Year in Review: 2015

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Continuing a 15-year tradition (though one that’s gotten briefer with age and fatherhood), here’s a roundup of some of my favorite things experienced during the past 12 months: 

Books

  1. My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante

  2. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Elena Ferrante

  3. The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante

  4. The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante

  5. Lila, Marilyn Robinson

  6. My Struggle: Book 2, Karl Ove Knausgård

  7. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

  8. H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

  9. The Balloonists, Eula Biss

  10. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande

  11. Becoming Steve Jobs, Brent Schlender

  12. Stress Tests, Timothy F. Geithner

  13. Van Gogh: A Power Seething, Julian Bell

  14. Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo, Nicholas Carlson

  15. Bark, Lorrie Moore

  16. Girl In a Band, Kim Gordon

So-so:  Grace: A Memoir; I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel

Movies

  1. Ida

  2. Ex Machina

  3. While We’re Young

  4. Birdman

  5. Boyhood

  6. Mr. Turner

  7. Carol

  8. Interstellar

  9. Magic in the Moonlight

So-so: Spectre; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

TV

  1. Borgen: Season 3

  2. Mad Men: Final Season

  3. An Honorable Woman

  4. Black Mirror: Season 1

  5. Master of None: Season 1

  6. Veep: All Seasons

  7. The Good Wife: Seasons 1-6

  8. Sherlock

Podcasts

  1. Design Matters with Debbie Millman

  2. Slate Culture Gabfest

  3. The Longform Podcast

  4. The Monocle Weekly

  5. Serial

  6. The Entrepreneurs (Monocle)

  7. The Political Scene

  8. Section D (Monocle)

  9. The Foreign Desk (Monocle)

  10. Mom and Dad Are Fighting

  11. The Talk Show

  12. Connected

  13. ATP

  14. The New Yorker Radio Hour

Music
I used to make long lists of specific albums purchased and enjoyed, but since I’ve gone to paid streaming (and, maybe, since I’ve become a committed podcast listener), it’s harder for me to point to specific recordings at a year’s end. This is especially the case since Rdio shut down, and I’m now starting fresh with Spotify — my digital records are kind of a mess. While I listen to hours of classical and ambient/lush music through the headphones during work, a few specific artists I spent more time with in 2015 include Angel Olsen, Youth Lagoon, Sun Kil Moon, Sharon Van Etten, My Bubba, Jennifer O’Connor, Girlpool, Atlas Sound, Earl Sweatshirt, J Cole, Common, Pusha T, A$AP Rocky, Villagers, Natalie Prass, and Perfume Genius.

NYC + D.C.
I had the good fortune of accompanying my wife on a work trip she had to NYC, and it was incredibly culture-rich. Highlights included the new Whitney, MoMA (Yoko Ono and Bjork special exhibitions), The Drawing Center, David Zwirner Gallery (Serra show), Neue Galerie (sensational collection), the Cooper Hewitt, and “Drifting in Daylight” in Central Park (where I shot this short phone video). We also enjoyed a long weekend in D.C. with family, with pleasant dips into the National Gallery (terrific Caillebotte show) and The Phillips Collection (first time, great time).

Work
I’m fortunate to have a great job at Forest Park Forever, and 2015 saw a few especially fun projects ship. This includes the introduction of our new brand platform, our launch of Forestparkmap.org and the formal introduction of Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future, with a new website that features a beautiful campaign video we made with the team at Once Films.

Family
As referenced appropriately at top, so much of this year — and so much of every day — has been about Tamara and I raising our son. I’d been told that right around 2 is a fun age, and it’s true. This year had a ton of special moments, including — just to pick one, which we happened to catch on film — Leo’s changing expression during his first ride on a carousel at the Saint Louis Zoo. 

Stephen Schenkenberg @schenkenberg