What was your defining moment of 2012?

The Villager took to the streets on the afternoon of Mon., Dec. 31, to ask locals and visitors alike about their most memorable moment of last year, and their resolution for the new year. Some responses highlighted key events in the city or the nation, and others were more personal, reminding us of the humanity and society we all share.   —  Interviews and photos by Sam Spokony


Friends (left to right) Doe, 21; Kay, 22; Jay, 21

Live: Baruch Houses (Lower East Side)

Spotted: Outside Baruch Houses, on Pitt St. near Delancey St.

Defining moment of 2012: After being incarcerated, Kay regained his freedom this year.

New Year’s resolution: To get jobs, and to change our lifestyles. We want to move forward, not backward.


Carlos Jaimez, 10 (with mother, Paula Jaimez, 39)

Live: East Village

Spotted: Avenue C, between Fifth and Sixth Sts.

Defining moment of 2012: It’s hard for us to pay our rent, so my dad had to work harder, during the day and at night, so we could afford it.

New Year’s resolution: To help my mom take care of my brother [2 years old] and my sister [6 months old].


Moshena Ross, 16  (with sister Monae Ross, 6)

Live: The Bronx

Spotted: Pitt and Stanton Sts.

Defining moment of 2012: Our aunt lives in Baruch Houses, and during Hurricane Sandy we were here to help her through the blackout and loss of water.

New Year’s resolution: To keep my extended family in touch with each other. Last year we didn’t see each other or talk very much.


Raul Zamudio, 53

Works: Curator, art critic, professor

Lives: West Village

Spotted: Washington Square Park

Defining moment of 2012: I was able to overcome what could have been a fatal disease, and it helped me realize that my family is more important than my profession.

New Year’s resolution: Ironically, I plan to work even more diligently on my projects this year, because I was often distracted from them last year.


Doris Riegelnegg, 27

Works: Teacher

Lives: Austria

Spotted: Tompkins Square Park

Defining moment of 2012: The birth of my cousin’s daughter, who’s my godchild. My cousin and I have a very special relationship, and as kids we promised that we be the godparents of each other’s children.

New Year’s resolution: To learn salsa dancing, and to visit Sweden.


Lyssette Horne, 28

Works: Homeless rights activist/mentor

Lives: Harlem

Spotted: Astor Place

Defining moment of 2012: When Mitt Romney said he would cut funding to PBS, and the public outcry in response to that.

New Year’s resolution: To continue working in a field that gives back to the communities of which I’m a part.


Joe Pintauti, 28

Works: For a nonprofit

Lives: Tucson, Arizona

Spotted: Washington Square Park

Defining moment of 2012: When I was working at Whole Foods, and I realized that I just wasn’t happy with my life.

New Year’s resolution: I’m going to Mexico City soon, and I want to follow that by seeing South America.


Anne Lewison, “over 45”

Works: Architect

Lives: Lower East Side

Spotted: Essex and Delancey Sts.

Defining moment of 2012: The experience of Hurricane Sandy. It was remarkable to watch the neighborhood make such a huge adjustment, and the storm was an enormous equalizer, since everyone around here lost power, regardless of their living situation.

New Year’s resolution: After Sandy, we need to be more aware of how to handle the environmental changes we’ve wrought.

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One Response to What was your defining moment of 2012?

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