There comes a time in every long-running series’ life when they need to do a clip show. I just had my 100th post on here, and what better time to reflect on the past year than just before BILL NYE DAY? 2012 was a pretty insane year for me, and I’ve hand-picked and curated 12 artesanal moments from the past year that particularly stand out.
1. Filming ‘fetti
I’m pretty sure ‘fetti was what got the ball rolling on my triumphant return to filmmaking this year. Getting a Super-8 camera from the 60s off eBay and making my first Super-8 film was quite an experience, from carrying a ton of balloons on the subway to Will’s narration in the rehearsal. Having that short film under my belt led to a lot of opportunities, and I’m not sure I would have accomplished all the things I did this year if it weren’t for that.
2 & 3. Surprisingly deep moments with cab drivers in East Hampton
That whole East Hampton trip for my boss was a bizarre, weird experience where I drank more consecutive coffee cups than I ever had in my life, and picked up some skills I never thought I’d need. But the most interesting encounters I had were two different conversations with two different cab drivers out there. The first was the woman who picked me up from the bus stop late at night right after I had arrived, and I learned her whole story about how she became an East Hampton cab driver, how she used to live in the building I worked, and how on some nights she would drive drunk rich people home to Manhattan on a $600 bill. Everything sounds deeper when you’re driving down a dark country road in the middle of the night.
The second one was the day before my boss’s party, and a guy maybe a bit older than me picked me up in what looked like an airport shuttle van. Basically, we had to pick up party supplies from two places, but once the second party place saw our supplies from the first place, they refused to rent it to us and we had to drive around town to find more supplies. We found a hardware store and ended up getting coffee next door while I waited for my boss to call me back regarding the supplies.
4. Losing my job & beginning the freelance life
That same job didn’t last much longer beyond the East Hampton trip. The day I left for good, I was in such a weird, lightheaded state of disbelief that it was actually over that I didn’t really know what to do with myself. That very evening though, I had what turned out to be my first meeting with my first significant freelance client. So literally, one job ended and another began within a few hours of each other.
5. Watching the sun rise from my rooftop
I don’t always stay out all night, but when I do, I make it memorable. That rooftop scene that I made into the cover of Pitchfork’s Album of the Year 2013 came after a long crazy night that included a crust punk party, a pretty dramatic argument, taking buses and subways all over northern Brooklyn, me contemplating life ‘n’ stuff on a Greenpoint pier while looking at Manhattan all lit up across the East River, and meeting up with my best friend and the three girls in the above photo at the end of a warehouse show, just as the crusties started heading home. After meeting the guy from Neon Indian (who apparently lives in Greenpoint now?) it didn’t take much convincing for me to welcome everybody up to my roof to cap off the night by greeting the morning. Also conveniently for me, I was the only one who didn’t have to sleepily make my way back home after that.
6. Watching the sun rise from the A train
Yeah it was a ridiculous idea but it was worth it. And now, in New York City A.S. (After Sandy), I wouldn’t even be able to do it! At least not until the A Train can head to the Rockaways once more. You know, they probably didn’t realize it, but I really shared a bond with my fellow overnight subway riders. And I’m sure they’d be thrilled to hear that.
I had to post this amazing photo again. Taken on the first try by Matthew Narvin.
7. The brisket at the All New York’s a Venue First Anniversary Potluck
Oh man, that brisket? It’s like some real, game-changing brisket right there. And imagine, I never would have known about it if it weren’t for a raffle at The Bell House where Will was working the right night at the right place.
8. The Road Trip to New Paltz
Post-Job Me was more than happy to take a gig helping Kristina sell stuff at her boss’s pop-up shop upstate. Also, you know, road trip. I never would have guessed that I’d be driving so much this year. We took the scenic route, driving through the surprisingly gorgeous Hoboken and seeing some amazing views of Manhattan across the Hudson. We stopped at a diner for a float and some macaroni salad and talked to a weird guy. There’s always a weird guy.
Oh and I forgot to mention I was still getting acquainted with my camera and I glitched up half the photos I took with it. But look at that apartment!
9. Arriving in Montreal
Honestly I just miss being shown around Montreal by two gracious hosts with an amazing apartment.
10. The Ridiculously Early Bus Stop in the Middle of Nowhere
Taking the night bus back to New York from Toronto was an experience. An experience we’ll never have again. Have you ever been sleeping in a cramped bus seat and then suddenly have to get out with your luggage to get chewed out by customs agents at Niagara Falls? Or then have to get out again, three hours later, at The McDonald’s At The Edge Of Civilization? I know there’s a lot of places you can picture yourself, but nothing prepared me for when I took in my surroundings while standing in line with a busload of strangers at a truck stop McDonalds. I can’t explain why that moment stuck with me, it just did.
This picture wasn’t taken during the Post-Sandy Haze, nor was it taken during Sandy. It is pretty hazy though.
11. The Post-Sandy Haze
We all thought Hurricane Sandy was going to be a joke, so we all sat making memes even while the hurricane was bearing down on us. After the storm lifted though, we all had a chance to see the mess it made. It was kind of a lot to take in, knowing that half of Manhattan was without power and entire neighborhoods in Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn were badly damaged, and we were just a couple miles away from it all. As transportation slowly came back to life, it was hard to get back into old routines. Sandy dominated the news for the first couple of weeks after it hit.
12. The Triumphant Return of the G Train to a Winter Wonderland
The G train was, predictably, one of the last trains to come back after Sandy. The day it did come back, a winter storm hit, and I was completely unaware of both developments because all day long I was running sound on a web series shoot in the subway. After getting off the G for the first time in over a week and finally coming up above ground for the first time in hours, I was pretty surprised to see my neighborhood covered in snow.