This is a bit of a random post, but I’ve been feeling very random lately. 2010 was a year of big upheaval what with me moving countries and everything. Sometimes when things change that drastically, it helps to have a few prized possessions surrounding you. Here’s what I liked best in 2010.
10. My subwoofer. Seriously. When I moved into my new place, I had surround sound installed and, well, sound in every room. (Except the bathrooms…I’m still a bit upset about that. Need to get sounds into the bathrooms.) I didn’t have to spring for this subwoofer, but I like it when my windows rattle a bit. This is the Martin Logan Dynamo 500 and I HIGHLY recommend it. The bass is cranked up as I write this and it is deep and pure. Now I just need to throw a good party. $435.60 on Amazon.
9. Tiles by Rob Ryan. Actually, anything I could get my hands on by Rob Ryan before I left London, including a large print. And a tea towel. He has a little shop on Columbia Road that’s open on Sundays. I particularly liked this tile for me. 🙂 Various prices.
8. My Black & Decker toaster oven. The toaster oven is the one appliance I missed most while living in the UK. How else do you make peanut butter toast? (I like to toast the peanut butter along with the toast.) Or make cheese on toast? Or reheat a slice of pizza? Or make English Muffin pizzas? The toaster oven does everything. It was seriously the first appliance I purchased when I moved back to the States in August. $29.99
7. Miike Snow’s eponymous album. OK, I know it came out in 2009. But I only just discovered these Swedish rockers in 2010. I love Animal, in particular. Funnily, now that I own this, I hear Miike Snow EVERYWHERE. Movies, TV shows, commercials, shopping malls. Everywhere. Animal is $7.99 on iTunes.
6. Bobby Brown Corrector. Under eye circles be gone! Seriously, this stuff makes me look like a different person. $22 and worth every penny.
5. The multiple by Nars in Orgasm. I’m not really one for makeup, but I’ve used this magical stick with many powers nearly every day since I picked it up at Space NK in London earlier this year. It’s a pinkish-coral with a bit of gold sparkle thrown in for good measure. $38.
4. My United Airlines Red Carpet Club Membership. When I moved back to the US, I signed myself up for a United Mileage Plus Visa. My annual membership fee covers entrance into the Red Carpet Club, which given my lack of any significant United Airlines status has come in extraordinarily handy during all my traveling. Free wifi and (mostly) lots of peace and quiet while I wait for my next flight. And they’re FINALLY giving us free drinks in the lounge now too. $375 with the United Mileage Plus Visa Club Card.
3. My Madelief 3-speed bicycle by Royal Dutch Gazelle. I have always wanted a dutch bike with a big basket. For my birthday this year, I woke up and said, “Today is the day.” I headed over to Bobbin Bicycles on St. John Street in London and fell instantly in love with this sturdy (but HEAVY) Dutch cycle. It’s a great conversation starter at traffic lights. Pedestrians always want to know where I got it. £400.
2. The iPad. I have seriously read more books in 2010 than in the last five years combined, all thanks to the ease of downloading books on the iPad. People say the bookstore is dead, and I don’t disagree. But the virtual bookstore is that much more compelling…so many recommendations and reviews and “People who bought this also bought this…” Ah, and I can’t tell you how awesome the iPad was during my flight to Israel via Amman, when Royal Jordanian was showing movies on the overhead screen; I watched nearly an entire season of The Good Wife instead. $829 (plus local taxes) for the 64 GB iPad with 3G, like I got. Europeans, you’ll save about $150 by buying your iPad in the US.
1. My apartment. I repatriated around 8 pm on Friday, August 6th. My real estate agent picked me up at 9:30 am on Saturday August 7th and showed me 15 properties. I made an offer on my favorite on Monday, August 9th. I’m nothing if not efficient. I moved in in late September and having been decorating ever since. 2011 is going to involve a lot of furniture. But it’s nice to have a permanent home, even if the bank owns most of it.
I have other lists in mind now. The Top 10 Things I Need in 2011. My 2011 Resolutions. My predictions for the food scene and Chicago in 2011. But right now, I’m materially minded. Tell me…what are your favorite 2010 purchases?