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Archive / August 2013

August 30, 2013

…had afternoon tea at a manor house

I’ve made it safely back to the UK and nothing says home quite like a good cuppa and a cream scone. So a few hours after landing, I headed to Gravetye Manor for some afternoon tea. Yes, once again I’ve left New York – but today was another example of finally appreciating things right on …

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August 29, 2013

…visited the Hare Krishna tree

Today I head to the UK for another weekend dash, so I somehow had to squeeze in a new experience between work and airports. Last night, I waited for the clock to chime 12 and headed a few blocks to Tompkins Square Park. There, beneath the low-lit lamps and beside a dance troupe of surprisingly …

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August 28, 2013

…met the original Winnie the Pooh

I grew up just a stone’s throw away from Hartfield in West Sussex, where the stories of Winnie the Pooh and his friends were created. If you remember, earlier this year when I was back in England, I even played the characters’ favourite game, Pooh Sticks, at the bridge that inspired it. And even though I’m now …

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August 27, 2013

…made origami

For the past couple of months, the CourseHorse ‘Summer Sparks’ series has held free classes at Hudson River Park every Tuesday, but for some awful reason I’ve not known about them until now. Today I finally clocked on and headed to Pier 63 for their latest offering – an origami class. I had envisioned making …

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August 27, 2013

…played musical chairs in Bryant Park

I’ve played tag on Wall Street and taken part in a massive pillow fight at Washington Square Park, and today I headed to Bryant Park for another of New York’s bizarre free activities: Musical chairs on a very, very large scale. A team of meticulous organizers had placed 20 circles of chairs with around 25 …

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August 25, 2013

…met a marionette

If you don’t know the blog ‘Humans of New York’, which captures beautiful images of the city’s colourful characters, you need to check it out here. A few days ago on the site, I spied this teeny tiny character: Today I was wandering downtown and took a walk through Washington Square Park, and who did I spot, but …

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August 24, 2013

…wandered through Green-Wood Cemetery

The weather has been gorgeous today and, as I was in South Slope in Brooklyn, I decided to make the most of it by walking through Green-Wood Cemetery – a National Historic Landmark and the final resting place of many famous New Yorkers. The cemetery was built in 1838 and there is something so beautiful …

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August 24, 2013

…drank at an ice bar

Rather than the usual Friday beers, tonight I opted for a new experience: Drinking vodka at an ice bar. I’ve heard of this sort of thing before and thought it sounded cool (yes, pun intended). So when I learned there was an ice cage at Mehanata, a Bulgarian bar in the Lower East Side, I decided …

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August 22, 2013

…read the time from the sidewalk

I spent my first year in New York looking down at the pavement – either trying to figure out where I was going or avoiding making eye contact with the letches. Now I spend half my time looking up, marvelling at New York’s beautiful buildings. But down in the financial district, they don’t have this …

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August 21, 2013

…explored a Masonic Lodge

I’ve had a pretty horrible sick day, so I wanted to do something close to home. Bizarrely, just a few blocks north of my apartment is the Grand Lodge of the Freemasons, which is open to the public for tours. It seemed like a perfect, quiet activity to try. The tour is ongoing throughout the …

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August 20, 2013

…tasted Ethiopian food

Today I headed a few blocks south of my apartment and ended up in Ethiopia – for dinner at Meskel. I’d never had Ethiopian food before and had zero idea what to expect, but Ryan had nabbed a very generous Groupon, so we decided to give it a go. Meskel is a simple little place …

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August 19, 2013

…found a Picasso in Greenwich Village

So far this year, I’ve managed to track down some impressive works of hidden art – art which thousands of people no doubt walk past every day without knowing they’re so close. Today I found another piece I’d never realised was there before – although this one was a little easier to spot. After work, …

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August 18, 2013

…climbed the Montauk lighthouse

I know many of the visitors in Montauk are here for the beaches and bars, but thankfully there are still plenty of places to check out for geeky tourists like me. So while Meghan and Rachel were snoozing off their hangovers at the beach, I headed for the very tip of the island to have a …

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August 17, 2013

…swam in the Atlantic Ocean

This morning, I was trying to remember if I had swam in the Atlantic Ocean before, and – can you believe it – but I haven’t. Definitely not from this side of it, anyway. About five years ago, I roadtripped throughout the East Coast of the U.S. and although it was summer, the weather was …

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August 16, 2013

…drank cocktails in Montauk

Sorry for the delay on the blog posts this weekend – I’ve been on a Girls’ Trip. On Friday after work, Rachel, Meghan and I jumped on a train to the quintessential New York City vacation destination: Montauk. While I’ve never been before, I’ve been hearing about the Hamptons and nearby Montauk ever since I moved …

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August 16, 2013

…ate boozy cupcakes from the Prohibition Bakery

Tonight Ryan and I went to a friend’s rooftop for some drinks and decided to stop for a bevvy beforehand. But rather than going for the usual beer, we pre-gamed in a new way: Boozy cupcakes. The cupcake fad in New York City has spun a little out of control. There seems to be a …

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August 14, 2013

…rode Macy’s wooden escalators

Tonight I headed to Herald Square to visit Macy’s – not only my first time in this mammoth store, but also my first ever spin on its historic wooden escalators. Macy’s at 34th Street is the largest department store in the city, taking up an entire block and stretching across ten floors. In 1902, it also …

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August 13, 2013

…saw sculptures made from Lego

After work, I headed to the Discovery museum at Times Square with Dave – the biggest Lego geek I’ve ever met – for an art exhibit of works made entirely from the teeny plastic bricks. The Art of the Brick is showcasing the handiwork of Nathan Sawaya until next year. Sawaya is a New York-based artist and famed …

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August 12, 2013

…met a Rockette

I’m back in the city and in full tourist mode. Today I headed up to Radio City Music Hall in Midtown for a backstage tour – something I’ve been unable to do until now because of its mid-day, weekday hours. The venue was the largest movie theatre in the world when it opened in 1932; it seats more than 6,000 people …

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August 11, 2013

…held a butterfly

Ryan and I were on Long Island again today and, at the suggestion of his friend Brian, went to check out a nearby butterfly zoo for my new activity. We found the one-room ‘zoo’ nestled between shrubs and statues at the Main Street Nursery just outside Huntington. While it was much smaller than I’d imagined, …

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August 10, 2013

…built sand dunes in the Rockaways

Right at the start of the year, I went to Red Hook to help with the clean-up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Eight months on and some communities are still getting back on their feet. Today I headed back to another Sandy-ravaged area to help out again, but in a very different way. Ryan, Meghan …

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August 9, 2013

…went punk at the Met

I’ve got a couple of days off and have nothing planned apart from making the most of New York activities. Today I finally fulfilled my months-long aim of going to the Met; it’s somewhere I’d avoid completely at weekends. And even first thing on a Friday morning, the place was heaving. I made the trip …

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August 8, 2013

…watched a Shakespeare play in a parking lot

Every summer in New York, hundreds of people queue to get their hands on a free ticket for ‘Shakespeare in the Park’, a professionally-acted play held in Central Park. Tonight I went to Brooklyn’s equivalent: Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. Ryan and I headed to the car park on the corner 5th Ave and 17th Street in South Slope …

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August 7, 2013

…touched the Berlin Wall

New York is packed so tightly with art and history that sometimes it’s easy to overlook a real winner. Tonight I popped up to Midtown to see one of these giant gems: A section of the Berlin Wall. The fall of the Wall is actually one of my earliest memories. I was only three at the time, so …

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