Happy 2009 and welcome back to The Dirty Burrito! You’re probably reading this from your work desk and thrilled about it, so welcome back to work as well.
You may be wondering, “What great song has The Dirty Burrito chosen to kick off 2009?” Well, I’ve decided to discontinue Music Monday. This doesn’t mean I’ll stop giving you music videos; it just means the videos will be provided on a more sporadic basis.
To kick off 2009, I’ve decided to give you a few “Top 3” lists with my own personal highlights from 2008. While you were on break you undoubtedly saw a bunch of “Top ## ________ of 2008” lists, most likely on VH1 or CNN.com, but I chose to wait until 2008 was actually over. You don’t call sports games before the final seconds have ticked off the clock, so why do a “Top Whatever of 2008” list when 2008 isn’t even finished yet?
For example, if one of my Top 3 lists had been “Drunkest Moments of 2008,” I would’ve listed New Year’s Eve at #1. If I had followed the lead of CNN.com, New Year’s Eve wouldn’t have made the list, that is, if “Drunkest Moments of 2008” had even made my list of lists. (Side note: I hope you took advantage of the 2009 glasses this year. It was your last chance. They can't make 2010 glasses next year because there isn't the "00" in the middle of the year. Or can they?)
Without further ado, here are some highlights from the previous year:
1. Beer Olympics
The single greatest day of the year. Weeks of IBOC (International Beer Olympics Committee) planning meetings, multiple Email chains and even a PowerPoint deck went into the preparation for this glorious day.
2. HGOC Does NYC
HGOC visited NYC for a work conference, and it turned into a weeklong bender, the likes of which I’ve never experienced. I was absolutely exhausted by the weekend, and I was actually relieved he was leaving. However, during one night out we were photographed for a nightlife website, which would’ve been completely inexplicable without his presence.
3. 25th Birthday Weekend
Having a birthday during Labor Day weekend means summer Friday and no work on Monday, which translates to celebrating on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
1. Café Cortadito
Phenomenal, affordable Cuban food in Alphabet City, and it’s also BYOB. Make sure you get the tres leches cake. The place is great for all occasions—I’ve been here to congregate with friends, dine for Valentine’s Day and eat with my family. I’d advise on a reservation.
2. Ramen Setagaya
There are two East Village locations of this Tokyo ramen chain. It was voted Best Ramen this year in NY Mag. The pork is splendid. I recommend the separation noodles.
3. Bon Chon
This Korean fried chicken is the best fried chicken I’ve eaten. There is a location in K-town, and there is a new Korean restaurant on St. Mark’s Place called Boka that serves the chicken as well.
Sunday Funday Brunches
$29 will get you a choice of a delicious entrée and unlimited refills on four different Champagne cocktails. The duck Reuben was quite good, the kir royales quite strong.
2. Bondi Road/Sunburnt Cow
These Australian sister restaurants in the LES and Alphabet City (respectively) get you a choice of entrée and unlimited mimosas, bloody marys or Foster’s. They also have a DJ if you’re in a partying mood.
3. La Giara
This Murray Hill Italian spot has a couple tasty pasta dishes. Order one mimosa and you get free refills for the rest of your brunch.
Late Night Eats
1. 69 Restaurant
If you’re looking for really cheap and really tasty Chinese food at 5am, hit this 24-hour restaurant at 69 Bayard Street in Chinatown. I would eat here sober, but I would still go at 5am just to see the crowd. You’re at the right spot if the walls are covered in dollar bills.
2. Carl’s Steaks
I love eating cheesesteaks after a night out, and Carl’s has the best. The fries are excellent too. They’re even still good cold the next morning, if you decide to save anything for the following day.
When you’re craving really good Korean barbecue after karaoking in K-town, go to Wonjo. It’s pricier than your typical late-night meal, but it’s worth it.
1. America’s Best Dance Crew
I spent way too much time debating the attractiveness of the Kaba Modern and SoReal Cru girls and watching Jabbawockeez clips on YouTube.
2. Gossip Girl
Chuck Bass was as awesome as ever, and Blake Lively’s boobs decided to become one of the main characters in the 2nd season.
Joshua Jackson’s life has been absolutely amazing. He won the hockey gold medal at the Junior Goodwill Games under Coach Gordon Bombay, then he managed to steal Joey Potter from Dawson and now he’s solving mysterious X-Files-type cases in Boston with Lt. Daniels from The Wire. If only my existence were that awesome!
1. Blake Lively’s Ass
It’s huge for a tall, blonde white girl!
2. Doogie Howser, M.D.
Saw him at a gay bachelor party at a BYOB barbecue restaurant in the LES. It was an honor to be in the presence of the youngest licensed doctor in the country.
3. The Miz
To quote my LA post from May: “Apparently, he is very nice and didn't actually talk about his Real World career at all. He eventually offered her his number, which she politely accepted. However, when she tried entering it into her phone as "Mike," he requested that she put it in as ‘Miz.’”
Things I Can’t Believe Actually Happened
1. Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon got married
2. Status Quo made it to the Season 1 final over Kaba Modern
3. I was the victim of a hit-and-run with a NYC cab
When it’s warm, I ride this baby everywhere. It’s allowed me to explore so much of the city. Totally worth the money.
It feels great to coast down the street.
3. Three-piece suit by Moods of Norway
I got the entire thing on sale for $200. The pants are hot.
1. Dragon boat paddle
I should’ve known that I wouldn’t be able to keep up going to Flushing at 7am every Saturday and Sunday morning for dragon boat practice. Though it did make for a great photo during Beer Olympics.
It feels great to coast down the street, but it’s also scary as hell. I’m always afraid of getting hit by a car, and I can’t even ride the thing properly. I need more practice this summer.
3. Three-piece suit by Moods of Norway
So I got the entire thing on sale for $200. Little did I know that I bought it so large that it cost $150 to tailor. But hey…the pants are hot.
1. Wimbledon final
I wasn’t alive to see McEnroe-Borg so I’m not going to say this was the best match ever, but this was easily the best match I’ve in my lifetime.
2. Champions League final
My boss let me go home to watch this. Awesome! John Terry slipping on his potential game-winning penalty was heart-wrenching.
3. U.S. Open golf final round playoff
I have no doubt that employees all across the land were clicking “refresh” on their ESPN Gamecast windows repeatedly, all day long.
So there you have it. 2008 was a decent year, and hopefully next year can be even better. I have a list of new activities in which I hope to participate, including:
- Take boxing lessons
- Start kayaking
- Attend hip-hop dance classes
- Join some road races
- Participate in Santacon
- Visit Asia
If I can complete 50% of this list, I’ll be happy. And if anyone wants to join me, let me know.
Happy New Year!