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November 8, 2013

…went to senior prom

While I enjoyed the benefits of a British education – itchy kilts, carb-crammed dinners, netball matches in the icy rain – there’s one thing I missed out on by not going to high school over here: Senior prom. We had parties, sure, but nothing on the same scale as they do in the U.S. Tonight Ryan …

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November 6, 2013

…checked out the ‘Heroes’ mural

This afternoon, kids and community members put the final dabs of paint on a massive 3D mural honouring the city’s 9/11 heroes on the Lower East Side. I had hoped to make the ribbon cutting ceremony, but unfortunately I couldn’t escape work in time. But not to worry because the mural was still waiting for me when I finally got …

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November 5, 2013

…voted (kind of)

We’ve been gearing up for the mayoral election here in New York City for months now – sexting scandals and all – so I knew today’s new activity should be a nod to that (the election, not the sexting). And what better way to experience it than to be part of the democratic process by …

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November 4, 2013

…ate Japanese crepes

One of my favorite snack stops all year has been a Japanese dessert store, Minamoto Kitchoan. So when Rachel, who used to live in Japan, told me about a new Japanese pancake place on Spring Street, I was salivating at the thought. Like Minamoto, the presentation at Eight Turn Crepe is immaculate. In the window …

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October 28, 2013

…visited the Ghostbusters’ firehouse

Continuing with the spooky theme, today I decided to call in on the Ghostbusters’ firehouse. This whole time this movie treasure has been just a few blocks away from my office at 14 North Moore Street in Tribeca. Time for a disclaimer – in the 1984 film, the Ghostbusters set up their firehouse inside an …

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October 27, 2013

…made Halloween candy at the Brooklyn Kitchen

It’s the end of October, which means some Halloween festivities this week. And I can’t begin those without some spooktacular sweets for energy now, can I? This afternoon I headed to the Brooklyn Kitchen, a massive homeware store in Williamsburg that also holds daily cooking classes. After donning an apron and a nametag, I walked to …

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October 24, 2013

…went to a literary night

All year I’ve seen literary readings – prose and poetry – popping up on events calendars but it has taken me 10-and-a-half months to go to one. And this was definitely a great pick as my friend Jim was reading some of his work – and it was cracking. I headed to No. 8, a …

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October 23, 2013

…visited the Time Landscape

Venture to the northeast corner of West Houston and LaGuardia Place, and you’ll also venture back in time. A tiny public park called the ‘Time Landscape’ sits on the corner and features plants and trees that existed in that spot – and across the rest of Manhattan – before the Subways, Starbucks and disgruntled millions …

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October 20, 2013

…visited Greenpoint’s rooftop farm

When I first visited New York in 2009, my first impression was woah, this place is vertical. Even though the buildings spread out more the further you get away from Manhattan, residents still need to make the most of every inch of possible space. So while people in the country enjoy acres of green land …

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October 19, 2013

…climbed to the top of the world’s largest cathedral

When I entered the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine on West 112th Street this afternoon, I immediately welled up. The inside of this grand building, which claims to be the world’s largest cathedral, is breathtakingly beautiful. As soon as I walked through its two-tonne doors, I knew it was going to be one of …

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October 17, 2013

…browsed Bauman Rare Books

I managed to slink out of work earlier than normal today so I made a beeline for a place I’ve long been eyeing: Bauman Rare Books in Midtown. I jumped off the E train at 53rd and 5th and walked a couple of blocks to the store before it closed. Bauman Rare Books is exactly …

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October 14, 2013

…admired the Eldridge Street Synagogue

Thanks to an Anglo-Catholic education, I grew up in chapels and churches – and although I don’t go to services anymore, I still love exploring those buildings. Today I expanded my religious education with a visit to a synagogue – and admired it in much the same way. I don’t know if I expected many …

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October 13, 2013

…snooped around a stranger’s home with Open House NY

Even though moving apartments is always a pain in the tusch, I love it because you get to snoop around other people’s houses. So when I learned there was a city-wide event this weekend where you could do exactly that without having to feign interest in moving in, I was very keen. Open House New …

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October 12, 2013

…visited The Cloisters

Today I jumped on the subway and about half an hour later, I was in Europe. Or so it seemed. I visited the Cloisters – a museum in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights that’s built from European architecture dating between the 12th and 15th centuries. The building and its gardens – which are part …

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October 2, 2013

…learned about New York’s best unknown buildings

One of my favourite things this year has been discovering New York’s secret oddities, from clocks in sidewalks to ghost subway stops. So when I heard the Brooklyn Brainery was hosting a talk about New York’s best under-appreciated buildings I thought I could hit two birds with one stone – going to my first ever architecture …

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September 26, 2013

…visited Photoville

In the past six months, somehow I’ve become a crier. I used to let stories I wrote at work wash over me, but now I’m forever fumbling for the tissues. One of my news editors even told me recently that she can tell it’s a good story if she hears a sniff from my desk. I’m …

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September 25, 2013

…found the city’s last gas lamp

After work, I scuttled a few blocks north to a tiny unassuming corner of Greenwich Village: Patchin Place. Like all the other quaint streets in this part of the city, there are gorgeous red bricks, snug coffee shops and rubbish-free sidewalks. But it also has something no other street here has: A gaslight lamp. The …

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September 22, 2013

…visited the world’s largest kaleidoscope

For a small mountain town, Phoenicia has endless outdoor activities. Today, as well as trying some of these, Ryan and I decided to visit one of its top indoor experiences too: The world’s largest kaleidoscope. Yes, this sounds a bit bizarre – and I had no idea how good it was going to be. The 60-ft Kaatskill …

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September 15, 2013

…watched a Japanese drum show

Doing a new thing every day makes sure I never forget that I have world-class talent right on my doorstep. And today – when I saw an amazing Japanese drum show – I was reminded once again. I jumped on the 1 train with Ryan and headed to the Taikoza Live show at the Peter …

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September 14, 2013

…identified trees in Carroll Gardens

New York City isn’t all skyscrapers, office blocks and coffee shops – believe it or not, there are actually a few trees here. But before today, I rarely looked at them – and definitely had no idea what they were. This morning, Hillary and I headed to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn to wander the beautiful …

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September 10, 2013

…heard experimental music

Tonight I headed to Tribeca to an old building barely visible behind scaffolding. I found its hidden door and took its winding, marble stairs to the 13th floor where, through ancient wooden doors, sat a little-known radio station. The Clocktower Gallery station transmits experimental music and sound installations across the internet’s airwaves at ARTonAIR.org and …

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September 1, 2013

…played stoolball

These days, my friends from Sussex live all over the place. One of my best school friends, Will, has to be the farthest away in Hong Kong. But ridiculous luck would have it that we were both here this weekend and both had a couple of free hours this afternoon. So I joined him and his …

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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 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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