Free Bungle! Brooklyn bear behind bars

Again, apropos nothing, there is a random teddy bearing a striking resemblance to Bungle from Rainbow imprisoned on Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn. Why, why, why?

Bungle the bear


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Seeing Stars: Psychic New York

For some unbeknown reason  – and New York magazine offers some interesting explanations  – storefront psychics do a roaring trade here in Manhattan. They’re absolutely everywhere!


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Younger for longer in New York City

Recently I went to an after-work gathering in Hell’s Kitchen with my boss. As we walked along, we discussed some of the ins and outs of living in Manhattan. She lived in New York for years before being dragged kicking and screaming into the suburbs. One of her key observations was that compared to other cities, in New York you can be ‘younger for longer’. This is a sentiment I can entirely relate to, and on asking around seems to be true.

In your thirties, in many places (both in the UK and the USA) it’s common to be settled down, with at least one of an assortment of a mortgage, spouse/long-term partner and children by your early thirties. As a result, nights in with DVD box-sets suddenly seem to become the norm. Your days of crazy partying around the clock are well and truly over. Well, not in the Neverland that is New York. Continue reading

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My New York’s better than yours

New YorkerThere’s a defining scene in one of my all-time favourite New York movies, Wall Street, where the characters discuss the merits of two rival Manhattan neighborhoods. The Upper West Side (as it was in the 1980s) is witheringly described as “the home of the exposed brick wall and the houseplant”, in contrast with its more salubrious competitor, the Upper East Side.

I’ve found that this inner city competition isn’t just limited to the movies – or the 1980s. It’s a real phenomenon. Everyone’s got their own opinion about which part of New York is the most authentic, the coolest, the best. “I never go above 14th street” is not just a common city joke, it’s also a reality. The Upper East Side is often disparaged for its sterility, while Williamsburg is celebrated (or mocked, depending on your standpoint) for its hipster reputation.

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NYC’s most judgemental hardware store

Spied on 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. Especially loving the total absence of context.

Shame on you

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You’ve gone all New York!

The New York TimesThis past week, I’ve had several experiences that have made me reflect on what it means to be a Brit in New York – the highs, the lows and the ways it can change you.

I had some visitors over from London, so got to show them the New York that I’ve discovered so far, a step beyond what an ordinary tourist might experience. During their stay, we were joined by one of their old university friends from Britain, who had been living in New York for several years. Her accent had morphed into some kind of weird Transatlantic Loyd Grossman twang. Aaargh! Is this really what happens to Brits after just a few years? Oh please no. Continue reading

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First of all, can I just say this is deeply patronising…

Randomly spotted in the staff area of the otherwise hilarious Trailer Park Lounge in Chelsea was this bizarrely worded list of edicts. I can’t imagine the manager was popular with the servers after sharing such arbitrary gems as ‘do not start sentences with ‘first of all’. Is the economy really that bad?

Trailer Park trash


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