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

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.


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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.

Resolutions for 2006: To excel at sports.


Juelz Santana

This terse Harlem rapper waged what seemed at times like a one-man war to keep New York on hip-hop's map: a wildly successful three-part mixtape series called Back Like Cooked Crack, countless guest appearances, and the release of his second solo LP, What the Game's Been Missing! Santana is the vice president of Diplomat Records.

Your resolutions for 2005: Work hard.

Did you follow them?Yep!

Results? My album What the Game's Been Missing! was certified gold in three weeks.

Resolutions for 2006: Take my album to the next level and go platinum.


Andy Samberg

The "'Chronicles of Narnia' Rap" sketch he starred in has some people thinking Samberg will save not only Saturday Night Live but music itself.

Your resolutions for 2005: My first resolution was to jump the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle while ripping a solo on an electric guitar and having sex with stuff. My second resolution was to try to stop rocking so hard.

Did you follow them? I followed the first one, but that kinda made the second one impossible. I mean, ripping a solo while doing it with things and jumping the Grand C? That's pretty much rocking it as hard as it can be rocked. In retrospect it was unrealistic to hope to do both. Poor planning.

Results? I'm a total mess about it. It's raised all kinds of issues about what kind of person I want to be and whether or not it's going to be possible for me to stop rocking the shiz out of everything at some point. I hope for both my and the world's sake that I can, but at the same time I also kinda don't, because someone needs to be out there rockin' shiz. If I'm so capable it almost seems like it's my duty at a certain point to make sure the shiz is getting rocked super-hard.

Resolutions for 2006: Drink less.


Emmanuel Lewis

After nearly three days of standing on the picket line during the transit strike, this veteran train conductor is glad to be back at work. But Lewis is still angry about the way the transit workers' cause was characterized by mainstream media, and that feeling follows him into 2006.

Your resolutions for 2005: To get all my finances in order.

Did you follow them? I was successful.

Results? I have some money in the bank in case of emergencies. I got disability insurance and building insurance for my co-op in Brooklyn.

Resolutions for 2006: I resolve to expose the New York Post by writing letters to the editor, because the Post was very slanted in how it talked about transit workers. It is often biased against poor people, black people. Everything I stand for, the Postis against.


Sean Boyland

This highly respected East Village blogger first attracted media attention when he proved his arms could revolve an inhuman 360 degrees, and then he blogged about the experience.

Your resolutions for 2005: I was feeling pretty content last year at this time, so I decided to just generally improve myself.

Did you follow them? I learned how to cook steak, and I watched five French movies.

Results? I learned how to cook steak.

Resolutions for 2006: Become physically strong.


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Isaac Mizrahi
illustration: By Ryan Sanchez
Lady Bunny

The glamorous Bunny is best known as the founder, hostess, and organizer of Wigstock. She also tours the world as a singer and comedienne, and has made cameo appearances on Sex and the City, in Party Girl, and elsewhere.

Your resolutions for 2005: To lose weight.

Did you follow them? Actually, I ate more and exercised less.

Results? I got fatter.

Resolutions for 2006: Either develop a healthier image of my ampler figure or commit suicide.


Scott Mou

Guiding the tastes of New York's music obsessives, Mou is a store manager at Other Music. He also performs electronic music with Animal Collective's Panda Bear under the name Jane.

Your resolutions for 2005: To travel more— go to Europe at least once to play music.

Did you follow them? It happened, so I'm glad.

Results? I got to go to Portugal to do two shows. We did two Jane shows, one at ZDB and one at this club called Lux. It was great. We did some recordings while we were there too. They haven't come out yet, but some of what we did in Lisbon I might put into the Rvng mix that's coming out.

Resolutions for 2006: One of them is to do more traveling with Jane and with [my solo project] Queens—I'm going down to Texas for that. I'm also recording some stuff with Koen. No, not the band Keane; Koen [Holtkamp] from Mountains.


Michael Showalter

We know him from Comedy Central's Stella and MTV's The State. He's a comedian, producer, and actor who starred in his directorial debut last year—the romantic comedy The Baxter.

Your resolutions for 2005: No more Texas hold 'em. No more chocolate chip cookies. To have spirituality.

Did you follow them? Sort of; I've never been a very good New Year's resolution person. I'm more of a Fourth of July resolutions person. I tend to make my resolutions in the summer. It only takes me seven months to get sick of my bad habits.

Results? Mixed. I've replaced playing Texas hold 'em with watching Texas hold 'em on TV. (Except when I'm in a really good mood or want to celebrate something and I play marathon sessions of Texas hold 'em and lose tons of dough.) I've totally failed on the chocolate-chip-cookie front. I think I'm making headway on the spiritual part, which is to say that I used to have no faith, now I have some.

Resolutions for 2006? To be a better person. To meditate. To learn how to be a scratching DJ. To have a daily routine. To train to be a boxer.


Sarah

She's been a sex educator with Babeland (née Toys in Babeland) for a year and a half. She's actively teaching their cunnilingus and fellatio workshops.

Your resolutions for 2005: To try a new sex toy every month. To stretch every day. To take a walk in my neighborhood every week. To travel someplace new by myself.

Did you follow them? I definitely tried a new sex toy every month. In fact, I tried new toys as well as watched a lot of porn and even read some Babeland erotica. If you count the stretching I did right before I got out of bed in the morning, then yes, I guess I stretched every day. But not exactly what I had planned. I did take a walk in my neighborhood once a week, on average. I met a lot of nice neighbors (as well as a few oddballs) . . . who knew? I had a trip scheduled, but it had to be postponed until 2006. It's still in my sight line.

Results? I feel even better qualified to talk with Babeland customers about the various sex toys we sell, since I now have personal experience with so many of them. I feel safer in my neighborhood, and more committed to it. I really have to get with the stretching regimen.

Resolutions for 2006: To travel someplace new by myself (do holdovers count?). To teach a Babeland cunnilingus and fellatio workshop at the White House (a gal can dream). To visit the new Babeland L.A. store. To volunteer at the local animal shelter.


Star

Known as a contentious voice in hip-hop culture, Star is a former Source magazine columnist and current host of Power 105.1's Star & Buc Wild Show.

Your resolutions for 2005: I don't really make resolutions each year, because I'm pretty consistent on my grind every year. I don't even celebrate birthdays—I celebrate life itself. I don't just wait for one day to acknowledge my existence.

Results? It was a very productive year. I wouldn't say that I'd go back and do anything differently. I'm pretty satisfied with what I do.

Resolutions for 2006: I plan to stay on my grind with slightly more emphasis on raping what's left of the culture of hip-hop and the very profitable genre of rap music. Why? Because it's rapeable. After watching complete lunatics like P. Diddy run amok with the silly "Vote or Die" campaign and reap the benefits and pull the wool over the eyes of thousands of sheep, I want to rape the rest of it strictly for self-profit. And thankfully Eminem has left something for me to rape.


Sam Talbot, the Red Chef

Commonly referred to as the "Kimchi Dog Guy," Talbot has become a staple on the southeast corner of Stanton and Ludlow streets, where he whips up Korean-influenced street food behind his snazzy pushcart Friday and Saturday nights.

Your resolutions for 2005: I vowed to have some sort of revelation that would allow me to understand how Bush could still be my president.

Did you follow them? You can't make yourself have a revelation, but I tried very hard.

Results? I was extremely boring.

Resolutions for 2006: I'd like to be bored instead of boring. Being bored gets a bad rap, but I kinda like it, feeling all itchy and ready for trouble. Boredom makes you ready to pick up on anything that could be exciting or funny or stupid. It teaches you to create your own fun and gets you to spend time with people you thought you were too busy, too important, or too fucking cool to hang with before. I'm ready for new stuff in 2006—I'm ready to get bored, get over myself, and kick some ass.


Isaac Mizrahi

Having studied under venerable designers like Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein, Mizrahi has done everything from designing clothes to writing comic books. He currently hosts the Isaac show on the Style Network.

Your resolutions in 2005: To lose 10 pounds.

Did you follow them?I dieted with much rigor.

Results? I lost the 10 pounds, but I gained them back.

Resolutions for 2006: To accept myself 10 pounds fatter. I know that won't happen, so I'll probably lose 10 pounds and gain them back again.


James Murphy

A surprise to no one but himself, Murphy's debut LP as LCD Soundsystem earned him two Grammy nominations last year, one for Best Electronic/Dance Album, the other for Best Dance Recording with his smart-alecky single "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House." He is the co-founder of DFA Records and possibly the only person who still gets away with playing cowbell.

Your resolutions for 2005: Eat nothing at all for an entire year and see how dizzy I get.

Did you follow them? I tried.

Results?I became a really cheap date, got wasted after two drinks, vomited, and then went and had a "slice." I ruined the entire thing almost instantly.

Resolutions for 2006: Do not blink for the entire year and see if I make enough tears to keep my eyes from drying out.


Marc Ecko

This onetime graffiti artist is the CEO of Marc Ecko Enterprises, which includes the G-Unit Clothing Company, Zoo York, Avirex sportswear, and Complex magazine.

Your resolutions for 2005: (1) To sue the city over a block party permit. (2) To launch my first video game, Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, by September. (3) To launch my first video game, Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, by November. (4) To have a rhino named after me. (5) To spend more quality time with my family. (6) To diet. (7) To buy a castle. (8) To conquer a small village.

Results? (1) As crazy as it seemed when I made it, yes. And I won, thank you very much. (2) Unfortunately, no, dropped the ball on that one. (3) The game still needed polish and officially hits the streets in February. (4) Yes, and he turns one this month. (5) It's never enough. (6) Yes, a total of 45 pounds and counting. (7) Honestly, it's more of a stone palace than a castle, but we'll count it. (8) Not even close. What the hell was I thinking?

Resolutions for 2006: To develop at least two more video game titles. To play basketball with the Nets, in my office. To expand my magazine business. To tag my name in the bathroom of the Bilbao, Spain, Guggenheim. To conquer France, or at least French cuisine. To stand on my hands for at least 60 seconds. To have brunch with Mayor Bloomberg. To be a judge on Iron Chef.


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Wendy Williams
illustration: By Ryan Sanchez
Jimmy Webb

You may not know the name, but you'll know the person. Take one step inside Trash & Vaudeville and buyer Jimmy Webb is "oh wait, that guy": tight tapered jeans, sleeveless T-shirt, peroxide-blond hair. The man outfits everyone from teenagers in on day trips from New Jersey to the great one, the Iggy, himself.

Your resolutions for 2005: To be a better person, definitely, and I totally think I followed that. To never forget September 11, which I think made me a better person. To live my rock 'n' roll heart to the max and just spread tons of rock 'n' roll Iggy Pop love, which I totallyknow I did. Oh, and to work and respect my bosses and job more than ever. And I know I did, deep down inside.

Resolutions for 2006: Don't waste my breath on things that I shouldn't waste my breath on. It's kind of like the Iggy Pop thing. He used to just scream, "Fuck you dog dog," and now he goes, "Fuck you, bless you, dog dog" at every show. I want to stay on the "bless you" side when someone is my enemy more.


Eugenia Kim

Gotham's mad hatter runs a successful millinery-haberdashery business that claims Cameron Diaz, Madonna, Britney Spears, and J.Lo as clients. The whimsical chapeaus she designs in her East Village studio sell for $200 to $400 apiece.

Your resolutions for 2005: To write a book and design a men's hat collection.

Did you follow them? I wrote the book in November after Paris fashion week. I designed the men's collection in August.

Results? The book is being published by Random House and will be in stores this December. The men's collection is being sold at Barneys New York and Opening Ceremony, and is being worn by Usher and Pharrell Williams.

Resolutions for 2006: To have my book on Oprah. To have my hat on Pete Doherty.


Raqiyah Mays

It's the two-year anniversary of The Ave, a "politically conscious" alternative in what executive editor and Hot 97 DJ Mays calls the often backward and misogynistic world of hip-hop publishing. In terms of revenues and ad space they're barely breaking even, but if by some miracle quality reporting brings cash in 2006, you won't have to search them out at book and music stores—they'll be at every train stop next to King and The Source.

Your resolutions for 2005: I can't remember.

Did you follow them? I couldn't have.

Resolutions for 2006:I want to organize my life. Whether it be the hundreds of CDs with missing cases that sit lopsided against my living room walls, or the paper files where old transcripts and outdated press releases occupy the same space as water-stained receipts and Con Edison bills.


Patricia Field

Though best known for her role dressing Sarah Jessica Parker and the rest of the Sex and the City cast, Emmy Award– winning designer and nightlife fixture Patricia Field has been clothing New York City clubgoers since she opened her first boutique in 1966.

Resolutions: I don't make resolutions.

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