Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center is perfect for a day trip out of New York on a mild Summer’s day. Presumably it’s also good on a warm spring or fall day or a heatwave in the middle of winter. So, if I were to rewrite this opening, I might have said Storm King Art Center is…

An Alarming Announcement on a Bus Tour to Niagara Falls & Toronto

To understand what happened on that bus at 8pm outside a cheap hotel in Toronto you first have to understand Wilson. Wilson was the guide on our bilingual English-Chinese 3-day-tour of Niagara Falls and Toronto from New York City. Wilson wore dark pants and a wool sweater under a camo jacket. He was, I’d guess,…

How Did Astoria Get Its Name?

Astoria, Queens was named after John Jacob Astor, who was once the wealthiest man in America. You might imagine therefore that Mr. Astor was born in what was then known as Hallett’s Cove and the village renamed themselves in his honor. That would be understandable and frankly quite boring. In reality, Mr. Astor never set foot in the…

Hiking in Bear Mountain State Park

Hiking is good exercise. But when you live in New York City, to go hiking you have to walk to the subway – passing a perfectly adequate gym on the way – then take the subway to the bus station, then sit motionless and cramped on a bus for two hours, and then you have to…

What’s It Like Living in Manhattan?

Hello friends, I just wanted to write and tell you that my apartment in Manhattan is on the ground floor, facing out to the street, and quite often people walk past the window and we make very awkward eye contact.

Public Transport in New York

I saw a dead guy. He was slumped on a bench in the subway at Columbus Circle in Manhattan underneath an advert for a new movie. He was a black guy with a white beard, maybe in his forties, blue hoodie pulled over him, and he was staring upwards with teeth clenched so tight he…

4th of July in New York, as a Brit

As a British person, I’m not supposed to celebrate 4th of July. It celebrates one of our greatest embarrassments: one of our best colonies got away. Me celebrating America’s freedom is like a rich white person celebrating the end of slavery. It’s illogical. But then I realised it doesn’t matter. If America wants to have a…

New York is… New York is… Well, New York is this…

and I take a right onto 6th avenue, this is where everyone is, workers spilling out from air-conditioned office high rises or tourists meandering wide-eyed at everything around and below and above them, then I’m past the man in his early 30s lying on the ground with a cardboard sign that says “HIV positive. Help me out. God…

Moving to New York!

I’m moving to New York tomorrow. I start with that simple statement because as I write this I’ll keep looking at it and hopefully it’ll finally sink in that it’s actually happening. It’s been months (or what feels like months) of paperwork and documents and visa shenanigans and emails and calls with my HR department to…

Helicopter Tour Over New York City

I flew over New York City in a helicopter. I’d like to say it was because Michael Bloomberg owed me a favour after I rescued his dog from being run over by a truck in Brooklyn, but it was actually just because I was so good at not spending my student loan on anything other…