City Pulse

By Gillian Weeks

I’m sure you’ve already got your own personal list of goals for 2007, but we at BN thought you could use a few suggestions for ways to really kick the self-improvement into high gear. And boy, do you have a lot of work to do. On top of the usual weight-loss, money-saving resolutions, you’ll be getting civilly obedient (#14), doing some light construction (#38), and probably engaging in supervised hand-to-hand combat (#11). We’ve also made some targeted requests from certain celebrities and foreign nations. All together, it should make for a better you, a better NYC, and most definitely a better Britney Spears (#6). Godspeed!

1. Under-spend.
2. Overdress.
3. Use LED energy-efficient, brighter-burning lightbulbs.
4. Buy decent sheets.
5. Develop strong opinions about international aid, nuclear deterrence, and universal healthcare.


6. Britney: minimum visibility of genitalia.
7. Start that art collection with a sensible budget. Forget the Jasper Johns.
8. Lindsay: adequite” literacy.
9. Learn how to cook rice without using the microwave.
10. Be able to press your hands to the floor while bending form the waist.
11. Work on your left hook. In the proper setting, of course. (Don’t forget to bring your mouth guard).
12. Learn dirty words in Chinese. Here’s one: gà£ng mén (anus).
13. Donald Trump: class.
14. Join your neighborhood association.
15. Iraq: something, anything.


16. Jennifer Hudson (of Dreamgirls): to not stop being awesome.
17. Subscribe to the Economist. And read it.
18. Write thank-you notes.
19. Take an African dance class.
20. Listen to the largo movement (the first three minutes) of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring once a week.


21. Learn about your family’s heritage.
22. North Korea: fewer nuclear weapons.
23. Kazakhstan: sense of humor.
24. Be able to do 20 boy push-ups.
25. Beauty Pageant Contestants: porn and drugs in moderation.
26. Try eating the gross parts of animals. Tripe!
27. Support young designers (every Saturday and Sunday).
28. Leave Manhattan more often.
29. Learn the blues scale on the guitar.


30. Wink at strangers.
31. Scientists: continue revealing delicious, delicious truths.
32. Tutor a kid.
33. Vote.
34. Throw someone a surprise party.
35. No mo’ drama
36. Sit at the outside table.
37. Take more pictures.
38. Wield a power tool with deftness and skill.


39. George Clooney: date gangly, brown-haired, green-eyed young women who live on Elizabeth Street and enjoy pinot noir, lisianthuses, and romantic weekends in Rio. And who are named Gillian.
40. Elevate the political debate.
41. Make something with your hands.
42. Choose a reasonable vice and run with it. Ban all others. (I pick salt).
43. Play a team sport.
44. Help a friend move.


45. Eat more soup.
46. Learn everything about one five-year period in 20th century rock’n’roll.
47. Call your parents more often.
48. Write a fan letter.
49. Find a song that makes you happy, no matter what.
50. Believe your good reviews.

Originally published January 2007
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