Notes from the BSO

I’m not much of a classical music fan but I figured that I should check out the Boston Symphony Orchestra while I was in their home, given that’s it’s one of the best regarded orchestras in the world and one of the US’s “big five”. The programme had 3 pieces: William Vaughan’s Symphony #6 in … Continue reading

Sox & Smoots

I hit another bucket list item last weekend when I visited Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox (yes, noobs, it’s baseball). This is the oldest major league baseball park and a true icon of the sporting world. The teams were all doing pre-season training down in Florida, so I wasn’t able to catch … Continue reading

Red Cadillac

On the back-roads of New Jersey, I found an little gem of a Mexican restaurant/lounge, known as the Red Cadillac. It is named after the stylish car that the owner displays out the front, which provided the inspiration for everything inside the restaurant. The waiters and waitresses wear mechanics’ outfits, the water jugs are jerrycans, … Continue reading

Street Fair Greed

I’d just finished my half-hour weekend run, feeling a little tired and sweaty, when I was unwittingly lured into a random street fair by the kind of sign that makes women shave their heads and fathers sell their daughters – free ice cream. Not just any ice cream, either, but delicious Ben and Jerry’s. It … Continue reading

Rendez-vous

NYC’s French film festival, Rendez-vous, was on so, following my appreciation of the Jewish film festival recently, I gave it a shot. I watched all the trailers and, just as I expected from the French, all of the movies centered around sex and triangles (not the musical variety). The movie that I chose, Grand Central, … Continue reading

Halls of Valhalla

Sometimes I return to the city on Friday nights and go looking for a new pub that I haven’t tried before. On those night, sometimes I find good beer, sometimes I find good atmosphere, sometimes I meet with gods, and just sometimes … all 3 of those intersect. Enter Valhalla. Valhalla was a long wooden … Continue reading

Hotel Surprise

After staying in hotels for more than a year, there’s no surprises anymore. Before I even slip my key into my door, I have a pretty good idea what colour the bed runner will be, what style of art will be on the wall, what flavour the hand lotion will be and what format the … Continue reading

Big chill

When I rented my car for my New Jersey customer in November, it came with a little wooden snow brush with ice scraper attached. At the time, I scoffed, thinking we’d never have enough snow to actually warrant it’s use, but lo this little fellow has been a stalwart ally during this aggressively snowy season. … Continue reading

Burger Joint

My friend showed me an unusual burger joint which was hidden in the most unexpected place. To get there, you have to walk into the lobby of Le Parker Meridien in Midtown, then walk around behind the spiffy hotel staff and main desk area to a small, unassuming curtain that could easily pass for a … Continue reading

Jewish Flicks

Two weekends ago, I decided to try out the New York Jewish Film Festival at the Lincoln Center. Rather than commit to some random, long, unknown movie, I went to a session of 4 short films. Shorts are more rewarding anyway – they don’t have time and budgets to waste so they stick to the … Continue reading

The Frozen Island

It is said that if you get lost in the forest in Iceland, just stand up. I can confirm that this is true, for on my stopover I discovered that this island is small, snowy, composed mostly of volcanic rock and almost bereft of greenery. Native plants are only 1-meter high bushes, so anything taller … 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

Vive la food

For the Christmas break, I visited my friend’s family in Amiens, France, which is famous for almond paste macaroons (who knew?), leek cream tarts and the largest gothic cathedral. As an Australian, getting to spend a (potentially white) Christmas in Europe is always an exciting prospect for me. Plus, Christmas is a time for family, … Continue reading

Holiday Training

Over the Christmas season, NYC occasionally brings back vintage 1930s subway carriages and uses them on one of the normal subway routes. I stumbled upon one, so I jumped aboard to check it out and found that it was very quaint with raw light bulbs, ceiling fans and old school advertisements still up. What a … Continue reading

Strife of Pie

In case you missed it, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show ripped a new one on Chicago’s style of deep dish pizza a few weeks ago, causing an interstate feud that made all the headlines. A few days later, he made peace with the windy city by eating (and enjoying) a slice of Lou Malnati’s … Continue reading

The Big Piano

I learnt that the giant piano from the movie Big is located in a NYC toy store called FAO Schwartz, so I absolutely had to try it out. As I lithely hopped and skipped across the ivories, I was nowhere near as skillful as Tom Hanks and my rendition of chopsticks probably sounded more like … Continue reading

Full metal jousting

It has been scientifically proven that, at the core of every modern man, lies the primal desire to rip meat from bones with his bare hands, challenge a scoundrel by slapping him in the face with a metal gauntlet and then unhorse him with a lance while galloping at perilous speed. I had my chance … Continue reading

Real big fish

I’ve seen aquariums before but the Georgia Aquarium had a particularly impressive array of animals presented with that special American style of flashy hype. The dolphin show had the usual exciting flips but these Georgian ones were able to moonwalk with just their tails left in the water. There was a pool of slimey coral/rock … 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

L5P Halloween

I was back in Atlanta and, as luck would have it, the Little Five Points Halloween parade was on. It’s one of the country’s biggest so I had to check it out. There were some great costumes and floats but my favourite costume was actually the guy standing right next to me in the crowd. … Continue reading

Frozen Pints

Atlanta has introduced me to a few previously unheard of delicacies such as alligator spring rolls and fried cheesecake. But my best surprise came when I was visiting the local laundrette and discovered a fantastic little bodega with a remarkable selection of quality beers from around the world. They even had refillable growlers. I consider … Continue reading

Fogo Gaucho

Some work buddies took me to dinner at a Gaucho-style Brazilian steakhouse named Fogo de Chao. I’d never done Gaucho before, but I think I heard this word a lot in London and it basically means cowboy in South American. The cocktails were top shelf and the salad bar was exquisite, with salads, veggies and … Continue reading

Zombicide

A few weekends ago, I was a roller skating waitress fighting off zombies with my fellow band of survivors. We were stuck in a prison with zombies in all the nearby rooms. Our mission was simple: kill as many of them as possible and then escape. After searching the rooms for weapons and killing a … Continue reading

Here be Dragon Con

My nerd credibility took a hit last fortnight when I failed to realise that I was going to Atlanta during Dragon Con. Six of my NYC gaming buddies had travelled all the way solely for the con but I just happened to be there because work sent me to a customer. All the same, it … Continue reading

World of Coke

Work took me to Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Coke, so I figured I should check out the World of Coca Cola while I was there. My most anticipated part was the taste room, where we could taste 60 international Coke products. I was expecting to taste Coke from all over the world, but instead … Continue reading

Carpe Cronut

Have you heard of the cronut? It’s the latest craze in NYC – a hybrid pastry that lies somewhere between a croissant and a doughnut. Since being released in May 2013 from the boutique Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo, people have been lining up early every morning to purchase a maximum of 2 cronuts per … Continue reading

The jury rests

Being a citizen and now a resident of the USA makes me eligible for jury duty but it was still a surprise to receive a summons after being here for less than 2 years. And so, last Monday I found myself entering the local Chinatown courthouse which, luckily for me, was only 10 mins walk … Continue reading

Goodnight, sleep tight

With dread, I listened to my housemate as she explained that she’d been getting bitten in her bed for the past month and had finally realised that they were bed bug bites. Our landlord, to his credit, immediately organised an exterminator, so we prepared for his visit by spraying our clothes with Lysol and bagging … Continue reading

It’s a bird

2 weeks ago, my friend Julie finally had a chance to redeem her birthday voucher for an introductory flying lesson and was nice enough to take me with her. It was supposed to be educational and aimed at people who were starting their flight training, but we were just there to dick around and have … Continue reading

Toronto, eh?

Last month, I fulfilled a lifelong dream by travelling internationally for work. This wasn’t quite as exotic as it sounds because I was only just up the road from New York state, in Canada. At least working in Toronto gave me the chance to observe another new city and a new type of people. Two … Continue reading

Natural wonder of wet

I was in Toronto for work, which conveniently put me just a few hours drive away from Niagara Falls. As I approached the falls, a continuous tower of white mist mushroomed into the air, looking just like a plume of white smoke. When I was around 200-300 metres away, I began to feel droplets of … Continue reading

Four Score and Seven

Ever since seeing the Battle of Hastings re-enactment in the UK a few years ago, I’ve had Gettysburg on my to-do list. I’d heard that Americans put a lot of effort into their Civil War re-enactments, and Gettysburg would surely be the biggest and best. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is only about 5 hours drive from NYC, … Continue reading

Fourth Fireworks

On the 4th of July, this was my view over the Hudson of some of the coolest looking fireworks I’ve seen – kind of like little death stars exploding.

Mutton Bustin’

I was in Texas for June and we all know that Texas is made of 3 things: boots, hats and rodeos (sorry, Texas, but stereotyping is easier than real research). Yeehaw! Cowboy boots were too expensive but I got me a fine hat and wore it with pride to a small rodeo near San Antonio. … Continue reading

TXRD

Work brought me to Houston last week and San Antonio this week so I was near Austin and I absolutely had to see their famous roller derby, TXRD. Austin is one of the remaining bastions of banked track roller derby, from back when it was strongly inspired by WWF wrestling and more of a scripted … 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

Nice Ride

If you ever had a beer with me in London, then you probably suffered my numerous exhortations to try out the Barclays “Boris” Bikes.  You probably also saw me ride away from you with a swerve in my gait, a grin on my face and carrying a supremely confident air in the knowledge that I … Continue reading

Sky Walker

Last week, I travelled to the USA’s 16th largest metro area – Minneapolis/St Paul.  As I walked through the city center to my hotel, it was like walking through a ghost town – a pleasant, dense, wealthy ghost town with tall buildings and concrete everywhere, but noticeably void of rubbish and people.  I wondered, was … Continue reading

Yankees

I finally fulfilled a small dream of mine to go and see the Yankees last week.  I found a deal for Mastercard-only tickets in the bleachers for only $5!  As I walked up the subway stairs just by the stadium, it was like entering a crazy little world.  The roads were all blocked off to … Continue reading

The next cupcake

My buddy and I went to Mia Chef Gelateria for a short gelato making course.  I’m certainly not known for my kitchen skills, but dessert is one of the things I’ve been known to throw a little gusto into from time to time, so I was excited to try this out.  Our guide was very … Continue reading

Another Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise I attended a weekend bartending bootcamp, just for kicks.  For each session, our instructor explained a category of drinks, then proceeded to make each cocktail in front of us before unleashing us onto our practise stations to make fake drinks for each other.  The instructor was really quick at making them and knew … Continue reading

Sleep No More

2 weeks ago, I took my friend to a truly unique play for her birthday. Sleep No More was the name of the “play” (which the Shakesperean among you might recognise as a line from Macbeth). It really was a whole lot more than a play though; it was an “immersive theatre production” and the … Continue reading

The Big Beef

Having personally destroyed the 1-pound Cheeburger Cheeburger Challenge a month ago, I decided last week that it was time to return and dish out punishment on its big brother, the 2-pounder. I warmed up with a beer and then headed to the site of my last victory, only to find that the restaurant was permanently … Continue reading

Grand Chapiteau

On Friday, a friend took me to see my first ever Cirque Du Soleil. It was called Totem and it was wonderful! The costumes and theatrics made it really captivating. Some of the most interesting acts were: a feminine duo who spun small rugs around on their hands and feet in awkward and connected positions; … Continue reading

Black Forest

Half-way across the world, in the sprawls of Long Island, I stumbled onto a little Deutsch gem called the Black Forest Brew Haus. It sports some wonderful european-style ales and a plethora of manly-sized seemingly-German food. I use the word seemingly because every ethnic food around NYC has got very different styles, dishes and names … Continue reading

Cheeburger Cheeburger Challenge

Lately, I’ve been staying in Long Island for work, so I’ve checked out a few of the local restaurants, always in pursuit of something new and interesting. Last week, I stumbled into Cheeburger Cheeburger, which offers a tremendous variety of burgers, toppings and shakes – enough to keep any American on the last notch of … Continue reading

Sub-thirty-two

Last Friday a blizzard hit New York and the surrounds. I know these kind of events happen to other people too, but the locals here think that everything is so important when it affects NYC. I guess its population is half the size of my whole country. I love snow anyway, but the fact that … Continue reading

Veni, vidi, meeple

January is normally a fairly quiet month for me, birthday-wise.  The only other person that I normally celebrate with is my twin, and that’s getting a bit stale after 33 years.  This year, I attended 2 birthdays and celebrated with 4 other people who all had theirs within a few days of mine.  Where have … 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

Nice tan

I was home for nearly 3 weeks at Christmas.  It was great to see the family, play board games with them, cavort with my nieces and nephews, and swim at the beach nearly every day.  The flight was 30 hours long but the whole journey was worth it because the first thing that my housemate said … 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

Four Jolly Santas

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of bumping into Santa … all four of them. They were chilling in Chinatown on their way to Santacon 2012 – a raucous event where throngs dress up as Santa/helpers and frolick around the city all day. It happens all over the world and apparently NYC is one of … 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

Zoltar speaks

I bumped into a Zoltar machine, which took me back to the 80s for a moment. Between Julie and me, I’m almost certain that one of us was whispering, “I wish I were big”. For the rest of the week, I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for a giant foot piano. The dodgy ripoff … Continue reading

Doing The Time Warp

I’ve always enjoyed The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and indeed have watched it a few times in my life. On Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending a midnight screening of it for an event where amateur actors also perform all the parts while standing in front of the screen. I had no idea … Continue reading

Renegade weather

Precisely a week ago, I was hanging out on my roof, with a flatmate, in nothing but shorts and a tee. Today, it’s 0 degrees and it’s snowing! How d’you like that, Australia? I do love the snow, so no complaints from me. I gave myself a couple of excuses to go and trudge around … Continue reading

The night was dark and stormy

Frankenstorm was the friendly name that we gave to Hurricane Sandy because it threatened to ravage NYC just prior to Halloween. It ended up causing wild devastation for some and dull boredom for most. Here was my experience: – Sunday: I performed The Thriller at my friend’s halloween party and opted to sleep over to … Continue reading

Nosferatu reinvigorated

When I was a teen, I saw Nosferatu (1922 b&w silent film) and hated it. I think I’d just seen Bram Stoker’s Dracula and it paled in comparison. That was a long time ago and prior to my being reintroduced to silent films at the Prince Charles Cinema by Luke (Boris Bike novice and silent … Continue reading

Slice o’ burger

I went out with some friends and found myself a slice of hamburger flavoured pizza at Ray’s Pizza.  Americans have this innate ability to take any normal food and then find a way to make it even fatter or sweeter.  Fat and sugar are definitely in excess here.  In this country, it seems that every … Continue reading

The Golden Skate is ours

Last weekend was NYC’s local roller derby championships, with the Brooklyn Bombshells trying to defend their title against the Manhattan Mayhem. I was so happy that my borough, Manhattan, won. Both teams were extremely fired up and skated super fast for the whole match. The girls got aggressive and we saw many trips to the … 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

Little Italy Dishonoured

I saw this innovative ad on the corner of Little Italy, just near me. Cool, no? Americans say the darndest things: – Porridge is called oatmeal here.

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

Buy, Sell, Kill

Last weekend was the Empire Skate Showdown, where 8 different roller derby teams from all around the state came together for a one-day tournament. We also saw an exhibition match from the boys. It was an ace day. The bouts were only half of the normal duration, so they were much more physical, fierce and … Continue reading

The Letterman experience

Yesterday, I scored last-minute tickets to David Letterman. I had to answer a trivia question, though, so before calling back to confirm, I had to do some online research to prepare. I used to love Letterman but to be honest it was about 17 years ago that I used to watch it regularly, back in … Continue reading

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Brooklyn

A theatre festival was on here and I watched a short musical about 3 ukulele-playing Mormon wives, described as a musical comedy “about the fundamentals of big hair, blind faith, and just how plural a marriage can get.” Yes, it sounds crazy and I quite enjoyed it. Most of it featured the 3 women playing … 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

Naked Cowboy

The Naked Cowboy is a staple landmark at Times Square, and I finally remembered to make my pilgrimage last week.  He’s not really naked, but he only wears a big white hat, boots and briefs.  He plays clever tunes on his guitar and poses for tourists’ photos.  His cheekiness is exemplary; he grabs people and … 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

Where’s George?

At my laundromat this weekend, the change machine wouldn’t accept my $1 bill.  On closer inspection, I noticed that the note had been defaced by a blue stamp saying wheresgeorge.com.  It turns out that this is a fun social project to track the movements of random bills around the country.  My bill was last spotted … 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

Free Phil Harmony

Summer in New York is a veritable feast of free activities.  There are all kinds of free concerts, festivals, and movie screenings in addition to all the regular free things like art galleries and museums. On Tuesday I watched a Korean film at the Tribeca Cinema and tonight I saw the NY Philharmonic perform some classical pieces … Continue reading

Horsemen of the Oesophagus

Yesterday was the 4th of July, which is quite a big day for my new compatriots.  I decided to honour it by attending the time-honoured tradition of the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. The contest goes for only 10 minutes and the goal is simply to eat as many standard hot … Continue reading

Mermaid Parade

Today was Coney Island’s 30th annual Mermaid Parade.  It’s basically an excuse for eccentric people to dress up and make floats to parade down the road amid cheers from the packed sidewalks.  The mermaid theme was applied fairly loosely so I saw everything from sea creatures to pirates and of course plenty of mermaids with … Continue reading

Sheep for wood?

The next day, I had my first real outing in Central Park, which I’d been dying to do, now that it’s summer.  The occasion was a Settlers of Catan meetup, and I’m pleased to report that I won 2 of my 3 games.  It was beautiful sitting in Sheep Meadow in the breezy grasses.  I … 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

The Sharks A-baited

Last week I had my 4th poker night with the sharks.  There was a record 11 in attendance, which meant more money, more time and much more sharkishness.  After 4 intense hours of wearing poker faces, there was only 2 of us remaining and we agreed on a split-win, giving me a cool $90 prize.  … Continue reading

To Brooklyn and back

I like being fit, but when it comes to exercise I’m a bare-minimum kind of guy.  Doing a single 6km run every Saturday morning is just enough to keep me healthy.  I’d dreamt of running through Central Park, but it’s too far away from my pad in Chinatown and, besides, I’ve possibly found something even … 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

Into the Danger Zone

NYC really comes alive with free and fun outdoor events, in the warmer months.  Last weekend, I went to a free outdoor screening of Top Gun.  It so happened that it was screened on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid, in the Hudson River.  I can’t think of a better place to … 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

Seize the music

I’m happy to report that in the past month I’ve managed to see my top 3 bands of the last 2 years.  These are the 3 new (for me) bands that I’ve been listening to over and over on Spotify.  I saw Rodrigo y Gabriela, Florence + the Machine, and Regina Spektor.  I also managed … Continue reading

Rolling with the Rebels

Last night I went to a double-header roller derby bout in Long Island.  I managed to make some trackside friends, whilst sitting in the suicide zone, which was great fun.  They also took me to a pub to hang out with the team afterwards.  Much frivolity occurred and they made me eat spicy wings – … Continue reading

A Salt & Battery

The best name ever for a fish and chipper.  I don’t like fish but I did London proud by having a chip butty.  It was much hot diggity.

Call me Scream Puff

In keeping with my desire to see and try new things, I went to a roller derby game on Saturday night.  I enjoyed it immensely.  It’s sort of like rugby on skates.  Each team has 4 tough girls and 1 quick girl on track, and basically the quick one has to whizz arond and try … 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

The Agent

When I went to the Mets baseball a few weeks ago, they mentioned a blood drive where donors would receive 2 free tickets to an upcoming game.  It was perfect timing for me because this is a once-a-year event where they bring in blood nurses from all over the state and take thousands of donations … Continue reading

Swimming with the sharks

Last Tuesday, I met a couple of swell board gaming chaps who invited me to their regular Poker night.  2 days later I was sitting around a table with 7 cold-blooded veterans.  The entry fee was upfront, the mood was tense, the bluffs were large, and the offered beverages were conspicuously potent.  After an early … Continue reading

Goose eggs till half

A week ago I went to the baseball to see the New York Mets v Atlanta Braves.  We won.  I almost looked like a real American, with my hotdog and a beer.  It was pretty dull for the 1st half, with mostly goose eggs on the scoreboard, but then they started taking more risks and … 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

NYC Fooled Me

I bumped into a website that mentioned that the 27th annual April Fool’s Day parade was happening this morning.  I’d already missed the Paddy’s Day parade so I wanted to try and catch some other authentic little display of Yank frivolity, and this seemed like the perfect occaision.  I got there early, but soon realised … Continue reading

NYC is BIG

I’m in NYC now and the locals are always telling me how much they love it.  I’m resistant because I so adored London.  It’s going to take me a while before I allow myself to feel like one of these Americans.  Everything here is big: the skyscrapers, the cars, the food, the drinks, the people, … Continue reading

No pokusa in Poland

A week before leaving London, my old Polish housemates Marcin and Ola mentioned that they had a spare room in Gdansk.  I invited myself there for 3 days and we had a swell time catching up and playing a few games.  When they lived with me in London, I felt like we’d only just started … Continue reading

Farewell my dear London

It’s been just over 4 years and I had to leave because, under the new system, I didn’t have enough points for a new visa.  I really loved London (and many things about my life there) and potentially would have stayed long-term, if I’d been allowed.  I loved the city because it was full of … Continue reading