My 2008: A Look Back at the Events and Activities

I am planning doing a series of posts recapping various perspectives of my 2008 and I thought a fun way to start would be to look back at the memorable events that shaped it – the activities and trips, etc. It’ll be nostalgic as I put it together, and possibly dig up some funny stories or pictures. This isn’t everything, but the things that really stuck out for me when they happened. So Here I go:

1/7 – I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. I stayed in a beyond seedy motel behind a liquor store on the Vegas strip, I saw Jerry Yang give a Keynote Speech as CEO of Yahoo, and I viewed several miles worth of booths containing the world’s largest TV’s and various other new electronics, along with 150 thousand other people.

1/17 – Angela and I went to see the Editors & Hot Hot Heat at Terminal 5. The concert was great until the last song during the main set, when someone in the balcony threw up on us. We ran out into the rain along with 20 or so other unfortunate people; it was one of the grossest moments I can remember, and I am partially traumatized about concerts now.

1/21 – I got to see the Celtics, behind the big 3 Garnett Pierce and Allen, trounce the Knicks during a season that the Celtics then went on to become the NBA Champions. I sat in the 17th row.

1/26 – I ran the Idiotarod for the 3rd time, this time with Ari, Angela, Jackie, Mike, and Andrew. We wore ridiculous neon outfits, ran more 4 miles from Manhattan, over the bridge, and through Brooklyn, and got covered in all sorts of disgusting stuff.

2/21 – I went with Vito to see Linkin Park at MSG; The highlight when Jay-Z mad a surprise appearance on stage to sing Encore with them.

2/25 – “Black Magic”, a film about race issues through the history of Basketball that features my Uncle Milton as a commentator (he wrote a book on the subject), debuts at Apollo Theater. I attend with my mom and uncle; together we are easily 2 feat shorter than everyone else in the theater.

2/28 – I attend the Deep Blue Something reunion tour with Ari to witness the reprisal of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in a very empty Brooklyn bar where people ignored the band until their one hit was played. I felt really bad for them, and they looked miserable. The song was awesome.

3/1 – Angela and I head to Riviera Maya Mexico for a quick vacation on my birthday. We visit Chizen Itza, one of the 7 wonders of the world, and jump 20 feet into an underground water pool called a cenote. It’s the farthest we’ve both ever jumped and we got no good pictures!

3/18 – Angela and I stand outside in the middle of a very cold night to see the Elephants from the Circus walk through the mid-town tunnel from Queens into Manhattan. It’s quick and underwhelming after the wait.

3/22 – We attend the Union Square Pillow Fight for the 2nd year in a row. It’s much bigger this year, equally hilarious, and I do get punched in the face.

4/4 – Angela, Ari, and I learn about the hidden world of Underground Art Battles. It’s a pretty cool experience but not an every day thing, as you are mostly waiting patiently and watching.

4/23 – My dad and I go to the Phillies/Cubs game and Sixers/Cavs game on back-to-back days, a Philly sports road-trip of sorts. It’s the beginning of an amazing Baseball season where the Phillies win the World Series.

4/27 – We attend a screening of a critically acclaimed animated film at the Tribeca Film Festival, that may yet hit the theaters in ‘09 or ‘10 (it was really good but I can’t remember the name).

5/1 – Angela and I attend the Google Art Show, a projection show to music being presented on the walls of buildings in the Meatpacking District. It’s raining on us as we stand outside, which I think kind of added to the effect.

5/16 – Angela and I visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; I’d never been there, and I still haven’t been to the Bronx Zoo – that has to be a goal of mine in 2009.

6/7 – The Big Apple Bar-Be-Que comes to town on a ridiculously hot summer day. BBQ restaurants from all over the country come and set up in Madison Square park, and you can buy samples. The lines are long, it’s worth paying for a speed pass.

6/21 – My friends and I go on a road trip to see a Nationals game in Washington D.C., a Phillies game in Philadelphia, and a Pearl Jam Concert in Camden. All of them are awesome, but the memorable moment for me is ending up at an IHOP in the middle of the night in D.C.

6/28 – Angela and I head to California to visit San Francisco, Wine Country, the Redwoods, the beach, and the famous 17 mile drive. It’s an awesome vacation, one where each day brought something totally new and fun. Everything about the trip worked out perfectly accept 1 one horrendous hotel; also its the first time I ever rented a car.

7/10- Angela, Tanayia and I check out Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, a very interesting spin on Shakespeare that is performed literally in a functioning parking lot around the cars coming in and out. It’s one of those things you are surprised and yet expect from New York City.

7/13 - I take Angela home to Cherry Hill to go blueberry picking at the farms. It's her first time; we pick 9 pounds of blueberries and later make some amazing pie.

7/14 – We head to Coney Island for a Brooklyn Cyclones game and bumper cars, my first and only visit before Coney Island gets torn down.

7/18 – Ari, Mike, and I do the Chipotle Underwear Run in Central Park; I forget I’m not wearing any pants and get out of the car to walk home infront of Macy’s.

7/25 – We head to Wildwood NJ for a weekend Beach Ultimate Frisbee tournament. We get destroyed, our worst showing in 3 entries, but we have a great time anyway, and Bruce manages not to repeat his mistake of throwing his keys away and making us get towed 100 miles. Angela and Eric have a fierce Chubby Bunny contest.

7/29 – Angela and I see Spring Awakenings on Broadway; if you haven’t seen it, you should before it leaves.

8/1 – My Brother, Dad, Friends, and I backpack the Wallowa Mountains in Oregon. It’s 45 miles, 10,000 feet vertical, 50 degree temperature swings, and 6 days of intense camping. It’s an amazing challenging week.

8/9 – The Wedding Life Stage begins; 3 weeks running of Bachelor Parties and Weddings for my old college roommates Dave and Jeff. It starts out with paint ball in Massachusetts – my first time, would definitely play again. I give a speech at Dave’s wedding.

8/23 – My whole family takes a cruise up the North East Coast to Canada for my Grandfather’s 80th Birthday. It’s the first time we’ve ever all traveled together and it’s the first cruise we’ve ever taken. It provides countless family photo ops.

9/13 – Our Zog Football season starts; my first Zog sport, a right of passage in NYC. Jackie puts together an awesome team. I don’t score any points until the last game, months later.

9/21 – I run the 5th Avenue Mile Race in just under 7 minutes, my first formal race (and 1 mile is just about my limit).

10/4 – Day of Cultural events in NYC. Angela and I do the 1.7 mile Norway run in Central Park; then we walk through the Gracie Square Art Show; then we meet Bruce at the Korean Festival for lunch. Later, I head to a disturbing film screening about nightmares at the New Yorker festival.

10/11 – Angela and I vacation to Lisbon Portugal; it becomes one of my favorite places. Portugal is Europe without the hastle. We see castles, eat delicious pastries, and drink a lot of coffee.

10/15 – We see Stephen Colbert do a reading of a short story at the Cymfony Space ‘Tales of the Office’ short stories reading event. It turns out he loves to do this; I found books on tape that he reads.

10/20 – I see Art Spiegelman, the author of MAUS, speak about the graphic novel genre; I then get to meet him, and have a copy of his book personalized. It’s incredibly emotional and I am thankful for the opportunity.

11/28 – Angela and I see Avenue Q on Broadway with my Parents; if you’ve seen it, you understand why that might not have been the best choice. Still, it was a hilarious play.

12/7 – Angela and I check out the Gizmodo Tech exhibit, get to see some early models of computers, cameras, phones, and apple prototypes that never made it into production.

12/11 – Vito and I hit up Rockwood Music Hall to see some relatively unknown groups play. We’re a few feet from the stage, it’s an amazing intimate music experience, the acoustic performance is great, and I fall in love again with live music.