Normally, these year end recaps are part a celebration of things that give me joy (travel, art, music, food) and reflection on the work that I find meaningful and occupies my days (somewhere at the intersection of design, technology, culture, and progress).
This mess of a year was always going to be a bit different — and then it lost control.
It’s hard to say anything about the events of this year briefly — COVID, police brutality, the election —and without being pessimistic or angry. The year has left me fairly dispirited about big picture issues.
Inequities and injustices, rooted primarily in race, but also other forms of privilege, as it plays out in education, health outcomes, policing, housing, etc., is one reason for pessimism. But it’s more fundamental failures of institutions and leaders at so many levels that’s really concerning.
The disparity in outcomes this year was stark. Two months of non-stop ambulance wails across Bed Stuy drives it home. As does how COVID hits the extended community of a NYC public school teacher vs. the community of brand name tech, design, and media professional networks. And, clearly, the failures of a confused, self-deluding American public vs. other countries to navigate the pandemic and the crisp choice in character, competence, and priorities during the election does as well.
So beyond food & wine, art & music, I’m hoping to keep finding ways to sustain action from protest and to work towards resiliency and justice. Reflections for another time.
Highlights & Recommendations
Travel is always a highlight of each year. Given this, I am trying to figure out how to become more intentional about flying, thinking long term about personal choices around climate change.
In January and February, Erin and I managed trips to Providence, Philadelphia, and a week in Porto and Lisbon. Portugal is fast becoming one of our favorite destinations for its culture and urbanity, both old and new.
The spring was spent in a walking radius of Bed Stuy. The necessary BLM protests in NYC broke…