Sunday, January 01, 2012

The 75 Things New Yorkers Talked About in 2011

New Yorkers
IT was a year in which the words “till death do us part” took on new, life-changing meaning for thousands of gay New Yorkers and significantly less for one overexposed Kardashian.

It was a year in which smart, talented women ruled the music scene (Adele), the best-seller lists (Tina Fey) and the box office (“Bridesmaids”), and starred in the best new show on television (Claire Danes in “Homeland”).

It was a year in which America’s pastime reasserted its power over sports fans in one compelling night, even if the Yankees came out on the losing end.

It was a year in which protests toppled dictators in the Middle East and turned an otherwise obscure park in downtown Manhattan into a weekend tourist attraction for many New Yorkers and a handy photo opp for celebrities (Kanye West, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Penn Badgley) eager to show their solidarity with the “99 percent.”

It was a year in which Mormons sang, Chaz Bono danced and Anderson Cooper talked.

It was, as always, a year of memorable moments — some awe-inspiring, some laughable, some just head-shaking. (Charlie Sheen? Winning? Really?) Here are some of the most compelling topics of conversation of 2011.

1. The G.O.P. debates. The best reality TV show not on Bravo.

2. The best moment of the debates: “Oops.”

3. The second-best moment of the debates: Ron Paul’s errant eyebrow.

4. Regis Philbin calls it quits after 28 years.

5. Kim Kardashian calls it quits after 72 days.

6. Adele.

7. Kate Middleton’s wedding dress (by Sarah Burton): Grace Kelly reborn.

8. Princess Beatrice’s fascinator (by Philip Treacy). Laugh if you will, but it raised $131,000 for charity.

9. Pippa Middleton’s derrière (by nature). The backside that launched a thousand paparazzi shots.

10. The D.S.K. whiplash. He’s guilty! No, he’s innocent! Hey, maybe he’s guilty after all.

11. The Alexander McQueen show at the Met. A tortured British designer proves almost as popular as King Tut.

12. Steve Jobs. Fittingly, many people learned the news of his death on their iPhones.

13. Occupy Wall Street. Brought the phrase “the other 99 percent” to a zillion T-shirts and bestowed unexpected, late-in-life fame to a former Ed Koch aide, John Zuccotti.

14. Chaz Bono on “Dancing With the Stars”: a transgender star is born.

15. Ellen Barkin on Twitter. Never has unbridled profanity been so entertaining.

16. Sept. 28 and the most thrilling three hours in baseball history. Final scores: Philadelphia 3, Atlanta 2; Baltimore 4, Boston 3; Tampa Bay 8, New York Yankees 7.

17. “9-9-9.”

18. “Homeland.” Angela Chase grows up into a pill-popping, bipolar, line-crossing C.I.A. operative. The most compelling character on television in 2011.

19. You’re never too young to be a cougar. Selena Gomez (19) snares Justin Bieber (17).

20. Splits: Arnold and Maria, Ashton and Demi, Scarlett and Ryan, Candace Bushnell and Charles Askegard.

21. Funny women: Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Chelsea Handler, “Bridesmaids,” the showstopping moment at the Emmys when all the nominees for best actress in a comedy series came up onstage together.

22. Serena Williams has another meltdown at the United States Open.

23. Al Sharpton gets a TV show on MSNBC. We’re waiting to see if Tawana Brawley will ever be one of his guests.

24. Keith Olbermann leaves MSNBC to go to Current TV, is never heard from again.

25. Zooey Deschanel: adorable or irritating? Discuss.

26. The Uniqlo phenomenon. Its ads were inescapable (especially for anyone who rode the subway).

27. Anderson Cooper’s disappointing talk show. Sigh. He should have waited for Regis to retire.

28. A hearty farewell to bin Laden, Qadaffi and Kim Jong-il.

29. Anthony Weiner resigns after reports surface that he has tweeted pictures of his naked torso to young women across the country. Insert joke here.

30. Same-sex marriage comes to New York State.

31. Cathie Black’s short, shockingly inept stint as New York schools chancellor.

32. O.K., she was a terrible chancellor, but no one deserved that unpitying photo of her that New York magazine ran on its cover.

33. Nascar fans boo Michelle Obama and Jill Biden when they show up at a race — to promote a charity.

34. Here, there and everywhere. The ubiquitous Nicki Minaj.

35. The Murdoch phone-hacking scandal. Has there ever been a better example of schadenfreude?

36. Mia Farrow’s and Woody Allen’s son, Ronan (né Satchel) is named a Rhodes scholar.

37. The Netflix debacle.

38. Waiting for “Downton Abbey” to return.

39. The end of Elaine’s.

40. In August, Mayor Bloomberg announces a deputy mayor has resigned to pursue “private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance.” Left out of the announcement: The official had been arrested days earlier after allegations of a domestic dispute with his wife.

41. Brian Williams: the next Walter Cronkite or the next Johnny Carson?

42. Blake Lively and Leo DiCaprio

43. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.

44. Ryan Gosling’s abs.

45. The heat wave in July. The hurricane in August. The blizzard in October. Mother Nature must be awfully angry about something.

46. The terrifying Tiger Mother.

47. Elizabeth Taylor goes out with a bang. The auction of her jewelry, gowns and other belongings at Christie’s raises $156 million, much of which will go to her AIDS foundation.

48. The maddeningly catchy (or maybe just maddening) “Moves Like Jagger.”

49. Getting lost at “Sleep No More.”

50. Getting a lap dance from Hugh Jackman.

51. Planking.

52. “Twilight.” Isn’t it over yet?

53. The body count at “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

54. The guessing game at Dior.

55. Andy Rooney signs off for the last time

56. Lady Gaga, yes. Jo Calderone, no.

57. Michael Fassbender. And not just because of the frontal nudity in “Shame.”

58. Meryl Streep. And not just because she nails the accent (again) in “The Iron Lady.”

59. R.I.P., R.E.M.

60. The two Emmas (Stone and Watson) rocked the red carpet in 2011.

61. “The Book of Mormon.” Never has blasphemy been so hilarious.

62. Oprah takes a year — and three finale shows — to say goodbye.

63. The 10th anniversary of 9/11.

64. Gospel brunch at Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster Harlem.

65. “I simply do not know where the money is.”

66. The seatmates from hell. Gérard Depardieu is escorted off an Air France flight after he urinates in the middle of the cabin. Alec Baldwin gets into a fight with flight attendants over his refusal to stop playing “Words With Friends” on his iPhone.

67. The scandal at Penn State: What did JoePa know, and when did he know it?

68. Mothers of reinvention: Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington.

69. The end of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

70. The nearly two-day waits to buy a new iPad 2. (One woman spends 41 hours in line at the Apple store on Fifth Avenue, then sells her spot for $900.)

71. Tebow Time.

72. Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied.

73. A fond farewell to Erica Kane and the rest of Pine Valley.

74. The now officially annoying James Franco.

75. The revival of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play, “The Normal Heart.” An eloquent reminder that Silence = Death.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 29, 2011

In a previous version of this article, listing No. 69 referred to an event that occurred in 2010, the Marina Abramovic retrospective at MoMA. And while some models in the exhibition were nude, Ms. Abramovic herself was not.

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