Looking Back on 2019

Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody! Around here, another year means another recap. This year was obviously a really BIG year for me because of 2 major life transitions: (1) I moved to New York! and (2) I got married!! A lot of 2019 revolved around those two big transitions: settling into my new city and settling into my new marriage.

Despite what this highlights reel says, what it doesn’t say is that 2019 was not without difficulties. Leaving DC while furiously applying for jobs so that I could join Ben as quickly as possible meant that I felt rushed leaving behind my friends and family. Moving to New York while planning a DC-area wedding meant I spent the first half of the year with a foot in each city, not entirely in either. I spent a lot of time confused because I was grateful for all the time I was spending with Ben, first as an engaged couple and then as a married one, and for being in the city that I felt almost entitled to my entire life, but I felt lonely and longing for the companionship and community I left behind in a hurry back in DC.

With that being said, 2019 was still full of so many great moments!

GIF by KLM

<2019>

J A N U A R Y

  • Bumped into Ted Fu and his wife, Caty, at Times Square after the ball drop, 7 or so years after last seeing him
  • Started my new job in New York City
  • Caught up with old friends in New York, including a friend from summer camp I haven’t seen since 2006 and have maintained contact with exclusively through email until this year

F E B R U A R Y

  • Reunited with friends from high school that I haven’t seen in one place since we graduated from high school
  • Visited my first New York tech meet up
  • … and my first New York, second ever, cat cafe!
  • Barely survived “New York’s toughest workout” at ToneHouse
  • Cooked buffalo chicken dip with spicy cheese crunchies (aka Trader Joe’s Flamin’ Hot Cheetos) for the Super Bowl
  • Yoga-ed for free in Bryant Park
  • Took a cooking class with Ben as an early Valentine’s gift and to celebrate Chinese New Year
  • Met my friend for breakfast at Google
  • Met Lucie Fink at a wedding planning event at the Zola pop-up
  • Watched Waitress, featuring Joey McIntyre, on Broadway
  • Attended my first-ever Katsucon
  • Feasted to celebrate building a new dining table and also the Oscars

M A R C H

  • Bumped into a friend from way back in my Chinese school days at a Yelp event
  • Hosted my dear friends Annie & Jeff for a weekend, our first time hanging out all together in New York
  • Sweated and maybe bruised my pubic bone at an Equinox cycling class, my first ever time in an Equinox facility

A P R I L

  • Attended my first ever book club meeting and made some great new friends
  • Made new New York Yelp friends at a hip bar
  • Flailed about in my first 305 dance fitness class
  • Celebrated getting married with my friends at my bachelorette party!
    • Shook Michael Strahan’s hand and made intense eye contact with Hasan Minhaj at a taping of $100,000 Pyramid, my first time at a game show taping
    • Relaxed ambitiously at a Korean spa with a lot of rooms and about 2 hours to enjoy them all
    • Danced at 7am with dinosaur bones at the American Natural History Museum for my first New York Daybreaker
    • Enjoyed my first afternoon tea at Russian Tea Room
    • Indulged in my first mani-pedi at Dashing Divas
    • Maneuvered my way into a club with no line and free drinks by working with a promoter for the first time
  • Tried wearing contacts for the first time
  • Brunched with a friend I met at my first-ever hackathon, before I even started coding
  • Laughed and cried through Avengers: Endgame at a nearly-fatal 11:30pm showing
  • Attended my 3rd AwesomeCon
    • Debuted my Silk and Melisandre cosplays

M A Y

  • Picked up our marriage license
  • Learned a ballroom dancing routine for our wedding
  • Got a back facial at Mario Badescu
  • Worked out with a personal trainer for the first time

J U N E

J U L Y

  • Watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in Bryant Park with author Jenny Han
  • Sang “What Dreams Are Made Of” to my friend at her sangeet
  • Attended my friend’s beautiful wedding at the venue we almost picked for our own!
  • Saw part 1 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • … and was mildly inconvenienced by the blackout
  • Reunited with my Instagram friend, Molly, who I last saw in Shanghai
  • Won tickets to see Coriolanus for Shakespeare in the Park
  • Sweated during a fitness class (silent disco-style) at Madame Tussaud’s
  • Visited Coney Island (and rode the Cyclone!) for the first time
  • Met my friend’s fiancée (that he’s been dating for over a decade!) over dinner at a restaurant featured on Master of None
  • Dined on our roof with new New York friends before they moved to London
  • Saw part 2 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child after having to reschedule because of the aforementioned blackout

A U G U S T

  • Played board games at our friend’s housewarming
  • Baked banana bread and headed out to a picnic at the pier
  • Ventured back out to Round1 and Primark for Annie’s birthday for the second year
  • Picnicked in Bryant Park to watch Jurassic Park
  • Dined at a Michelin star establishment for New York Restaurant Week
  • Twirled through the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel exhibit at the Paley Center
  • Gesticulated with Hasan Minhaj at a taping of Patriot Act (see if you can spot us!)
  • Shopped my first ever sample sale… for skincare
  • Danced the night away at my first wedding garba back in my old hometown

S E P T E M B E R

  • Attended the most stunning and glamorous wedding of one of my Jersey high school friends
  • Caught up with a high school friend who used to be my neighbor
  • Hosted my brother here in New York for the first time
  • Visited Flushing for the first time…? At least in memory
  • Ate Taco Bell for the first time ever in my entire life
  • Watched Mean Girls on Broadway
  • Participated in the climate change strike, where I saw Greta Thunberg speak
  • Ate my way through the 93rd Feast of San Gennaro
  • Waited 2 hours to experience HaiDiLao’s noodle dance and other amenities
  • Enjoyed a gorgeous homemade brunch spread for a friend’s birthday
  • Got Global Entry almost a full year after getting approved for it
  • Sweated through a spin class for a different friend’s birthday
  • Played VR games for the first time (come at me, Beat Saber)

O C T O B E R

  • Got a blowout from a fancy Upper East Side salon
  • Attended New York Comic Con
    • Listened to Jodi Benson, Paige O’Hara, Anika Noni Rose, and Jennifer Hale talk about voicing Disney princesses
    • Shot with a cosplay photographer for the first time
    • Cosplayed with my husband for the first time (!!!)
  • Picked apples for the first time
    • And enjoyed my first apple cider doughnut wow
  • Frolicked at Maryland Renaissance Festival until we were rained out
  • Visited another apple farm, this time with my coworkers, for apples and doughnuts
  • Hosted an apple-treats-centric belated housewarming/lease renewal party at our apartment
  • Hiked Bear Mountain with my in-laws to do some leaf peeping
  • Dressed as Starfire for Halloween to compare how far I’ve come since 2009

N O V E M B E R

  • Cheered on runners in the New York City Marathon
  • Traveled to the Bahamas for the first time for a friend’s wedding
  • Enjoyed sushi omakase for the first time
  • Cosplayed at AnimeNYC
  • Dined with coworkers for my first Shabbat dinner
  • Peered down at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons from the window and not just on TV (or on the parade route) for the first time

D E C E M B E R

  • Cooked 5 lbs of mashed potatoes for a really small Friendsgiving
  • Watched Betrayal on Broadway
    • Shivered in the cold for over an hour hoping (in vain) to get an autograph from Tom Hiddleston and/or Charlie Cox and/or Zawe Ashton
    • Saw Ted and Caty almost a full year after seeing them a few blocks away at Times Square post-ball drop
  • Did a Friendsgiving with another set of friends over Peking duck
  • Celebrated my birthday in New York for the first time with my mainstays: hotpot and karaoke
  • Swung a lightsaber at Dolby’s Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker experience
  • Took my husband to see the Radio City Rockettes
  • Shared Christmas in New York with my family
  • Reunited with family friends we haven’t seen in years, who used to live around the corner from our current apartment
  • Rang in 2020 back in DC with my family

</2019>

Honestly, the first half of the year was quite wedding-focused, and a good portion of the second half was spent recovering from wedding planning and actually starting to settle into our new city. In 2020, the dust will mostly have settled from these big transitions, so I can’t wait to make the most of what I have in the wake of all these huge changes.

What were your highlights from the past year?

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