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New York City Today

The phrase "in a New York minute" is clichéd for a reason: in this wonderful, frenetic, and overwhelming city, things really do change in a flash. Even for those of us who live here, keeping up with the latest in news, art, music, food, sports, and politics can be exhausting. It can also be riveting. In 2011, New York saw the fall of a rising New York City congressman after he revealed a little too much of himself on Twitter, and the resignation of the head of the International Monetary Fund after he assumed room service in NYC includes the maid (it doesn't). We were battered by a hurricane and rattled by an earthquake (in the same week!); saw the historic passage of a same-sex marriage law; and watched the rise and reach of the Occupy Wall Street movement. There was MoMa's PopRally, the Met's Alexander McQueen, Broadway's Book of Mormon, and the Bronx Zoo's escaped Egyptian cobra. And of course, there was the day we stopped to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

A lot can happen in a New York minute; even more in a year. Here's what's on our radar for 2013:

Politics

No doubt there will be the usual sex, lies, and videotape political antics to challenge the headline writers of the local media, but there's also no doubt that the main story in New York City politics in 2013 will be the mayoral race. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is on the last leg of his third and final (unless he has another change of mind) term as mayor, and the city will eagerly watch as would-be mayors duke it out for the title.

Economy

Maybe we're optimistic, or maybe we just can't move so fast if you bog us down with economic statistics; either way, we don't want to whine about the economy. A few quick positive indicators: the city's unemployment numbers are slightly better than national averages, there are more restaurants opening than closing, and there were 45 new hotels under construction in Manhattan in 2012—up from just eight hotels in 2011. The Manhattan real estate market is strong, especially the luxury real estate market; a penthouse apartment on Central Park West recently sold for a record $88 million, so things can't be that bad, right? Enough about the economy already!

Sports

If there's something the quintessential New Yorker can't get enough of, its sports, so if you're looking to make small talk with a local, just pick a team. And what's new with local teams? Well, the New Jersey Nets became the Brooklyn Nets for the 2012–13 season and moved to brand-new digs in Downtown Brooklyn, a move christened by a series of concerts from homegrown rap icon—and part owner of the Brooklyn Nets—Jay Z.

The NY Giants will look to defend their 2012 Super Bowl title in early 2013, but "Tebowmania"—the hoopla surrounding quarterback Tim Tebow, who joined the Jets roster in 2012­—might continue to get the lion's share of attention.

With the resignation of legendary catcher Jorge Posada, and constant speculation about the resignation of another legend, Mariano Rivera, New York Yankee fans will be watching A-Rod solidify his legend status as he bats his way up the all-time home-run list. (At press time, he was chasing Willie Mays's title of fourth all-time HR hitter.) Also on the New York sports radar in 2013 is talk about extending the New York City marathon to a two-day event, rising hopes that the New York Red Bulls will continue to do their—or rather, Thierry (Henry)—thing in American Major League Soccer, and anticipation that "Linsanity" and Jeremy Lin will resume as a main attraction for the New York Knicks in 2013.

The Arts

Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring will be a hot ticket at the Frick in late 2013 when the so-called Dutch Mona Lisa visits as part of the exhibit Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis. The Met will exhibit several hundred pieces of jewelry from New York-born jewelry designer Joel A. Rosenthal in the first retrospective of his work, while artist Jeff Koons hopes to suspend his art piece Train, an operational full-size replica of a 1943 steam locomotive over the High Line Park.

London's Royal Shakespeare Company's hit musical Matilda will arrive on Broadway in early 2013 along with a revival of the Aaron Sorkin military-courtroom drama, A Few Good Men, and new musical Big Fish. Speaking of big fish, Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman will return to Broadway in late 2013 with Houdini.

What's New?

New York City is looking to become the new Paris or Copenhagen with a public bike-sharing system that will provide on-demand bikes to locals and visitors. This may be the year that New Yorkers embrace this cheap and easy transportation option and get off their cynical butts and onto bikes.

With its final phase due to open in early 2014, the High Line Park is still the subject of much New York chatter and attention. That said, some New Yorkers are turning their attentions to the next big thing—a proposal to develop an abandoned trolley station below Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. Known as the Low Line, this underground park will require cutting-edge design and technology (like fiber optics to pump the underground with natural sunlight), which has locals anticipating the next big thing after that—green and sunny subway stations!

Escaping the city in summer is something locals think about way in advance of the season, making plans early in the year for housing shares in the Hamptons or Fire Island. But for those without the means, the summertime hot spot of late is Governors Island. The short ferry ride, free concerts, easy biking, and cool history make it popular with out-of-towners and locals alike.

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