2016 will be a good time to be a New Yorker

We can argue about the direction that the city is going and what our fortunes are as a city. That argument has been raging since the 1600s and won’t ever end. But whatever you think about the direction that New York is going, there are things to look forward to in this New Year.

Here are some of them:

Giant dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. The Natural History Museum is one of the best places in New York to visit. The Hall of Marine Life alone is a full-bore Yankee assault on the senses guaranteed to tattoo good memories into your brain. Like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is a place you will be at peace wandering for hours. You will discover great things and expand your mind. But if you can handle the crush of tourists that will be at the new dinosaur exhibit, it’s coming this month. At the center of the new permanent dinosaur exhibit is a 122-foot cast of a Titanosaur, a giant herbivore that would have weighed up to 22 tons when it was alive.

The 100th Anniversary of the Irish Easter Uprising. As a long-time epicenter of support for Irish independence and Irish republicanism, New York will no doubt see commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising, when a few dedicated Irishmen and Irishwomen pledged their lives and honor on the cause of an independent Irish nation. Many of them paid with their lives. A century later, the dream of a united Irish republic is still unrealized, though the violence in the North of Ireland has for all purposes ended. But just because the Troubles are over doesn’t mean there is real peace or a viable political solution. The Irish have invested in peace for nearly two decades now and Ireland is no closer to unity than it was in 1969. What now? Look to places like Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook, Brooklyn to host some interesting events.

Bombastic U.S. political theater. If you can forget that the presidential race might be important to the future of our country and the world at large, then this year’s presidential contest makes for stunning political theater. As of now the campaigns of the two presidential candidates leading in the polls, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, are based in New York, and if they each get the nomination of their respective parties, the Big Apple will be a political circus like never before. I would love to see both of them lose their nominations, but at it looks to me like Hilary Clinton will have a lock on the nomination (don’t take my word for it though, I thought she was going to get the nomination in 2008 and lose to McCain). Although we won’t see much actual campaigning in New York City—our state is usually a safe bet for Democrats—that one or both campaigns may be based in the five boroughs makes our city a player in the national race.

An extra day. This year is a leap year, which means February will have 29 days instead of 28 days. That gives you another day to enjoy New York and make the most of your life. Don’t waste it.

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