Woe to cold turkey

Last year, I participated in a special treat that is occasionally offered to random lone wolfs across America. They call it … Friendsgiving. It’s like Thanksgiving but with friends. It makes sense in big cities like NYC because a lot of folk don’t have family nearby to eat with. Most Yankees plan ahead and travel … Continue reading

Rock rock Rockaway Beach

The 4th of July happened recently, which for me is just another public holiday that I don’t give 2 hoots about.  Something about wasting good tea.  Everyone gets the day off, though, which makes it a good excuse to hang out and do something weekendy mid-week.  I joined some friends at Rockaway Beach, which was … Continue reading

Family Feuding

We sat across from each other in groups of 4.  It was Team Euro vs Team Social Deduction, in respect to the styles of board games that we prefer i.e. sociopaths vs socialites; quiet thinkers vs loud talkers; mouth breathers vs political tricksters.  We were competing in a makeshift Family Feud at one of my … Continue reading

A furious Dracula

My friends and I have been playing a lot of Fury of Dracula lately.  It’s a board game where 4 valiant hunters chase the hidden Dracula around Europe, trying to find his trail and vanquish him before his evil plots thicken.  For me, the major draw is that I loved the book and movie of … Continue reading

Corsendonkulous Belgian Double Magnum

I recently had the occasion to drink a huge ass bottle of beer.  It all started in June 2017 when I stumbled upon a well-stocked beer store in Connecticut which featured a 3 Litre bottle of Corsendonk Christmas Ale from Belgium.  Even the guy at the beer shop was amused.  “Why do you want this?” … Continue reading

Three Men and a Baby

My mates and I struck a classic movie pose. See the trailer and real movie poster below. Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohBNZZKmtnw

Forgettable karaoke

A few weeks ago, my friend was leaving for an extended trip to Thailand, so he had a karaoke night to celebrate the joy of his departure.  It’d been a few years since my last karaoke, back in my London days, so I felt compelled to give New York a shot.  This place was apparently … Continue reading

Cell block tango

I was blindfolded, handcuffed to a couple of my friends, and led me into a prison cell, with a few accomplices similarly bound in the cell next door.  This wasn’t a remake of 50 Shades on Broadway or the next Hostel movie; this was an escape room.  Our mission was to work together to escape … Continue reading

Fire in the hole

A few weeks ago, I engaged in that great American tradition for privileged, city folk – a balcony fire pit.  A few of us gathered at a friend’s balconied house for this occasion and it turned out to be much more lavish than I’d anticipated.  I’ve roasted marshmallows on a homemade bonfire before, but I’d … Continue reading

Barefoot Bowls

You probably thought lawn bowls was for boring, old people in stiff, white clothes.  Nope; not anymore.  Australia has lately gone mad for ‘barefoot bowls’ so I had a go over Xmas. It’s just like a backyard party, where you get to hold a beer in your left hand and a lawn bowl in your … Continue reading

How do you say beer in Japanese?

A few weeks ago, I went to a random brewery after work on a Friday, as I’m wont.  That’s when I bumped into 2 random Japanese guys who were working in Ohio and had come to NYC just for a beer weekend.  Seriously, they came to NYC not to see Lady Liberty and Central Park, … Continue reading

Cards Against The Strand

Bookshops and libraries are for reverant, studious people right?  You’d think so but you’d be wrong.  It’s for horrible people. I found this out when The Strand (famous NYC bookstore) recently hosted a Cards Against Humanity event, sponsored by Coney Island Brewery.  This event was held in their Rare Books room, which is probably usually … Continue reading

Heavy auntie gaming

What are the odds that you meet up with your retired, long-lost auntie and she plays Agricola, one of the most revered, heavy, modern strategy games? Over the course of a few nights, we also played Tzolk’in, Endeavor, Notre Dame, Egezia, and Innovation. Impressive, non?

Cthulhu pizza

On New Year’s Eve, I visited old friends in a really old cottage in Biddenden, UK.  We walked the English countryside, played German board games, wore Star Wars onesies, drank Belgian beer, and generally mucked about aplenty.  We also took turns cooking, which gave me the chance to summon the meal that I’d practised once … Continue reading

Small Imperial Shuttle

While I was in Europe with my companion, we headed over to the UK to meet a few of my old friends for some jolly, dapper, English cottage board gaming in Biddenden.  Driving a French car on British roads proved surprisingly easy until the sun set and the country lanes became progressively thinner, with local … Continue reading

The French Gentleman

I visited my friend’s family for Christmas again last year, which is in Amiens, northern France.  Prior to one of our many large, mandatory, well-provisioned, family dinners, we were tasked with driving into town to pickup Grandma’s sort-of boyfriend (it’s complicated).  Marcel, the charming chap, invited us to come a little early to have a … Continue reading

Paint and Jrink

My companion and I had never heard of painting and drinking classes, but when we saw one in New Orleans it just made so much sense to put the two together.  It was pretty easy, too.  All we had to do was sit on a chair with 7 other chilled out amateurs and follow the … Continue reading

Jess and Mikey sitting in a tree

My board gaming buddies, Jess and Mike, got married a few weeks ago. They both love board gaming heaps so this influenced many aspects of the day, without making it look silly. Our seating nametags were little toys with our nicknames attached, the party favours were custom-made dice, and each table’s flower arrangement was in … Continue reading

The art of the beer dinner

Last month, I attended an artisanal beer night at my favorite pub in the downtown Albany area, City Beer Hall. This pub has an ever-changing selection of interesting beers from around the country so I was keen to see what they would produce for a night like this. They’d arranged the tables to make a … Continue reading

Golden Gai time

Some of my favourite moments in Tokyo were when I found myself sitting in small bar-restaurants soaking up the local beer, food and culture.  And just to confirm the stereotype, yes these places are full of men in business suits.  After sampling a few in the downtown area, I learned of a fabled little shanty-town … Continue reading

More snake, less venom

I joined some friends at their house for a gaming day 2 weeks ago, and it also turned it into a beer day, seeing as they had a remarkably diverse beer warehouse just down the road. The variety of styles and tastes from around the country and world was fantastic, but my main focus was … Continue reading

Blighty Surprise

Blighty Surprise Ever since I knew I’d be in France for Christmas, I’d been planning how to make a surprise visit to see my London gaming friends. As fortune would have it, most of them were spending New Years together in an English farmhouse, which posed a perfect opportunity for my scheme. I took the … Continue reading

Big Gay Wedding

Two of my favourite NYC friends got married last weekend and this was to be my first ever big gay wedding. From the moment I stepped inside the venue and picked up a flyer detailing the planned events and activities, I knew this was going to be the most fun wedding I’d ever seen. The … Continue reading

Reen, y’all

It was through casual feed surfing that I noticed that one of my best London friends had posted a photo on Facebook of a meal she had just had in Houston, TX.  “What the … is she here?”, I thought.  A few texts later confirmed that she was indeed here for a mere 2 nights … Continue reading

Look Mum, No Pants

Last Sunday, I took my pants off and rode the subway for a half-hour or so and walked around a park. Just another Sunday in New York. Why, you ask? The 12th Annual No Pants Subway Ride of course! No Pants is probably the most famous recurring stunt organised by Improv Everywhere, the NYC-based public … Continue reading

Slip ‘n Slide

I recently engaged myself in the traditional Australian pastime of slip ‘n slide. The basic premise of this activity is to lay down some plastic, get it wet and then throw yourself upon it. As you may imagine, injuries can be commonplace, so it is only with a high degree of skill and experience that … Continue reading

Graham Pfefferkuchenhaus

Apparently the tradition of making gingerbread houses has passed from Germany and is now very popular here in the USA.  Who knew?  So it was with delight that I accepted an invite to join some friends in their sweet construction project.  We didn’t bake real gingerbread, because it’s a bit of a faff, but opted … Continue reading

Fowl language

Thanksgiving is the season when all Americans are united in their common war against the bird, despite just recently being savagely divided over politics. I watched the highly-celebrated Macy’s parade of balloons and floats before attending not 1 but 2 Thanksgiving dinners, which was all the merrier for me. The 1st one, on Thursday, involved … Continue reading

The good times rolled

On a whim, I joined a few friends at a skee-ball bar named Full Circle in hip Williamsburg. I figured that this was an American activity that I should check out, plus the skee-ball and hot dogs were free (always a hit with me). The place didn’t disappoint. It was just like a regular decent … Continue reading

Rooftop Firefly

Last night I was at a Firefly screening on the roof of a nifty loft apartment in Brooklyn. For the uninitiated (why are we even friends?), Firefly is an 11 year-old sci fi show about a fun crew of space cowboy/smugglers. Fans like yours truly have adored it ever since it was axed after only … Continue reading

Flash mob said yes

Last weekend, I joined a flash mob to help a random guy propose to his girl while they visitted NYC. Here’s how the mission went down for the couple that shall henceforth be known as Jack and Jill. Jack’s sister posted a meetup online, inviting NYC strangers to join in a flash mob at Washington … Continue reading

BK, the Mini-Me

When I left London, a little hole was created in my closest circle of gaming friends. I’d like to think that I had provided some clever strategy, shameless aggression, cheekiness, sneakiness and general good humour. How could they possibly find all that again in one package? Enter Bonnie Kate. She’s young, she’s crafty, and she’s … Continue reading

69 Bayard

I’m starting to develop a tradition with a buddy whereby we watch a free dance or music performance (NYC offers many of these around summertime) and then follow it up with a meal in Chinatown.  He’s Asian and was quite disturbed when I mentioned that I’d been living in Chinatown for 4 months but hadn’t … Continue reading

Mostly Sondheim

Last weekend I was invited to watch my friend perform at Mostly Sondheim.  It’s a weekly event at The Duplex, a piano bar, where people get together for a drink and to perform their favourite show tunes to each other.  It’s sort of like karaoke, but the quality is high, you have to know the … Continue reading

Fondant of fabulousness

Some of my gaming friends decided to throw a surprise b’day for one of our number.  They got together and baked him a scrummy red velvet cake and then used fondant to paint a picture of his favourite computer game character on it.  As you can see, it looked amazing, and it tasted just as … Continue reading

Storm’s Coming

A buddy visited from London and it was great to hang out with him for a few drinks and some gaming.  His flight background has given him a curious fascination with the weather, so when we saw a storm brewing over the Hudson River, he insisted that we stay and watch.  As the black clouds … Continue reading

1 in 64 Trillion

On Wednesday I went to a free improv comedy event in Central Park, which turned out to be really fun.  There was about 8 people and somehow they managed to consistently stay on the same page while changing the props, roles and scenarios. The show was made more enjoyable by the random bumping into of … Continue reading

The MP3 Experiment

Imagine sitting in a big park on Governors Island, minding your own business, when suddenly thousands of people drop to the ground and lay still.  Then they all start acting in silent unison doing things like following you, giving you high fives, walking in slow mo and running around with white sheets on their heads.  … Continue reading

Manhattan Mayhem

Last weekend, I watched another local roller derby bout between the Manhattan Mayhem and Brooklyn Bombshells.  The score ebbed and flowed and came right down to the wire.  At parts, the bout got really heated and the refs needed to have big pow wows for some of their decisions.  The atmosphere was top-rate, with jeerleaders, … Continue reading

Katz’s with Kohnsey

An old work buddy from London called me out of the blue because he was in NYC for the weekend.  We hooked up yesterday and it was great to just chill out with an old friend.  It was the excuse that I needed to finally make my 1st visit to Katz’s Deli – a classic … Continue reading

Like a real American

I’ve wanted to watch a live ice hockey game, but it’s too expensive because it’s finals season.  When a guy that I met invited me to watch it at his home, I jumped at the chance.  We watched the New York Rangers take on the New Jersey Devils in the 4th of their 6 matches … Continue reading

When strangers game

I’ve had a lot of spare time lately, so I’ve been hopping all over the city and trying out various board gaming groups/venues.  The variety is astounding.  When I walk into a new place, I just never know quite how friendly, skillful, or “normal” they will be.  In most cases, the thing that brings me … Continue reading

A man of the arts

I’ve really been arting it up in NYC.  In London, I grew a passion for the fine arts when I saw a few plays, operas, ballets and best of all attended the Shakepeare’s Globe with my buddies.  Without really realising it, I’ve already pursued a lot of it here in NYC too. When Kay and … Continue reading