New Year’s Day 2022: How We Spent It


We regulate. We make last-minute plans. We transfer on.

My husband Tony and I spent New Year’s Day in New Orleans; work apart, we hadn’t traveled past New York in almost two years, and the thought of discovering a special metropolis — one the place it was heat sufficient to eat and drink exterior; one which appeared prefer it was taking vaccination and testing and mask-wearing significantly — sounded each interesting and unsettling, a becoming coda for this provisional yr.

We do one thing simply to have carried out it.

Throughout the week, we frolicked with an outdated buddy, Parker, who moved again residence to Louisiana 10 years in the past. We hadn’t fairly misplaced contact, however we additionally weren’t actually in contact.

One evening, as my favourite music from “Dreamgirls” performed on a gay-bar tv, we met a gaggle of men who had been additionally visiting from Brooklyn. They all dwell a couple of blocks from us, and we handed hours roaming round city, an adopted native appearing as a tour information of kinds. Who is aware of if I’ll see them again within the metropolis we share, however I hope so. Who is aware of if I’ll keep in common contact with Parker as soon as I’m again residence, however I hope so, too. That’s my decision this yr: to acknowledge that friendships — new ones, outdated ones — may be one fixed amid the chaos, and to nurture and deepen them even when it feels not possible.

In New Orleans and elsewhere within the American South, there’s a practice of consuming black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day. It’s meant to encourage luck and cash within the coming yr, Parker’s buddy Marc defined. I didn’t find yourself consuming any — I’m not one for ritual. But possibly I’ll come again subsequent yr. Until then, I assume I’ll simply attempt to keep in contact. — Kurt Soller

When the brand new yr lastly rolled round this week I might, I knew, greet it as I had most days of final yr and the one earlier than: by powering up my cellphone and tumbling into Instagram. Infested with advertisements, ruled by sinister algorithms and vulnerable to micromanaged censorship, the social media app is something however a impartial pressure. And but I’m wondering how else I might have made it by means of the temporal slog of an period when neologisms like Blursday entered the language with good purpose.