, but whatever. Clean slate! A chance at self-betterment! Visible abs and a savings account balance that isn't laughable! The list goes on.
And, in keeping with my annual "make more lists" resolution, I got to thinking. What are my Brooklyn-centric resolutions? There's a lot to do around here, aside from the unimpeachable routine of watching a ton of old Lie to Me episodes on Netflix and going to the same three neighborhood bars over and over again. So how exactly will I change things in 2013? How can I better myself, and maybe even Brooklyn? I have a few ideas.
Remember Mitik, the adorable baby walrus who moved into the New York Aquarium this year? If you don't, you disgust me, but that's not the point. The point is that I can, will, and must meet this little guy and proudly shake his flipper. If he allows, there will also be snuggles. Whether it means breaking into the Aquarium in the dead of night or somehow helping them finish up their Sandy cleanup so they can re-open more quickly, I will find you, Mitik. I will find you.
It may have the support of "Big Marijuana" lobbyists and the majority of New Yorkers, but legal weed still needs our help. Sloppily organized petitions and public smoke-ins seem like a good place to start, right?
I can only speak for myself here, but in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it was easy to get all riled up about donating time and money to the endless number of people and places who desperately needed it. It was also easy, in the following two months, to let both of those resources naturally re-direct back towards my busy drinking and deli-over-spending schedule. Which is pretty shameful, considering that the Brooklyn Recovery Fund is still taking donations, Occupy Sandy is still hard at work, and a lot of recovery is still left to be done. In 2013, I will not be a selfish dick.
Ugh, but mom, every time they come to Brooklyn they're so lame and embarrass me in front of all my friends! I'm still trying to live down "très Brooklyn!" Ok, fine. We can hang out sometimes, New York Times. I promise to text you if, uh, the party seems good. Really. We'll meet up later.
I will finally get around to Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, and that Jami Attenberg book the Times just wrote about, and every other book by every other author we talked about in our lit supplement, and I'll brush up on some Walt Whitman, and do all this while not falling behind on the New Yorker. Swear to God. I will also never leave the house.
Haha just kidding, I'm a sometimes-vegetarian on a tight budget whose other resolutions include "don't become obese this year." So that will not be happening. But still, it would be nice to make the leap a little more often from "Oh yeah I've heard great things, let's go sometime" to actually eating at a new place that's invariably delicious. Lake Trout and Pok Pok, I am (slowly) coming for you.
Alright, so one cat with feline AIDS is all I can handle pet-wise for right now (he's fine, guys, don't worry!), but in lieu of adopting a pup myself, I'm determined to talk somebody else into it to make up for my 2013 dog debt. Are you that somebody? Will you go to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue website immediately and pick out your future best friend? If you do, seriously, tell me in the comments so I can stop feeling guilty about this.
Routine is cozy and all, but this year, I promise I'll get it together to go into the city more often. There's Mission Chinese, you know, which I still haven't sucked it up to wait in line for, and also a large percentage of the world's great art and music, I'm pretty sure. Probably a few other things, too.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.