2009 in review: We were here, where were you?

I’ve enjoyed the year-end retrospectives several of my favorite blogs have posted over the last week. Here’s one version of what the year looked like around these parts.

January was about endings and beginnings: Amato Opera announced it was closing (very, very sad); William Zantzinger bit the dust (not so sad); we reflected on historic inaugurations.

February saw death spreading: Holiday Cocktail Lounge’s Stafan Lutak; Joe Ades, the Peeler Man. The Bowery hit hard times, but not in the traditional sense. I couldn’t stop thinking about Sing Sing marble and prison labor, while Cyrus couldn’t stop thinking about the creation of the world.

In March I inadvertently followed John Lennon to Bermuda; I also, somehow, watched Watchmen twice. Meanwhile, Cyrus had a welcome excuse to write about baseballGossip Girl went all Edith Wharton; and the Queensboro Bridge turned 100.

In April we participated in the Mercantile Library’s Big Read of James Washington Square; Cyrus thought about Fitzgerald and Allen and the recently repainted centenarian Queensboro, as well as Allen and Lee and cinematic NYC; I wondered, as I’m wont to do, how we got from the Beats to the Punks; and we learned James Franco would be howling.

In May we both got good news from the folks over at 33 1/3, just as our yearly Writing New York course was wrapping. I went underground looking for NYC’s oldest subway tunnel. And we almost had some early beach weather!

June saw snafus at the Provincetown Playhouse site; Cyrus, braver than I, headed for Plattsburgh; DKNY’s mural was Californicated; MJ died; and Kermit helped us tease out a missing chapter in hipster history.

July was still MJ at every turn; Connie Converse came into my life; and so did a kid named Charlie — making me a new parent again, after almost 13 years.

August brought new book love from Betsy Bradley and David Freeland, along with a new NYC song superblog. Cyrus indulged our mutual obsession with all things Moby-Dick.

In September the city celebrated the Hudson 400. My neighborhood lost its beloved video store, one of the last of its kind, but we gained the new and improved MoCA. Meanwhile, Woolworth was finally eclipsed by the new Gehry tower on Beekman. Also, Cyrus and I started gearing up for our Lost New York conference; we also ran an interview with some friends who couldn’t participate.

October‘s Lost New York conference was followed by some useful transcriptions from Cyrus; we loved Royall Tyler’s The Contrast on stage at the Metropolitan; and just in time for Halloween, a tombstone popped up in Washington Square.

In November we celebrated Sesame Street‘s 40th anniversary; Cyrus tracked Diedrich Knickerbocker’s bicentennial and the history of the Macy’s Parade; and the Metropolitan Playhouse came in with a second slam-dunk revival of the season: Augustin Daly’s Under the Gaslight.

December saw us teaming up with a group of nice NYC blogs to produce a 2009 holiday guide. We like the folks we were asked to work with, and encourage readers to check in with them from time to time.

We’re looking forward to 2010. Our Writing New York class starts again in a couple weeks, and we’ll be sure to supplement the course with a new spate of posts here. Thanks for riding along with us so far; if you’re new, here, buckle your seatbelts! (Neither of us has a car, though, and we’re posting kind of slowly lately, so make of that advice what you will.)