My New Year’s Resolutions Top Ten (in no particular order

4 Jan

When it comes to travel, the theme this year for me will be less distance is more to enjoy and appreciate at home.

NYC is a glorious, maddening place to live and I don’t know how long I can stay in the midst of it all. So it makes no sense for me to stay home counting my pennies for one big vacation a year. I pledge to appreciate my surroundings as much as possible this year.

With that being said, here is my Top Ten List of Travel Plans this year.

1. Okay, after all that, I still want to do a smallish trip. I’m thinking my honey and I on a road or train trip to visit Montreal and Quebec City this July for the Jazz Festival, family visiting, and some major restaurant sampling/sightseeing.

{Montreal Jazz festival via

2. When I was little, I got to know my deceased grandfather by listening to his classical music records and watching opera on PBS, but I’ve never, never gone to the opera. So putting on a fancy dress and going to see La Boheme is looong overdue.

{La Boheme via}

3. Speaking of performances, I’m going to stop putting off seeing Fela on Broadway.

4. Host monthly ‘Around the World’ dinners for my friends where I cook culinary delights from one country. Just because I have all these gorgeous cookbooks collecting dust in my kitchen. And it’s another excuse to drink wine.

{paella recipes via}

5. Take lunch to work daily so I can save money to eat at a beautiful upscale restaurant with impeccable food bimonthly or so. Most of the ones on my list are in Brooklyn featuring fresh local food- James, Buttermilk Channel, Kaz an Nou and Rosewater. Yum!

{deliciousness @ Kaz an nou via

6. Watch more foreign films at home, at the Angelica, Bam, and Alliance Francaise.

7. Listen to more Cesaria Evora, Charles Aznavour, Compay Segundo, samba, and just anything that will transport me away from the generic dancey Top-40 music that is dominating the airwaves right now.

{compay segundo via

8. Time to get uptown to Harlem before everything that’s special about it is completely obliterated. I haven’t spent quality time there since… oh my, has it really been almost ten years? There’s no excuse. I’m heading to Melba’s for dinner for her famous “American comfort food” and St. Nick’s Jazz Club.


9. Read more travelogues: ‘My Life in Provence’ by Peter Mayle, reread Julia Child’s ‘My Life in France,’ Edwidge Danticat’s ‘After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel’


10. Oh, and did I say I was budgeting? Well, I’m not going for complete austerity, as I will be shopping around Brooklyn at my favorite stores: Beacon’s Closet in Park Slope for used/vintage, Teddy’s in Cobble Hill for working girl affordable chic and Ras Tafari in Lefferts- Prospect Park for african-inspired maxi-dresses, cowrie-shell beaded belts, and incense.


So what about you readers? Any travel resolutions for this year to share? Anyone staying close to home like we are, or are you being brave and saving up your money for an amazing trip around the world? Or something in between?

Can’t wait to hear about your adventures as we embark on this new year.




2 Responses to “My New Year’s Resolutions Top Ten (in no particular order”

  1. Marie January 5, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    There is so much to savor in New York! If you feel like being adventurous, I highly recommend a visit to Proteus Gowanus. It’s a little gallery on Union St.–part of a collective of galleries, actually–that you wouldn’t know was there unless someone told you, and with a sort of diamond-in-the-rough magic to it, it’s one of my favorite places to visit. The coolest of their offerings, in my opinion, is the Fixers Collective, a bunch of people who, for $5 (and advance notice if you want them to do the best job), will fix anything you bring. Check ’em out!

    2) The opera is amazing. I hear the Lincoln Center gives discounts to educators, so it’s even more worth pursuing.

    8) Harlem’s still got it, but I think you have the right idea. El Museo del Barrio will still host the annual Three Kings Festival, but complaints had already started last year of gentrification within certain departments. (A professor of mine who did part time work in their teen programs bewailed the changing legacy of el Museo constantly.) Also, good, fresh, jazz is being booked less and less… The more people bother to make the trip to hear a performance or two, the longer these gigs can keep going.

    9) Finding good travelogues authored by women has been such a task for me; have you had difficulties with this as well? I’ve been dying to read Rosemary Mahoney’s ‘Down the Nile,’ but part of me is afraid it’ll reek of cultural imperialism–another thing that deters me from travelogues.
    On that note I highly recommend to you a totally different travelogue reading experience. Last Spring I was given a packet of journals written by Indians in England (my favorite title of which was titled ‘A Passage to England’). As a sort of digest of/response to these resources, you can look up Antoinette Burton’s “Making a Spectacle of Empire: Indian Travellers in Fin-de-Siècle London” (if you do not have access to a Jstor account at home, make a trip to the library (@ BPL Central branch, or so very worth it). It’s an excellent reminder of how much there is to explore/criticize/exoticize, even, in our own backyards AND it offers a refreshing twist to everyday cultural imperialism.

    I do hope your budgeting pays off; I wish you the best of luck with your resolutions!

  2. voyajer79 January 6, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Thanks so much for your advice and fresh perspective. It’s been years since I’ve been to El Museo del Barrio so thanks for bringing it back to my consciousness.

    As far as travelogues, yes I have to agree with you. Most of them really suck, there’s no way around it. So many of them either put you to sleep or reek of American imperialistic generalizations and notions. You run the risk of either focusing on your inner journey and seeming self-absorbed OR focusing on other people and making grand sweeping generalizations. Or both! I did love ‘My Life in France’ by Julia Childs b/c it’s such a simple story who found herself in France, was delighted by it without being ignorant of its quirks and flaws, and created a vibrant second career for herself there.Clearly. It’s not hugely intellectual, but it’s a book that I turn to for inspiration. I will also check out Burton’s work as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: