The Great 52 New Things Adventure

I am a contradiction in that I crave variety and new experiences yet am also prone to becoming a creature of habit. As I get older, the tendency to simply go with what I know or stay at home for the night is getting increasingly powerful. In these moments, the dandy rakehell in me must furiously wave a handsome silk handkerchief in my face until I admit that lying prone on the couch, eating Cheerios straight out of the box is not what’s going to make for an interesting story in the future. And as I have perhaps said before. I pay to live in New York. If I was going to spend my free time sitting around at home, I’d choose to do it in a much cheaper city.

So the “52 New Things” challenge was issued. Kicking off, appropriately, on Repeal Day 2011, the deal was simple: do something you’ve never done or go somewhere you’ve never gone at least once every week. No excuses, no scheduling conflicts. I’m not saying it has to be epic adventures. Even fifty-two minor new things make for a pretty grand adventure once you add everything up at the end of the world. A new restaurant, new bar, new town — it doesn’t really matter as long as I’d never done it before. And one could certainly do more than one new thing a week. In fact, one probably should. But that’s the baseline. And it had to be every week. No doing three new things in one weekend and banking them for the future.

Going back and doing my accounting of the experiment, it turns out the effort was well worth it and successful. I don’t have it in me at this point to write an in-depth summary of every new thing, but here are some highlights. Over the next couple weeks, I will try to post more in-depth separate articles on each of these. I’ll switch each of the entries below to a link as the articles are posted. And yes, I intend to repeat the effort in 2013.

  • Pegu Club
  • Roosevelt Island Tram
  • Museum of the Moving Image
  • Les Fleurs de Shanghai & Nighttime Snowtubing
  • Minetta Tavern
  • Beyond Planet Earth and Weegee: Murder is My Business
  • Brooklyn Brewery
  • New York Knicks at MSG
  • Street Art by Rafael Barrios & Shopping for a Ferrari
  • Orange Pulp, Noel Coward: Star Quality, and The Dublin House
  • 124 Old Rabbit Club
  • Jade Island
  • Enzo Custom Clothier
  • Ghostbusters
  • Paris Cafe
  • Air Force Armament Museum
  • Chez Napoleon
  • Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace & Gramercy Tavern
  • Castello Plan
  • Le Releais de Venise L’Entrecote
  • Gotham Girls Roller Derby & The Yellow Submarine
  • Clyde Frazier’s Wine ‘n’ Dine
  • Terra Cotta Warriors
  • City of Sydney
  • The Hinterlands
  • Rubirosa
  • Maker Faire & La Brisa
  • Gin Palace, Dandy Talk, Maialino, Freemason’s Lodge, & Nighttime at Grant’s Tomb
  • Harlem Globetrotters
  • Cacao Prieto & The Wayland
  • The Millionaire Magician
  • Winnies Bar & Restaurant
  • Maysville
  • Hamilton Grange, Orient Express, One if By Land, Mark Twain’s House, and New York’s Last Gaslamp
  • Delmonico’s & Lantern’s Keep
  • White Horse Saloon
  • Industry City Distilling
  • Jefferson Memorial & A Passel of Distilleries
  • Stitzel-Weller & the Urban Bourbon Tour