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May 26, 2015

…took a bus tour through the Bronx

Midtown is clogged with tour buses, but did you know that some companies take you to less touristy corners, such as the Bronx? When City Sights NY asked me if I wanted to join one of their groups, I jumped at the chance to check out this part of the city I rarely visit. So last weekend, Ryan and …

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May 17, 2015

…got tipsy on a cocktail tour of the East Village

By now you probably know that I am a walking tour fan. There’s no better way to see the city than on foot accompanied by someone who knows their stuff. And among the tour groups, Urban Adventures is one of my favorites thanks to their wealth of knowledge, small group sizes and choice of lesser-known locations. So when I …

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March 10, 2015

…visited the United Nations HQ

Being British, I have two deeply ingrained traits: 1) I will never complain if someone puts me out. And 2) I am a firm believer in queues being properly maintained. But last week, as I lined up to enter the United Nations for a tour, there was a clash. An old woman who had been muttering …

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March 6, 2015

…toured New York’s top movie sites

Give me a decent science museum or a must-see art exhibit and I’m all for it, but I usually draw the line at super touristy activities (well, if you ignore this). That all changed last weekend when I had the joy – yes, joy – of being a tourist in my own city. On Location Tours …

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June 17, 2014

…toured inside the Woolworth Building

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a reader suggesting I check out the Woolworth Building. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was possible, thanks to the ‘No Tourists Beyond This Point’ sign outside. But as I discovered, the Woolworth does open its doors to small groups – a new development over the past …

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May 16, 2014

…visited the cells at Kilmainham Gaol

Ryan and I made one last stop on our Scotland-Ireland tour before heading back to New York – but, while it was fascinating, it wasn’t a particularly merry one. From dingy cells at Alcatraz to lockups in Scottish castles, prisons are so interesting to me – I can’t imagine the mental games or fear of being inside one. So while in Dublin, …

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May 12, 2014

…played the tourist in St Andrews

Whenever I get within a train or two of St Andrews, I head back. It’s been nearly 10 years since I started university there, and every time I visit, I’m still amazed by how quaint it is. I’m also amazed that I busied myself there for four years without getting tired of the place; the town …

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March 31, 2014

…toured the Brooklyn Brewery

Of course, the first time in weeks that I have visitors, it rains. All weekend. Thankfully, the Brooklyn Brewery gave us a delicious indoor alternative to checking out the sites. Kate (who has her own very amazing blog here) and Darius had popped up from Washington D.C. for a couple of days and I was glad to hear that Darius …

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March 27, 2014

…was wowed by Grouplove at Terminal 5

Two months after Ryan’s birthday, we finally got to use one of his gifts: Tickets to see GROUPLOVE. I have to admit, the first time I even heard of them was last year when Ryan mentioned they were playing at Terminal 5. I made lots of disinterested noises while making a mental note to book tickets …

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February 18, 2014

…took a walking tour in the LES

This weekend, I got a treat – Heather arrived in New York City! Heather and I have known each other since we were six – and I think we’re still pretty much the same today: an unchanged sense of humor, an unparalleled ability to chat rubbish to anyone who’ll listen and penchant for kiss chase. Today …

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December 29, 2013

…went aboard the USS Intrepid

We landed in New York last night – and unfortunately brought the bad weather back with us. But while it wasn’t particularly pleasant to be walking around with a soaked jacket, it did mean that I got a very authentic experience when I went to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum this afternoon. You know …

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December 21, 2013

…took the East Village Mosaic Trail

I’ve lived in the East Village for nine months now and I’ve obviously not been paying attention. Today I was looking for new things to check out nearby and came across the Mosaic Trail – quirky mosaicked lampposts just a stone’s throw from my front door. Even though I pass the lampposts every single day …

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December 16, 2013

…visited St Bart’s Church (and saw St Nick)

I’d been looking forward to some carolling on the steps of St Bart’s church in Midtown with Ryan and Helen tonight so we scooted up there straight after work. Unfortunately, either we scooted too slow or the singers were too fast because when we arrived, the choir had disbanded and were munching on festive biscuits …

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December 15, 2013

…went back in time at the Merchant’s House Museum

I love having a good nosey around a stranger’s house – and I also love visiting old properties frozen in time, so that I can wander through the rooms, imagining myself as a former resident. Today I got to do both at the Merchant’s House Museum. My friend Jade had suggested heading to this house …

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October 30, 2013

…took a ghost walk through the West Village

I’ve spent a fair few hours with spirits in the East Village, but tonight I ventured to the other side of the island to get to know a different kind. Armed with my camera and Jeff for protection, I went to Washington Square Park to learn about the ghouls terrorizing the West Village on a …

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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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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 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 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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April 29, 2013

…went to the hotel where Stephen King wrote The Shining

Last night, as we recuperated from our day of exertion, we popped on The Shining. I don’t know if any of us actually made it through the entire movie (blame the two-hour time difference) but we were inspired enough to visit the hotel where Stephen King wrote the novel. The Stanley Hotel was near our …

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April 27, 2013

…toured a winery (and got very merry)

Because the 12 bottles of wine we bought for the cabin yesterday just weren’t enough, we spent the afternoon sampling the local alcohol. I’ve never had Colorado wine before. And now I can understand why. First up, we went to Valley of the Wind Winery in Estes Park, where we selected five wines each for …

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April 26, 2013

…travelled to my 33rd state

I’ve done a fair bit of traveling throughout the U.S., but I’ve largely stuck to the coasts and avoided the middle. Today I went to one state so far out that such little attention was paid during its inception and it was sketched as a square: Colorado. It brings my number of states visited to …

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April 19, 2013

…visited Roosevelt Island

Today I spent a couple of hours on Roosevelt Island – a two-mile-long strip of land in the East River between Manhattan and Queens – and I don’t get it. Embarrassingly, I didn’t even know it existed until about two months ago, when I met a guy at a party who worked as a teacher on …

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