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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 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 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 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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August 7, 2013

…won a Bocce ball match

Ryan and I have battled each other in a fair few activities in recent weeks (with me losing, mostly), but last night we combined our powers and took the Bocce ball world by storm. We headed to Floyd in Brooklyn Heights and added our names to a waiting list for its only court. I’d never …

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August 4, 2013

…went back in time on Long Island

Today Ryan and I drove an hour from the city to Centerport on Long Island, where he grew up. After passing gorgeous houses lining green streets and boats dotting the Long Island Sound, we reached the Vanderbilt Mansion. I’ve been to a mansion built by this obscenely wealthy American family (who owned most of the …

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August 1, 2013

…toured a tenement house

I’ve always said it’s a shame that German is the only foreign language I speak (badly, it needs to be noted) because every single person from Germany will speak better English than I do German.  Well, it turns out that I’m just in the wrong part of the city – and in the wrong generation. …

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July 29, 2013

…invented a cocktail

Now I don’t know if you’ve realised over the course of this blog, but I do like the occasional bevvy. So why not learn how to make them for myself? Tonight I went to Sanctuary T in Soho for a mixology class. The bar/restaurant is known for its lengthy tea menu and now they’ve branched …

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July 27, 2013

…made soap

I’ve been to the Brooklyn Brainery in Prospect Heights a couple of times now – for a computer hacking course and another for making sauerkraut – but I’ve not revisited the lessons since. Tonight I went back to learn how to make soap, and I can say with certainty that I’ll be using these skills again. …

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July 23, 2013

…went to a jazz club

Tonight Ryan and I headed to Smalls, a tiny basement jazz club in the West Village. Shamefully, this is the first jazz club I’ve been to since moving to the city. The place was intimate – low lighting, rows of chairs pushed right up to the stage and a charming, shabby bar that made it hard …

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July 20, 2013

…saw Chicago from the water

When I’ve asked both Chicago natives and Chicago fans what’s the one thing I should do when I’m in the city, they’ve unanimously said the Architecture River Cruise. So today I took their advice. The open-topped boat tour leaves from the Magnificent Mile and, for 90 minutes, travels along the Y shape of the Chicago River. A …

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July 11, 2013

…tasted bubble tea from Chinatown

My lunch jaunts can get pretty repetitive, so today I decided to shake it up – and headed to Chinatown for a cup of bubble tea: A mysterious – but popular – drink with black balls bobbing around the bottom. Before I went, I had to check the stuff was vegetarian. I was suspicious that …

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July 10, 2013

…took a fencing class

Quite often when I do my new things, the experience turns out very different from the one I expected. Like how normal I found all the girls at The Bachelorette audition, or how I left an air guitar competition convinced it was a serious sport. And tonight my reaction felt more extreme than the others. …

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July 8, 2013

…marvelled at a reading in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Tonight I hopped on the F train to Dumbo for a reading in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I expected to listen to some sedate paragraphs while lolling about in the grass but I got much, much more – a spectacular view of Manhattan, a masterclass in animation and that ‘I love New York’ warmth. The reading …

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July 5, 2013

…sweated at Bikram yoga

As if enduring 90-degree heat (34C) outside wasn’t enough, I decided to sit in a room at temperatures of 105 (41C) tonight while attempting to contort in a number of painful, painful poses: Today’s the day I took on Bikram yoga. Before this blog, I used to take yoga classes sporadically, but I’d never been …

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July 1, 2013

…ate poutine for Canada Day

Today is Canada Day. But trying to find a Canadian-themed place in New York is like trying to find a Welsh bar in London. For a city that has restaurants and supermarkets for every nation possible, it’s bizarre that New York seems to have entirely ignored its nearest neighbour. I could hardly track anything down on Google; one forum …

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June 26, 2013

…took a life drawing class

Tonight Elektra, Jessica and I headed to 3rd Ward in Bushwick for a life drawing class – something I’ve been meaning to do since I started this blog. And while it didn’t disappoint, my drawing did a bit. The $10 class – named Drink and Draw – is long. With the help of free cans of …

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June 24, 2013

…danced on a xylophone

A couple of weeks ago when I headed to Battery Park for Memorial Day, I spied a human-sized xylophone on the ground – nine massive bronze steps to jump on and make music. Today I headed back, envisioning a ‘Big’ keyboard scene for myself. Of course it wasn’t that simple. But as I hopped across …

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June 22, 2013

…visited Madison, New Jersey

Everyone in New York seems to have a talent for something. Even more unfairly is how my friend Maddy has talents for two things. For months now, I’ve heard her sing beautifully – and today I went to see her act. I jumped on a train from Penn Station with Lindsay and an hour and 15 …

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June 20, 2013

…auditioned for The Bachelorette

Guys, I’m single and I’m in New York (which I’m realising is a pretty horrifying place to date). There’s only one thing for it. I need to go on The Bachelorette. Okay, this isn’t very true and I’ve never actually watched an episode. But there were open auditions at ABC’s studios in Midtown tonight, so …

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June 15, 2013

…made fire

While I’ve done more than 160 new things since the start of the year, there are only a few that have given me some genuinely useful skills. Today trumped all of those. Rachel and I headed to the wilds of Prospect Park for a fire-building class held by organic clothes company, Loomstate. It was led by …

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June 5, 2013

…rocked out at an air guitar competition (and met the U.S. champion)

At the zombie parade on Sunday, I bumped into my friend Darla, who suggested I go to something even more bizarre this week: An air guitar competition. Yes. This actually exists. So tonight Jeff and I headed to St. Vitus, a dingy, divey metal bar on the northern tip of Greenpoint, to meet Darla for …

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June 3, 2013

…felt inspired by the Drawing Center

Another rainy day. Another cancelled event. But thankfully SoHo is brimming full of places to shelter from the drizzle. Today I nipped to the Drawing Center just in time to catch its Giosetta Fioroni exhibit before its close. Even though I walk past the gallery most lunchtimes, the glass-fronted space blends in a little too neatly, so I’d …

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