The Best of 2010: Back 2 Life, Back 2 Reality

25 December, 2010

What a year it’s been.

Last year, around this time, I was enroute to Antarctica and preparing for my final semester of grad school.  Since then, I’ve visited all seven continents, started a new job, and ate balut. I’m personally most proud of that last one the most…

But I also moved to a new city, one with both heartbreak and promise, opportunity and frustration, progress and failure.  So, here’s to an all the more exciting 2011, but before that, let’s give a hand to this past year by celebrating The Detroitists’ Best of 2010:

Best New Read: I scoured a few books during my travels this summer, but one that stood out was Buttertea at Sunrise by Britta Das.  Reading it prior to my journey to the Land of the Thunder Dragon brought a whole new perspective on what I was witnessing.

Best Song of The Year: In a stunning coup, Shakira’s now made the list two years in a row, however — sorry, babe: I’ve moved on to another rockstar/celebrity crush (to be revealed later), but your song “Waka Waka” carried me through the streets of Cape Town more times than I could count.

Best Rockstar/Celebrity Crush: I was introduced to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on a flight home from Sydney.  And since day one, Sweet Dee, aka Kaitlyn Olson, has won over my heart.  Yes, she’s married — and to her co-star that plays Mac on the series — but she can berate me any time she feels so inclined.

Best Moment: I was in Cape Town, at some random bar, watching the USA-Algeria match with a handful of fellow Americans.  And then, Donvan scored — and a worldwide fan base went into a frenzy.  I almost lost all of my possessions in the madness afterwards, but I didn’t stop smiling until the heartbreaking loss to Ghana days later.

Best Road Trip: Renting an RV — and almost getting it stuck — in the Bronx and driving it to the Penn State game.

Best New Food Find: My brunch spot of choice is now Mudgie’s in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.  It’ll soon be moving to Midtown, and I’ll likely be following suit soon (not because of Mudgie’s, though. 🙂 )

Best New Drink Find: Does the sweet nectar of Balut count? (ew.)  Otherwise I’d give a hat tip to Bell’s Hopslam.

Best New Bar Find: Atmosphere is critical in any watering hole, and while doing one thing right is always a positive in my book, doing something pure-batguano crazy deserved a super bonus!  So, if you’ve ever been looking for a place where you can get a shot of absinthe….served by midgets! — The Hobbit House in Manila is exactly where you need to be.

Best Surprise: Hello, Kobe Bryant.

Best Random Experience: I tried Couchsurfing for the first time this year, and was greeted by the utmost in friendly hospitality by my host family.  And I didn’t get assaulted or killed or nothin’!