100 Things, 100 Days, 100 Posts: The List!

Sheeps Meadow BayFinally! My list of summer activities is complete! For those of you that don’t already know, I’m on a quest to accomplish a myriad of different things in New York City, and in my haste, I am going to accomplish 100 of them this summer!

From Memorial Day Sunday to Labor Day Monday constitutes the New York City summer, and in those 100 days (exactly) I will accomplish 100 Things. I’m already behind the pace, because on Sunday, I went to a barbeque, which wasn’t on my list, instead of hosting a barbeque, which was on my list.

That being said, I don’t know how wonderful my list actually is. I don’t have a ton of awesome cultural experiences, or those things that only New Yorkers know about. In my defense, I have lived in New York City for 9 years, and I have done a lot of those things, and I wanted this list to be about trying new things. So, my list includes hitting up a lot of restaurants and bars I have yet to frequent, along with trying out a lot of silly things I have always wanted to do but never gave the time of day.

Anyway, I will stop rambling. You can find my list of Summer Activities at the preceding hyperlink. I don’t plan on making any “real” changes to the list, but I might change a venue or two based on further reviews, information or costs.

You can also check out my blog posts about the personal growth I hope to achieve this summer. While the activities will give me a lot to talk about, I still need keep my head right and work on getting to where I want to go in life. This blog post lays out the agenda for the summer in that regard.

Let me know if you like the list and if there are any recommendations you have for me. I would prefer recommendations on the best times to hit some of these places up, but if you have additional activities that coincide with what you see on the list, certainly let me know and I’ll add those to the bonus section. So please, please, please, post your recommendations in the comment section below!

Also, here’s the list below, as well as the link my list of things to do:

  1. Hudson Terracehttp://uzonyc.com/KW
  2. Lucky’s Burgerhttp://uzonyc.com/Gp
  3. Black Iron Burgerhttp://uzonyc.com/zR
  4. Molly’s Buffalo Burger
  5. The Intrepid Museumhttp://uzonyc.com/r7
  6. Fontana’shttp://uzonyc.com/HX, http://4sq.com/ihpZiG
  7. Miss Favelahttp://uzonyc.com/ck, http://4sq.com/pDdPAO
  8. Whiskey Tavern
  9. Trump Soho Hotel – http://4sq.com/mU4TFP
  10. Rare View on a Thursday Evening
  11. Tribeca Grand Hotel
  12. Qihttp://uzonyc.com/LV
  13. Madison Square Park BBQ Block Partyhttp://uzonyc.com/wj, http://4sq.com/mUgtvV
  14. Macondohttp://uzonyc.com/rQ
  15. Habana Outposthttp://uzonyc.com/nj, http://4sq.com/nStH3t
  16. Fort Greene Parkhttp://uzonyc.com/aU, http://4sq.com/pTZDmj
  17. International African Arts Festivalhttp://uzonyc.com/ZY, http://4sq.com/qVEekY
  18. Hudson River Cafehttp://bit.ly/nfEYsx, http://4sq.com/odauar
  19. Bistro Ten 18 – http://4sq.com/onDpae
  20. Mets Game – http://4sq.com/o9BSSu
  21. Chow down at Red Hook Ball Fields
  22. New Museum Block Party
  23. Murray’s Bagels
  24. Crumbs Bakery
  25. Terrace in the Sky
  26. Vamos All You Can Eat
  27. Porchetta
  28. The Meatball Shop

Uzo’s Personal Summer To-Do List

The official start to my New York City rampage is here. As you all know, I will attempt to have one of the best summers of my adulthood this year, and all of it will be documented in my “100 Days, 100 Things, 100 Posts” series I’m doing here on my blog.

However, I think I need to do more than just have a summer predicated around doing things in New York; I also need to have a summer predicated around doing things for me!

Not to be narcissistic, but who should I rather throw myself at; this merciless city or myself? I think the answer is clear.

Thus, I have come up with several non-summer/non-New York things to do by Labor Day that you won’t find on my list of summer things to do, which I will unleash later on today.

Anyway, here is my personal summer achievement list:

Save Money…$1,000 to be Exact
One of the things I want to get better at, and one of the things this nation has to get better at, is saving money. I’m not talking about making more money, because that’s something Americans know how to “pursue” very well. I’m talking about legitimately saving money.

I was reading a blog post about saving money on mint.com, where it was suggesting that its readers become $1,000 richer by the unofficial end to summer, Labor Day. That’s all fine and dandy, but that’s not difficult enough for most people who make above a certain level of income. The real challenge is simply spending less. So instead of going about the Mint challenge by seeing if my net worth is $1,000 higher than it is today, I’m going to see if I can essentially save $10 a day during my 100-day summer. This will be hard, especially since it looks like I’ll be piling up the extra charges in an attempt to accomplish 100 things this summer. In case you’re wondering, my 100 activities do trump this particular goal, but I will do my best to achieve them both.

Read Two Fiction Novels
I am not a big reader of novels anymore. During my younger years, I certainly was, and I ready many a book that didn’t have much to do about anything in real life. But since being jaded by the capitalistic society we now live in, I have turned to news and “how to” books as my primary sources of active reading. So while I read a lot of news and stay alert on the latest in technology, media and how to win friends and influence idiots, I can’t partake in a conversation about the latest New York Times best selling fiction novel. So I will indeed try to get some fictional reading in this summer—hopefully, some travel time will allow me to do so.

Finish Two Scripts
I have been working on two projects for way too long. One is my independent movie, which I plan to have financed by the end of this summer. The other is my television show, which I want to pitch this fall. Obviously, if I want to achieve those two milestones, I have to have a damn script. So it was written, so it shall be done…by Labor Day!

Get to 230 Pounds
To be honest with you, I don’t even know what I weight right now, but I know two things. One, whatever I weigh, it’s not healthy. And two, I certainly don’t compare well to the Old Spice deodorant guy. So, I’m making it my mission to get down to 230 pounds! I always felt good around that 220 to 225 mark. I don’t know what the hell I weigh right now (my guess is 250), so I don’t want to make the goal too unreachable by going with anything more than 20 pounds away.

Get My Jump Shot Right
Last but not least, I have to feel athletic again. Since college, I definitely have that post-athlete-traumatic-disorder syndrome. When you’re playing meaning sports for the majority of your life, you don’t get as hyped up about playing pick-up games are balling at the Y. There’s a certain rush to playing with teammates, referees, coaches and people’s whose heads you just want to rip off. Unfortunately, I will probably never be in that position again-but dammed if I don’t give it some sort of try. I’m sure I’ll never be noticed by an NBA scout, but if I can just get my jumper back this summer, I should be able to feel like an athlete again, instead of the aging veteran I feel like now as I trot up and down the basketball court during New York Urban League games.

Bonus: I’m thinking about training for a triathlon. Not an iron man or anything, but either the “sprint” or “Olympic” triathlon races. I’ll keep you updated, New York City!

Bonus #2: I thought of another thing to accomplish this summer after publishing this post. I have to be more friendly. I’m a bit of a loner and I am not always the most inviting person in the room. I need to work on that, so as a part of my 100 things to do this summer, I am trying to do them all with a group of people. So I am including a column in my summer activities spreadsheet that tracks whether I did the activity alone or not. Partaking in an activity with my girlfriend, obviously, won’t count as doing so with a group, but I will track that accordingly. My goal is do at least 50 of these activities in groups, so we’ll see how that goes!

Summer is Here!

new york city summerSay what you will about New York City weather, when summer is here, there are few places I’d rather be. Of my favorite cities, New York City trumps them all during the summer time.

Miami I love, but in the summer, it’s entirely too hot. Los Angeles is actually pretty nice in the summer too, but the city as a whole doesn’t get ramped up for the summer season because it’s warm just about all of the time. My hometown, Austin, is awesome, but that’s another city that gets really hot this time of year. And Chicago is another great summer city, but it’s just a scaled down version of New York without the escape to the many nearby summer locales.

In New York City, summer is like no other season here. Gone are the weather excuses, the busy work schedules, the sporting events and the entertainment hot season. They say New York City never sleeps, but when summer rolls around, in comparison to other New York City seasons, we’re about as dormant as can be.

There are Summer Fridays for most offices. Those that don’t have them have tons of vacation time in the summer. So much of our entertainment industry shuts down for the summer, sending regulars and freelancers on wanted/unwanted hiatuses for 2 and 3 months at a time. Wall Street slows down as everyone sells their stock on Friday afternoons and takes off to the Hamptons for the weekend. And of course there is the fact that the city pushes out street fairs, park events, beer gardens and even opens a damn island just for this time of year.

So as we sit here on the first weekend of the summer season, throw that drink back and think of what’s to come. Whether you’re lucky enough to grace the Hamptons, or social enough to have an after work event 4 our 5 nights of the week, summer in New York City has something for everyone, so make sure you get yours.

Uzo’s Summer in NYC: 100 Days, 100 Things, 100 Posts

Summer in New York CityDespite the constant rain, fluctuating temperatures, and everyday need for a jacket, believe it or not, summer is just about here. Even though summer weather isn’t consistent until the end of June, Memorial Day weekend is known as New York City’s unofficial start to the summer season. This summer, there are exactly 100 days when you count from Memorial Day Sunday to Labor Day Monday.

This summer, I plan to make those 100 days as unbelievably entertaining as possible. In fact, I plan to have about as fun a summer, day for day, as one can possibly have and still actually have some semblance of responsibility.

Thus, during these 100 days of summer I, Uzo Ometu, will do 100 things!

And when I say things, I’m talking about just about every New York City or summer activity you can think of—well, at least 100 of the ones you can think of.

So, I suppose there are two questions that come to mind when you hear a proclamation like that: what and why?

I’ll answer “what” part first. Essentially, I have compiled a list of almost 200 worthwhile things to do in New York City during the summer. I have perused countless online blogs, websites and directories. I looked at all kinds of travel guides. I’ve watched television and even listened to the radio to get the details on planned evens and summer activities in New York City. And of course, I’ve tapped some of my friends for their knowledge and experience having lived in New York City for just as long, if not longer, than me.

So what’s on this list, that I still have a week to narrow down? Well, being the fatty—I mean foodie that I am, there are plenty of restaurants on the list. However, I’m trying to combat the number of spots that restaurants and bars take up on the list by combining them into individual achievements. For example, instead of making each of the burger spots that I have failed to eat a single “to do” on my list, I made that one activity itself: Fourteen burgers in Fourteen Weeks, which is the number of weeks there are this summer.

Outside of food, there are a plethora of activities. I won’t go into too much detail now, because the list still has to be narrowed down and cultivated for diversity, but to give you an idea of some things, I intend on kayaking, boating, running extremely long distances, playing ping pong in weird places, wiling out in the Hamptons, frequenting rooftop parties, crashing parties, scavenger hunting, hitting up Broadway, watching movies on rooftops, barbequing in the park and venturing out to Governor’s Island—just to name a few.

Now to your next question, “why am I doing this?” There are a number of reasons. One, I don’t think I have ever fully embraced Summer in NYC! Sure, I’ve been here for nine years, but when you’re going to school here, learning the ways, trying to make a living for the first time in your life and using the summer as one of the best times to leave New York City, sometimes, you really fail to experience everything that summer has to offer. For example, I never even made it to Shea Stadium before they took it down, despite being here for about 7 years before they did. Another thing I haven’t done is visit the Bronx Zoo. And I still haven’t played softball in Central Park, despite having supposed to have been on several different teams.

Besides filling out my list of New York City To-Dos, I also just want to enjoy the city before I’m too old to do so. If you watch “How I Met Your Mother,” there is the one episode about things you can’t do once you’re over the age of 30. I’m quickly approaching that milestone, and I want to have done the things I would like to do before I’m too old to do them.

So here’s to my 2011 Summer in New York City! I’ve got 100 days to do 100 things. I can already tell you that I won’t do one thing every day, and that some weekends I might get five or six things done. But it is my goal to do all 100 things, and hopefully luck and finances will be on my side so I can do just that!

I will fill you all in at the start of the summer with my finalized list of 100 things, which will probably also include 10 bonus summer activities! See you in the summer!