It's almost the New Year, so it's time to settle back for some reflection, New York City.
The fact of the matter is that living in this city is way too amazing.
It's too amazing to take sometimes, and that's even further affirmed by everything that happened in the city this year.
We got ranked the second friendliest city in the country to visit, medical marijuana dispensaries became legal, and McDonald's started serving all day breakfast.
What other incredible things happened in NYC this year? Well, you'll have to read on to find out, but let's just say our love for this city has been more than reaffirmed.
1. We're sweethearts
sweetpotato71 #FreehugsNYC #onlyinny #free
Travelzoo polled their members this summer to see which United States cities were the friendliest travel destinations.
Guess where NYC ranked in?
Out of every city in the United States, and there are a lot of cities here, we came in at second.
Can you believe that? The only city friendlier than us, according to this survey, is Honolulu. We imagine it'd be pretty hard not to be in a good mood in Hawaii. So, keep giving everyone directions on the subway, people. It's clearly working.
2. The oldest person in the world lives in Brooklyn
nikkioh.co "Brooklyn Woman Officially Named World’s Oldest Person. A Brooklyn woman has a lot to celebrate as she turns 116 years old on Monday. #SusannahMushattJones was just named the oldest living person on Friday. The Guinness World Records presented Jones with a plaque noting her longevity. Jones was the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers and the third of 11 children, all of whom she has outlived. She moved to New York City in the 20’s and has more than 100 nieces and nephews. Judge said Jones credits her longevity to not drinking, smoking or partying. But she does indulge in her favorite foods. Jones keeps a steady diet of bacon, eggs and grits for breakfast. A sign in her kitchen reads: “Bacon makes everything better.” Via #ClutchMagazine
That's right. The oldest person in the entire world lives in our incredible city.
Her name is Susannah Mushatt Jones, and she turned 116 on July 6th. Her niece, Lois Judge, said she still eats up to four strips of bacon and eggs every morning.
Jones' senior center in East New York throws her parties every year, and this past year's took place on July 7th.
We're so good at so many things in this city. The fact that we're home to the oldest person in the world really doesn't surprise us that much.
3. Rats took pizza into their own hands
behavereckless #rat #pizza #pizzarat #ninjaturtles #ninja #turtles #lol #lmao #yep #truestory #recklessbehavior #recklessbehaviortv
You heard about pizza rat, right?
To us, it was one of the most delightful things that happened in the city this year. There were pizza rat costumes, pizza rat tattoos, and a general flurry of pizza rat obsessions.
We definitely would have been disgusted if we weren't so amazed. Since there are so many rats in this city, we knew it'd only be a matter of time before they caught on to our pizza obsession, right?
4. Showtime performers came above ground
Showtime has long been a heated point of dispute in NYC. Plenty of people get incalculably frustrated with the dancing, athletic subway performers, while others are delighted.
Then, others still are in between. We don't want to get kicked in the face, but we can't deny that these guys are talented. We definitely didn't want them to be arrested.
Just this year, a solution was innovated. Mayor de Blasio's administration piloted a program to urge underground performers to bring their acts above ground. They set up outdoor spaces designated for performances, where showtime performers could do their thing for tips, legally.
“It’s very refreshing for us and our officers to have another alternative when we’re out there. What this program has given us is something in between warning and admonish, and enforcement,” said Joseph Fox, the chief of the Police Department’s Transit Bureau.
Chief Fox said since the initiative began, arrests of dancers are down. There were only 185 in late August, which is way fewer than the 264 arrests that occurred August 2014.,
5. Marijuana dispensaries got legalized
kush_cannnaisseur On that work grind 😍👌 #findyourchalice #chalicefarms #oregongrown #primeflower #lovemyjob #straightfire #marijuanamovement #endofcannabisprohibition #recreationalmarijuana #stonernation #marijuanadispensary
In August, five dispensaries were authorized to sell that leafy green goodness. They were all required to do business within six months, which means the stuff will be for sale, legally, in this city very soon.
While weed is still only legal medically, the laws became much relaxed regarding this particular habit in the past year.
In fact, now in NYC, as long as you don't have an outstanding warrant for arrest, you won't get a misdemeanor charge as long as you have less than 25 grams. You'll either get a fine or a court summons.
As a result, there were 50% fewer marijuana arrests between October 2014 and June 2015 than there were between October 2013 and June 2014. Which is a huge win.
6. We're about to get the world's first underground garden
amandahesser Today, @merrillstubbs and I checked out the Lowline Lab on Essex Street -- the very cool prototype for the first underground park. Hoping to do an event here soon! Thanks @joliehuntpotter @lowlinenyc
So we can all head downtown and check out the complicated system of lights and lasers that the brilliant Lowline scientists have used to appropriate sunlight to literally shine underground.
Once the park is open, it'll be the first underground garden in the world. Is it a real shock that we're the first ones to innovate such a brilliant idea? We're not too shocked by it, but we are pleasantly tickled by it.
At the Lowline Lab now, they're growing Spanish moss, mint, pineapple, thyme, and strawberries, plus plenty of other plants. Get down there and check it out if you haven't already.
7. Our parks are improving
governorsisland 3.5 golden hour #slides on #governorsisland now
In addition to the 1,700 amazing public parks we've already got, that are already thriving and contributing hugely to our quality of life in this city, everything's about to get even better.
Earlier in November, the Parks Department launched a $40 million redesign program for NYC's parks.
It'll involve the improvement of plenty of parks through the Parks Without Borders program. They specialize on redesigning green spaces to better blend in with neighborhoods. So they'll focus on parks with gated entrances, a lack of trees, and fences tall enough to block eye level views.
They already targeted more than 30 parks around the city. If there's a park you think needs improvement, you can nominate it for the program here.
Plus, also, there are giant hills and slides coming to Governors Island next year, and they are going to drastically improve the views of the skyline. Just another solid perk.
8. The food scene is on fire
motzburger A #chickenshack 'snack' at @shakeshack with my boy @mrmacmotz #skippedlunch, by accident.
2015 brought us so many thrilling innovations in the fast food world. 2015 is the year we got the chicken shack at Brooklyn's Shake Shacks, our midtown Chick fil A, and the friend chicken sandwich at Fuku.
Oh, also, remember that time there was a pizza topped with little mini slices of pizza in Brooklyn? Yeah, that happened. There was also that pizza that had the Pope's face on it. That was similarly glorious.
Plus, we got new locations of Smorgasburg in South Street Seaport, Coney Island, and Queens.
So, it's putting it mildly when we say it was a good year for food in NYC.[Feature Image Courtesy Reserve New York City]