Urban Resolutions

New Yorkers revisit last year's promises and share hopes for 2006

  City dwellers resolve to do all kinds of crazed shiz this year: from brunching with Bloomberg and conquering France to accepting their bodies (or committing suicide) and not blinking for a year. Voice writers Aina Hunter, Corina Zappia, Keisha Franklin, Nina Lalli, and Nick Sylvester reveal urban resolutions for 2006.

Naked Cowboy

Naked Cowboy
illustration: Ryan Sanchez
Naked Cowboy

Times Square might have devolved into a 24-hour ESPN Zone, but we like to think of Naked Cowboy as a harking back to weirder, freer times. Tourists from Nebraska can receive no more appropriate welcome to New York than from a man who greets them in tighty whities and a ten-gallon hat.

Your resolutions for 2005: To be honest, I don't think I've had a resolution ever. I mean, when I was in grade school I remember we'd give up TV or something for Lent, but outside of that, New Year's resolutions to me are literally just a restrengthening of what I already do. It's not about giving up anything. To me, the reason people have trouble with resolutions is that they resolve to do something that doesn't make sense. In other words, if you do it, it's what you do and it's fine. To resolve to stop something or resist it only makes it that much more prevalent in your life.

Resolutions for 2006: Naked Cowboy, everything I am, is just a permission slip to do whatever the hell I want. And in that liberty, only good actions can come out of it.

Charles Barron

His first term in the New York City Council may always be remembered as his most controversial. Barron's zippy one-liners and "power to the people" sermons have made a lot of people see red. For 2006, this fiery councilman says looking inward is high on the list.

Your resolutions for 2005: I resolved to read more in the mornings when I first get up. I read leadership books—Cornel West, Manning Marable, an introduction to black studies. I had a lot of political goals. In the end I resolved to help rebuild the infrastructure in my neighborhood.

Did you follow them? The result is Linden Park (East New York). We have synthetic turf, a basketball court, bleachers, a track—everyone loves it. Maybe we'll sponsor a community Olympics.

Resolutions for 2006: I always feel like white men have too much power in New York. I feel the need to diversify the power structure. I have to prepare for 2009 . . . On a personal level I'm going to get my diet together, stay away from fried food, and eat more fruit and fish. Now that my neighborhood has a track I can start walking in the mornings.

Octavia Arena

Professional dominatrix Mistress Octavia's interests include, but are not limited to, role-play CBT (cock-and-ball torture), fantasy wrestling, kicking, trampling, caning, and shopping. She has over 10 years' experience as a professional dominatrix, so we believe her when she warns that her services can be addictive.

Your resolutions for 2005: Just one— to start going to the gym after a decade of avoidance.

Did you follow them? Shockingly, yes, three to five times a week.

What were the results? Rock-solid Amazonian legs and an increase in foot-and-leg- worship sessions.

Resolutions for 2006: To take a one-week vacation to a new location every two months.

Sam Talbot
illustration: By Ryan Sanchez
Gretchen Neidert

The best thing about working at The Village Voice may be its proximity to the Mudtruck, where Gretchen knows how we like our coffee and sends us off with a "See ya later, sister"—making the day start off right.

Your resolutions for 2005: I resolved to keep my cuticles trimmed, break someone's heart, quit smoking crack, secede from the Union, and keep my mouth shut.

Did you follow them? Actually, I did all right, except the crack.

Results? I'm a Gotham Roller Girl now, on probation until March. I vow to shine the Bronx Skate Key ("till it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building") with blood, sweat, and tears.

Resolutions for 2006: This year my heart beats for glory. No prisoners.

Wendy Williams

As hip-hop's favorite shock jock diva and gossip guru, Williams brings the heat to the city's airwaves every afternoon on WBLS, 107.5 FM. She didn't used to believe in New Year's resolutions ("they just seemed like something you're forced to do out of peer pressure or something").

Resolutions for 2005: I've had the same resolution for five years: Don't bite off more than I can chew.

Did you follow them? I broke very few promises.

Results? It's very liberating.

Resolutions for 2006: Same as 2005.

Zach Kanin

A former president of The Harvard Lampoon, Kanin now "brings it on" as the assistant cartoon editor at The New Yorker. If you say the right thing or make him the right sandwich (turkey), he might just pick your entry for the magazine's cartoon caption contest.

Your resolutions for 2005: To gain 150 pounds of muscle, drink more water, and do one good deed a day.

Did you follow them? To the letter.

Results? I gained 110 pounds of muscle and 40 pounds of ligaments. I don't know if I drank more water, but I must have drunk enough to sustain me. I bought a turtle. His name is Mike Belmont.

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