Notable New Yorkers’ Cultural Resolutions for 2013


Now that Christmas is nothing more than a pile of shredded wrapping paper and tinsel on the floor of your family’s living room, ’tis the season to think about how we can make slightly less of a mess of things in the year ahead. That’s right: New Year’s resolutions. Of course, here at Flavorwire, we’re not so interested in your plan to get ripped or reconnect with your middle-school best friend. Our favorite resolutions are of the cultural variety — and who better to ask about those than 50 of New York’s most promising emerging culture makers? We hope their compelling, diverse, and sometimes humorous resolutions will inspire you to make some of your very own.


“I want to see and experience more of the wonderful creative output coming from all corners of the city, from all mediums, just more. Music, art, dance, comedy, I want to experience all of it. Specifically, I’ve noticed in the past year or so that there are a lot of creative people in New York doing very interesting out of the box stuff. It’s not hipstery, it’s not forced, it just seems to be in the air that people want to experiment with the traditional forms of their disciplines. There is a lot of bizarre stuff going on in a lot of different mediums, and as the people creating this bizarre stuff keep finding each other, the mediums themselves matter less and less. I don’t want to be dramatic, but as the host of a show where a lot of weird comedians and filmmakers and bands and artists have congregated, I can’t help but sense that there’s something odd bubbling up in New York City, and I’m just glad I get to be around to witness and help facilitate it.” — Chris Gethard

“My goal is to spend more time seeing shows (music/theater/art) during the week and getting out into nature on the weekends — balancing city life with the natural beauty of upstate.” — Gretchen Jones

“I want to take the East River Ferry more regularly, I want to find a better Indian restaurant, and I want to dive deeper into my exploration of Kabuki theater.” — Alex Karpovsky

“More TV! I’m currently deep into Deadwood and The West Wing and never want them to end, but suppose they will soon enough. And more house-visiting, specifically: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill and Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Steepletop. It’s my dream to spend a week in Edith Wharton’s bedroom at The Mount, but I’m not sure that’s allowed.” — Kate Bolick

“Go to more queer or Latino or punk (or whatever sub-identity) events that exist outside of my community, like more reading series or more drag performances that aren’t specifically at my friends’ events. Although it’s true, this is a cycle, where I go out and explore, and the slightest trigger of alienation makes me a little jaded and tired; so it motivates me to create the spaces I want to live in. So now that I am living in these spaces (setting up a lot of queer punk shows) and have healed from my last bout of alienation, I’m stoked to connect with stuff outside of this.” — Cristy C. Road

“I’d like to finally complete this cyberweaponized performance piece that climaxes by crashing the Internet – unfortunately, like most people, I have a tough time keeping my resolutions. So, while it may not be quite as catastrophic in scope, I can promise the release of some destructive work at LETHAL SOFTWARE Art Hack Day, where I’ll be participating in the mayhem. Couple of places on my must-visit list in 2013: the Rothko Chapel in Austin, Texas and Gottfried Böhm’s brutalist church, Mariendom Neviges in West Germany.” — Jeremiah Johnson

“I think 2013 is about raging. I don’t wanna go to any galleries unless I can glide down a 20-storey water slide holding hands with Marina Abramovic. All concerts should be like Dethklok’s in Metalocalypse. I’m only going to mermaid balls and aquarium raves from now on.” — Le1f

“See more theater! I recently saw the new production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (incredible!! go and see it right now!) and I thought: why don’t I do this all of the time?” — Ayana Mathis

“The Brooklyn Museum is close my apartment and yet I never go! So, making a short trip there would be a nice start (especially on First Saturdays). Also, Littlefield is an amazing venue in Gowanus. I constantly see amazing shows (visual art, comedy, music) on their calendar and find myself only going there when I’m doing standup. It’s a special place.” — Hari Kondabolu

“Next year I really want to see more stuff at The Museum of the Moving Image. I’ve neglected it simply ‘cuz I don’t often find myself in Astoria. They have awesome programming -— both old and new films -— and for movie nerds, it’s one of the best screens and sound systems in the city.” — Craig Zobel

Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson

“See the Noguchi Museum! I’ve never been before.” — Caitlin Mociun

“Visit more awesome DIY venues and art spaces around the country, and hang out with more of my friends that run their own spaces here. Hang out with my friends more often in general. There’s no cultural substitute for that.” — Joe Ahearn

“Continue to cultivate lasting working relationships, turn a blind eye to detractors and make a difference while making MONEY.” — Mykki Blanco

“I watched a bunch of dance documentaries this year, and each one reminded me to try to see more ballet/tango/street battles, both because I love most any form of dance and because many of the documentaries describe the challenges facing the dance community. There’s a rare sense in which to watch a great dancer is to bear witness to the impossible sacrifice bound up in the beauty. They’re like extremely flexible unicorns walking among us.” — Michelle Orange

“We plan to visit and continue to support essential and irreplaceable New York institutions like Anthology Film Archives, the Poetry Project, Maysles Cinema, to name a few. We also want to watch more movies in the theater which has been tricky with a 16-month-old at home.” — Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson

“Last year it was write more letters and send them by post, which I’m happy to say I did, and which resulted in myriad engaging correspondences with some of the most fascinating figures of our time. I’d like to introduce more of the artists that I work with to each other. For instance, everyone should know Japanther. I saw more theater this year, which has been terrific. It’s my de facto choice when I think I might be sort of in the mood to watch television. Maybe see more dance? New York is so good for the lively arts. I aim to diversify. You can’t complain that there’s nothing good in the mainstream if you don’t seek out the gems and support them yourself.” — Lauren Cerand

“To hopefully visit Roseto Di Roma.” — Angel Haze

“I plan on finally buying a vintage Porche 911 and getting the license plate: NVR FGT. Then taking the car around and exploring some of NY’s most interesting locations that you forget are there, i.e.: Fort Tryon Park, The Dirt Room in Soho, the best mac ‘n cheese at Queens Kickshaw, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum on East 61st, etc.” — Seth Herzog

“Well, one thing that I need to do is go to some contemporary art shows. I’m in the middle of writing my next book and one of the central characters is an artist, so I hope to get some sense of what’s going on out there. I read articles and things, but it can’t all be sharks in formaldehyde, can it? So that’ll be for work. But also, like one of the characters in my novel, my secret ambition is to finally learn to appreciate classical music. And with the baby on the way, my wife and I are planning to go to BAM and the Met as often as possible so maybe the baby will pick some things up in utero. Because I’m going to be no help in that department. I have no sense of rhythm whatsoever. I literally cannot clap to the beat. I’m like that drummer kid in Mr. Holland’s Opus. So hopefully we can do a preemptive strike for the sake of the next generation.” — Kristopher Jansma

“Finish writing a gigantic pop record with my co-composer Dan Romer.” — Benh Zeitlin

Venus X

“Hmmm… probably to see more exhibitions. I’ve been NY a little over a year now and I’ve yet to take full advantage of being in a city with such a vast amount of places to see art. I guess I’m still in my “overwhelmed” phase of living in New York City and I hope I can reverse that and get a better grasp over the next 12 months.” — Jayson Musson

“The symphony! I need to go back to the symphony! It puts life into proper perspective—which is to say it makes life seem just as grand, shocking, and possible as it really is.” — Uzoamaka Maduka

“I’m gonna join MOMA. My poor friend has brought me as a plus one to about 20 events this year and its time I stopped mooching and bring some plus ones of my own. I’ve also been going to great old movies at Film Forum and seeing a lot of friends films that are getting small releases in Brooklyn. Feel like this was the year I became the New Yorker I always wanted to be, but there’s a lot more to see and do. Working on it.” — Daniel Schechter

“Keep touring. See the world. Get a lot of sun.” — Venus X

“Take more Instagram pictures. When I first got Instagram, I uploaded a ton of random art pics that inspired me. I was really bad at adding captions, though, so I ended up with a great photo stream of anonymous art that I could never find again. It was more frustrating than helpful. Next year, I’m going to see art that I like and I’m going to document it.” — Lindsay Howard

“Since I run 285 Kent three nights or more every week, I’m resolving to go to more shows that aren’t within the one-block radius of that venue. I want to go to other shows that aren’t at 285 Kent. The Red Light District, a house in the Far Rockaways, has been putting together some of the best noise line-ups I’ve seen all year and I haven’t been able to make it to a single one. I also really want to go to more things that Alaina Stamatis and everyone at The Ho_se has been putting together. 2013 will see a cluster of DIY hubs like The Ho_se, the Body Actualized Center, Silent Barn, and Market Hotel host shows just blocks away from each other.” — Ric Leichtung

“I want to be in LA more often and always be pretty and fun. That’s always my cultural New Year’s resolution.” — Casey J. Ellison

“I’d like my work to not only forward my own design practice, but to strengthen those around me. To this end, I resolve to better structure my time, waking up earlier and not surfing the internet in bed. 2013 is a culture of engagement. It’s time to work together and to focus.” — Rama Chorpash

“Go to more museums. I love museums and the city is full of them. Also, read more books instead of reading the Internet!” — Amy Klein

“To watch as many documentaries as possible. And maybe to get out to the cinemas more — I watch way too many films at home.” — Josh Koury

Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw

“Our cultural resolution is to bring more culture to the people out there who are starving for it. When you have culture oozing out of your skin like we do, it is way too selfish to keep it all to yourselves. We will probably begin collecting the culture that comes out of our hair follicles and put them in little jars that we can seal up and give away to people that we meet on the street, or in museums, or at gallery openings. Really anywhere that people need a little culture boost, we want to be there to help out. It’s just the right thing to do.” — Paul Outlaw and Jennifer Catron

“Spend more time in galleries for inspiration for felte visuals.” — Jeff Owens

“We are looking forward to the reopening of Delinquency in Bushwick. We were scheduled to play a show there during CMJ when it unfortunately got shut down. They’ve been hosting fundraisers, throwing parties and working hard to get it back up and running in 2013. We definitely want to play, promote, and support the local venues around Brooklyn. Also been meaning to check out the Dream House installation by La Monte Young, which is supposed to be some kind of cosmic and blissful room flooded with drone and light.” — Heliotropes

“Be a nicer person, stream less, post more.” — Ryder Ripps

“Before I opened Littleneck I was very involved with music — playing in bands, going to shows, going out carousing after playing in bands and going to shows — which has had to take a backseat to other more pressing responsibilities so hoping to be able to get back to doing a little more of that in the new year.” — Aaron Lefkove

“To learn Spanish, and to travel as much as possible! Also, to help out The Rockaways so we can all go to the beach again.” — Clair Catillaz

“My cultural resolution is to finally clone myself so that I have the time I need to do everything I actually want to do and will give me more time to support all the amazing events and activities my friends are doing here in the city that I often miss due to lack of clone helpers. Never enough hours and so many great things going on.” — Todd Pendu

“I’ve always appreciated good art pieces, and NY is the perfect place for a variety of gallery shows. That’s definitely on my list!” — Yainis Ynoa

“I would like to see more shows happen in more interesting venues. Museums, abandoned churches, subway tunnels, etc.” — Caleb Braaten

“I’d really like to work on more curatorial projects, which I haven’t been getting to do much of lately. The deep research that goes into curating an exhibition is really rewarding, and I like the process of trying to synthesize the art of this particular cultural moment into a statement that reveals something about what it means to be alive today. It’s a process that helps me make sense of things, on a personal level, and allows me to help promote the work of artists who I think are making meaningful work, and share that work with others. — Julia Kaganskiy

David Castillo

“Europa and NYRB Classics. See more films at Anthology and Film Forum. Get back into seeing live music, even if the headliner doesn’t come on till past my bedtime.” — Maris Kreizman

“Definitely see more art. Maybe I’ll try to get to the Met more than once a year. Or maybe that is ambitious. Most likely I’ll end up at art shows where they have free booze.” — Phillipp Meyer

“I’d love to become a member of the Joyce Theater — it is THE place in NYC to witness the some of the world’s best and up-and-coming dance companies. A dream of mine is to one day perform there! I’m also determined to branch out a bit in the class space. I go to dance & fitness classes all the time, but haven’t tried too many other types of classes. I’m hoping to try something more eclectic such as jewelry-making, cupcake decorating, and maybe even oil painting!” — Payal Kadakia

“I am so immersed in music that it would be great to check out more films. I love a good movie but I rarely get to see even 30% of what I want to.” — David Castillo

“Seeing shows is always a priority. Though I’m hoping next year will be more introspective.” — Isabel Wilson

“My cultural resolution is to explore more of my surrounding architecture.” — Evan Brody

“Attending more non-literary events. For example, I have several filmmaker friends who’ve just released films, but I keep missing their screenings. And the same goes for art exhibits, like those organized by my friend, painter/illustrator Elke Reva Sudin (who could be one of my responses to the second question, now that I think about it).” — Penina Roth

“More adventure days exploring new spots around our neighborhood and other parts of the city.” — Terry Chiao

“To be honest, my life is exactly the way I want it right now! So I guess, keep doing what I’m doing but just do it better.” — Seth Ragon

“It’s the same as it is every year: to try not to get too comfortable. I always want to be exploring new areas, and challenging myself and the culture around me to do things in new ways. Stagnation is never a good thing.” — Daron Hollowell