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November 18, 2013

…took a walk at the Irish Hunger Memorial

Down in the Financial District, there’s a bit of an anomaly between the office blocks, neon lights and suits scuttling home: a large sloped patch of grass dotted with rocks and shrubs. This is the Irish Hunger Memorial – a half-acre site at the end of Vesey Street dedicated to the memory of the Great …

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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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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 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 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 11, 2013

…visited the Mosaic House

If there’s one thing I really love about New York, it’s that it welcomes and celebrates peoples’ quirks and differences. You see everything here. And over in Boerum Hill, this even extends to homes. On Wyckoff Street, just off the Bergen Street subway stop, all of the properties are neat brown-faced buildings. All but one …

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October 4, 2013

…tracked down a Banksy

My fellow countryman Banksy is causing a daily frenzy on the streets of New York. The artist has started a month’s ‘residency’ in the city, and every day this month, a new work will crop up somewhere – causing fans to sprint through the streets to be the first to see it. Today I tracked …

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October 3, 2013

…spotted an animation from the Q train

Ryan and I were traveling on the Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan tonight when he told me to look out the right-hand-side window. Before I knew it, I was looking at a colorful animation created by panels on the walls underground. Check out the video: As you can see, we slowed down halfway through, …

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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 19, 2013

…got the dirt on the Earth Room

New York is full of bizarre things – sheep sculptures at gas stations, zombie parades and loos with transparent walls – but none as bizarre as what I encountered today: A room filled with nothing but 280,000 pounds of dirt. At lunchtime, Hayley and I headed a few blocks north to the Earth Room at …

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September 18, 2013

…visited the waterfall at Greenacre Park

I wore tights for the first time this week and switched to hot coffees. Autumn appears to be winning. This means I need to cram in as many outdoor new experiences, activities and visits as I can – sharpish. So tonight I took advantage of New York’s great outdoors – by visiting a city center waterfall. After work I …

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September 17, 2013

…traveled to a ghost subway stop

The subway platform for the 6 train at City Hall used to be one of the most opulent in the transit system’s underground maze. The station, which opened in 1904, was dripping with chandeliers and decked with colored tiles – and some of Manhattan’s richest residents would venture to its vaults after dinner just for …

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September 3, 2013

…chilled out at the Elevated Acre

I’ve always loved how New Yorkers appreciate their parks – but it does mean they’re crammed full. Tonight, I visited a park that’s a little more secret and a lot less crowded: The Elevated Acre. After work, I wandered downtown to 55 Water Street, an office block right at the tip of Manhattan in the Financial District. There, you …

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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 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 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 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 5, 2013

…visited New York’s narrowest house

On the way to dinner tonight, I took a mini detour to Greenwich Village for a peek at the city’s narrowest house – a house so small that it’s only half an address: 75 1/2 Bedford Street. At only 9.5 feet wide, the puny pad is very New York. When I went to Colorado earlier this …

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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 11, 2013

…played a piano in the street

The rain managed to stay away for most of the day, so this afternoon I took advantage and headed to Prince Street and West Broadway to serenade Rachel – on a piano in the street. Eighty-eight pianos (referring to the number of keys) have been dropped in public places across the city by Sing For Hope …

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