Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Giving Thanks

We're back from Portland relaxed, chilled and after a red eye flight, completely jet-lagged. We went to spend it with wonderful friends who offered to host our very first Thanksgiving. This being a holiday that we don't do in the UK and a complete mystery to me. It seemed to be more popular than Christmas which is what really complicated my opinions of this tradition. I mean, what? How dare you even suggest that there could be something bigger than Christmas in a yearly calendar! What could be more amazing than having a few days off work to spend with family? What could be greater than having food to gorge on all day. Yummy pumpkin mash with a pecan crust, green beans cooked in a cream sauce with a gratin topping, or a juicy turkey marinated overnight in brine and cooked with a crunchy leak and bread stuffing. What could be more relaxing than spending the whole weekend with good company and relaxing by a fire?

Oh wait a minute, this all sounds a lot like Christmas! So let me get this straight, this is an opportunity to put aside any religious beliefs and spend quality time with the family. To take a few days off and relax. To cook great food and eat it. To have yet another turkey. And you still get Christmas at the end of the year. Yes it's official, I am a huge fan of thanksgiving. Fully converted and looking forward to next year.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Home from home

We've now officially been in New York for 3 months and I still haven't posted any pictures of our home. All I can say is that for a really long time the apartment just wasn't up to being photographed. We've had it painted, windows cleaned, house professionally cleaned, furniture swapped and sinks replaced. Our personal belongings only arrived a month ago and finally with little bits of home the apartment has started to feel like home. So here is a tour of our home away from home, an unusually huge flat for Manhattan. It has a kitchen diner, a living room diner and boasts 3 bathrooms. There's also a mighty comfy spare room (ahem...) but you should know that I have also turned it into my personal closet. As you do. 

Monday, 12 November 2012


Empire State & Madison: An everyday view. I cannot tire of photographing this amazing building. It's so beautiful and looks different every time.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


What happens when the city that never sleeps is forced to sleep? An eerie alternate city emerges. New York looks completely different in the dark. The New York attitude is about the only thing that stayed the same. I saw huge trucks squaring up to little guys in squish-able little cars, only to find themselves unable to intimidate them. The lack of traffic lights meant that we had an endless chorus of honking from around 5pm as commuters desperately attempted to make their way home. And Paco's evening walk was like something out of The Twilight Zone, complete and utter darkness for blocks. 

The worse things was seeing all the major New York landmarks shining like beacons of light. The Chrysler, Grand Central and the worst offender the Empire State that actually changed colors to orange for Halloween. As Hipster Dufus said, they really should have switched off their lights in solidarity to those of us that had to go without. 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Learning to survive...

When we realized there was a tornado headed for New York we didn't so much as flinch. For days the report told us that it was going to pass below us and we'd simply experience high winds. Nothing bad we thought, we'll just have to get out the winter clothing. Then literally two days before we were told that actually, it probably will pass through Manhattan but still nothing to worry about, just make sure you're not on the streets. Then the day before suddenly low lying areas of Manhattan were being evacuated. Well we're in Midtown so surely nothing to worry about. And we set off on at least making sure we had the basics for survival. Here is my guide of what you need to survive a storm:
So in conclusion, what you need is the following:

To make extremely strong friendships with someone who lives on the upper west/east side!!! 

It doesn't matter how much you prepare, living off dry food and sitting in a cold flat with nothing to do is always going to be uncomfortable! Those guys didn't so much a flinch in the storm. All these areas kept their power and its been a nightmare to look up 6 blocks and see light, literally light at the end of the dark NY tunnel. So close but no cigar! We did receive offers to go and bathe in people's homes but it was just weird for this to be your first encounter with people. I felt uncomfortable going to someone's house to simply use their facilities. Not to mention the added stress of knowing you had to return home. So there you have it, the only advise you need to survive a storm in New York.