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December 2, 2013

…went to Winter’s Eve

For one night a year, Lincoln Square in Midtown transforms into a long block party for Winter’s Eve, a massive festive celebration. From the Lincoln Center down to Columbus Circle, bands, Christmas trees and food stands line Broadway – cramming the pavements with tourists, hungry locals and plenty of Christmas cheer. Or so it seemed… …

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November 30, 2013

…listened to underground musicians – above ground

New York subway musicians take busking to a whole new level. It’s not just some emo strumming his guitar – we’re talking tight harmonies, original songs, world instruments and attentive crowds. Thankfully, one New Yorker, Dan Pierson, has had the sense to gather together some of his favorite acts and take them above ground to …

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November 24, 2013

…visited Morocco

I’ve travelled to a fair few places in the U.S., but apart from that, I’ve not ventured much outside the UK. My parents, on the other hand, are avid travellers and one of their favourite spots in recent years has been Morocco. So tonight they were kind enough to take me there – kind of. I’m …

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November 14, 2013

…cheered at an art battle

A week ago, Ryan noticed this graffiti underway in a building near his office at Bryant Park. After a bit of sleuthing, he found out it was to celebrate the upcoming ‘Art Battle U‘ where student artists paint live on stage. So we bought tickets. The battle was held tonight at Webster Hall – and …

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November 12, 2013

…watched Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular

When I met a Rockette at Radio City earlier this year, I promised to return soon for their lauded Christmas Spectacular. Today, with the help of a friendly Groupon, I beat the holiday crowd and settled down for the show. Apart from high kicks and glitzy costumes, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. And …

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October 31, 2013

…marched in the Halloween parade

In the U.K., Halloween passes without so much as a ‘boo’. I’ve been to a couple of parties and donned a fair few homemade costumes over the years, but nothing on the same scale as they do over here in the U.S. As I walked home from work, I dodged swarms of mini monsters and …

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October 25, 2013

…danced at Webster Hall

Tucked away on East 11th Street is one of the city’s top music venues: Webster Hall. I’ve been meaning to go here for ages and this week, Hillary asked me if I wanted to go there for a date to watch a British band, Frightened Rabbit. I, er, have to admit that I didn’t actually know …

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October 22, 2013

…saw Stomp

Stomp was first performed in 1991 in Brighton, which is the nearest city to my childhood town – and as it happens, the show is my neighbor here too. I finally decided to head to the Orpheum Theater in the East Village to see it tonight – and I’m very glad I was given this second …

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September 30, 2013

…joined the crowds at Atlantic Antic

You’d have thought that the horrifying San Gennaro would be enough to put me off street fairs for life but this weekend, the city’s biggest street festival was in town and I couldn’t resist. Atlantic Antic is the oldest (it started in 1974) and largest (it has 500 vendors along one mile) street fair in …

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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 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 10, 2013

…square danced in Bryant Park

After work today, I was tired and just wanted to go home. But Ryan and I had made plans to go square dancing for my new thing, so I dragged myself to Bryant Park and screamed, ‘I hate todaysthedayi!‘ when I met him. Thankfully, it turns out that square dancing is the best remedy for …

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September 4, 2013

…drank wine from a tap

Tonight I headed to City Winery in Tribeca to watch a country band called Yarn perform. And as an extra treat, the bar was serving something I’d never had before: Wine on tap. City Winery, which has a long sweeping bar and neat wooden tables, is a slick-looking place, which seems a little at odds …

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September 1, 2013

…danced at a music festival in Sussex

Summer is music festival season but I’ve not had one lined up for years. So when I heard there was one happening in my home county of West Sussex, I thought it was worth a weekend trip across the Atlantic. Especially because this one was very close to home: It was in my parents’ back …

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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 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 3, 2013

…danced in Prospect Park

Tonight I took advantage of one of New York’s brilliant free summer activities – a huge concert in Prospect Park. To start, Ryan and I joined some others for a picnic on the grass outside the main music area. It was close enough to snack, drink and chat while listening to the concert – at that point Dan Deacon – …

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July 25, 2013

…went to a Russian speakeasy

Speakeasies may be hard to find, but secrecy is exactly what they thrive on. Thankfully tonight I tracked down one of SoHo’s hidden gems – a Russian vodka bar. I’ve been to a few speakeasies since I’ve been here, but none have given me quite the same surprise as when Helen and I walked into …

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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 19, 2013

…rapped in Koreatown

Tonight Rachel, Louise, Ollie and I headed to Koreatown to sing karaoke with some NBC folks we met at the bowling league. We went to Gagopa Karaoke – where I actually went out on my first ever night in the city when I moved here. I’ve done karaoke a fair few times and I usually stick to my …

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July 17, 2013

…watched a free concert in Bryant Park

So far I think I’ve made the most of the city’s best-known parks, from Central to Prospect and Tompkins Square. But one I’ve entirely overlooked is Bryant Park. The reason for this could be because it’s in Midtown. I hate Midtown. The sidewalks are swarming and the heat right now means the whole place reeks of …

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July 9, 2013

…saw a Monkey at the Lincoln Center

The Lincoln Center has entertained me with a couple of brilliant evenings of classical music this year – the New York Ballet, the Philharmonic Orchestra. But tonight it showed me something very different: Singing monkeys, dancing pigs and starfish suspended from the ceiling. I headed to the David H. Koch Theater to watch the hotly …

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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 18, 2013

…cried with laughter at the Blue Man Group

I’ve been feeling a little anxious these past couple of days, so today I had a screw it! moment, whipped out my credit card and took myself to see the Blue Man Group in an effort to get out of the rut. I can’t remember quite why I opted for the show. My limited knowledge of the BMG …

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