A drop of golden sun

London is full of surprises.

Two very old friends came down from the south east, bringing the sunshine along with them, for what turned out to be an absolutely wonderful day.

The Roof Gardens in Kensington are almost too good to be true. I tried to go with another friend around a year and a half ago, only to turn up and find someone had booked out the entire place for a wedding. To be honest, who could blame them, it’s downright magical!

The secluded entrance gives way to a silent lobby manned by a stern looking security guard and an Italian receptionist. Stepping into this first class entrance, I almost find myself searching for your bow tie as I realised how under dressed I was. A few tentative questions later and we established this is the right place, after which she motions to a lift in the corner. This took us up to a vast open plan bar, so quiet you could hear a pin drop; how could this be free?  And then we saw the garden. Wow.

The most amazing thing, in fact, was the sheer tranquility six stories grants this place. It’s hard to imagine that mere moments ago we were brushing through tourists on High Street Kensington. Furthermore, we were, for a good while, the only people in this area except the gardeners. I would have been happy to just sit here and soak up the sun for the rest of the day.

As we pushed further into the gardens, they kept blowing my mind. Ancient looking vines climbed wrought trellises, stone archways and ivy clad doors which lent this place a real secret garden feel. The foliage then gave way to a marquee, which cements this place as top of anyone’s reception venue lists.

It was vast, there was a huge dance floor under the transparent ceiling (shame you don’t really see stars within a hundred miles of Central London!) and curtains invited you further into what we called the “VIP lounge”

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But wait, there’s more.

A small trail wound around to the east side of the building and we could finally see a skyline …through a few windows in a wall, which was a shame, but I guess such views are the preserve of patrons in the bar upstairs. We did, however, get to see flamingoes in a little stream that appeared by our feet. Flamingoes!

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It was mindblowing, flamingoes! Having been on several safari parks and never seen them from kilometres away, now to be close enough to touch them, was almost like a dream come true. Suffice to say, a lot of photographing, messaging and snapchatting took place.

As if I needed more reasons to love you, London.

B

 

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Dust

We never really spoke much as kids, Kevin and I. I have a feeling our parents knew each other quite well, as african families do, but we led quite separate lives. Our relationship thereafter was quite facebook, you know the sort, you get to know them through the updates that filter onto your wall, maybe exchange the occasional ‘like’ or witty comment. I talked to him quite recently actually, his interest in graphic design led him to app creation, and his illustrations were great. He asked to feature some of my work and we chatted for a while. And now he’s gone.

A double arrest in ICU is all it took to take him from feeling under the weather to pushing up daisies. Twenty four hours. It’s staggering how fast it all took place, and really made me think hard about how transient our lives are, like flowers, here for now and gone in an instant.

Another friend of mine, Richard, died recently, but that didn’t help me escape the deep uneasiness of Kevin’s departure; he was my age, people that young aren’t supposed to die, but they do. I guess it just hit really close to home. We do live life thinking we’re invincible, at least implicitly, and if you don’t believe this, just ask, what would you do if this was your last day? Why isn’t every day like that? We all live assuming we’ll get to see tomorrow, all the while, God may have very different plans.

Rest in peace, brother.

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Nooks and crannies

When I was making my choices on where to go for university, I really tried hard to move away from Manchester. It helped that UoM didn’t do the type of course I thought I wanted, but really, I didn’t want to stay in Manchester.

Part of it must have been because I’d never really wandered anywhere past the Arndale shopping mall, full of the same old shops. Maybe if I had seen the Manchester that I know now, things would have been different. Leaving definitely makes you appreciate home.


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I met up with a few friends from college and we had a hankering for good food. Terrace is quite literally a hole in the wall next to Teacup, one of my favourite coffee shops in the Northern Quarter. Nothing outside tells you what it is except the door into a corridor leading through to the other side of the street.

Inside, it’s dark, filled with odd bits of furniture and low hanging lights, definitely my kind of place! The food was good, although the burger a little on the small side. It was cooked to perfection and the fries weren’t bad either!
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We then found this place Hannah mentioned called Twenty Twenty two. You’d miss it if you weren’t looking, heck, I missed it when I was looking. It’s in this tiny little alley off Dale st. The place is huge, and through the back there are four table tennis tables. Some may see it as a gimmick, but I absolutely love it, adds a new (top)spin to chilling out at your local!. We paid for half an hour but because it was dead, we played for well over an hour.

DSC_0027 DSC_0032A camp buddy was over in manchester and discovered this wonderful place called Almost famous burger. The burgers pile high with cheese, onion rings, bacon, everything your mind can think of. It’s the only place I’ve ever been to where the fries are pretty much a main on their own, drizzled with cheese, bacon, onions and chilli. Then the desserts, goodness me. Visit.

Manchester, you’re great.

 

B

 

The one I’ll miss the most

My last few days were spent in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a small little area adjacent to Williamsburg. After stressing over this, E managed to find somewhere called the Greenpoint LodgeBright-23.

For what we paid, it was amazing, and I was constantly kicking myself as to why we hadn’t found it earlier! The area around us was lovely, with a huge park where we sat and watched some baseball.

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This was our breakfast, at the Manhattan inn. A quirky little outlet, with a skylight and a piano for entertainment. The pianist was wonderful, but the environment slightly awkward, as if we were too close and were expected to be watching rather than appreciating the food and our own conversation. Bright-39Bright-37

This was probably one of the best bits of street art I saw in my whole time there. And believe me, there was a lot of it.
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Bright-38The are around us was wonderful. There aren’t many things that would make me want to live in America, visit, maybe, but this neighbourhood is just so lively and amazing.
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Unlike manhattan, however, Williamsburg and Greenpoint do sleep. At night, it can get kinda ropey, and I wouldn’t advise walking around too much on your own, but if you’re willing to brave the streets, you’ll be rewarded with an entirely different borough..

Bright-26..offering stunning views of the city such as these!

Bright-27And these!Bright-31Bright-32The next day was brilliantly sunny, and so I decided to brave the right hand side of the road on a Citi. They’re the more expensive facsimile of the Boris Bike – just as heavy and unwieldy! However, they are a marked improvement to my own two feet when it comes to moving around. After a while, I got the hang of the whole opposite side thing, and the road down to the Manhattan bridge was wonderful, I wish we had cycle lanes like this!

At the bottom of the island, just beneath the bridge, is a large skatepark. Some of the people there were absolutely incredible! I must have sat there watching for a good hour. Apparently there were some famous skaters there too, going by the reactions of the people around me! Bright-24

Add some family dinners, relaxing nights in, top banter and you’ll have yourself a week never to forget.
Bright-28Catching the flight on the following morning was an extremely sad affair, not helped by the fact that I’d not slept since the previous night due to an extremely hectic day of last minute prep. I was sent off, however, with this glorious sunrise that peaked from behind the manhattan skyline. Everyone in the waiting room was caught by surprise, incredulous as to whether that was really the sun. And just like that, I was gone.

Goodbye America, see you on television.

B

 

 

The one where we were almost homeless

Working with kids 24/7 means it’s really hard to figure anything out, especially when a lot of other people are involved. This was made even worse by the fact that we had no reliable internet. The result was ten people sat in Tempest trying desperately to figure out where we were going to sleep that night! As you can imagine, this all became rather stressful, tensions ran high, and so did the bill! The taxi ride there was 

We eventually managed to track down an apartment in downtown Manhattan, right next to Times Sq. After my last stay in Manhattan, I wasn’t particularly keen, but at that point we didn’t really have much choice. It’s much harder to be social when everyone is separated off into rooms as opposed to all sharing one huge house.

The apartment building was nice enough. The beds were lovely, and the maintenance guys were fixing the roof, so they left the fire escape open and we got a rooftop view! Bright-20Bright-2

 

The first night was pretty quiet. My favourite part about the hotel was that there was a Food Emporium nearby (think: small,  worse M&S). I may have gone on a slight spree and bought everything in sight. This was to make, probably the biggest meal I’ve ever made, serving over ten people a decent bolognese and fresh bread. There was plenty to spare too! Cooking it in a tiny hotel apartment was a nightmare, however, as the fire alarm(s) would go off every five minutes!

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We decided to hit Chinatown! It was, unsurprisingly, incredibly crowded with tourists and hawkers at every street corner. We had lunch at the New Malaysian Inn, which was decent at $10, but the food was a little too greasy for my chopstick-incompatible fingers, forcing me to retreat to the familiar comforts of the fork. Bright-4 Bright-5
Bright-6 Bright-7MoMA, and other large galleries, I believe, offer free entry one day a week. Thanks to UNIQLO, we got in for nothing, and it was pretty cool! I wish I could appreciate art on a deeper level. Mostly I just like looking at all the architecture and design stuff. Paintings are breathtaking but a lot of it just goes over my head. The photography exhibit on the third floor was also quite good. E, my photographer friend, said some of the photographs brought her to tears. If you’re in NYC on a Friday afternoon, it’s definitely worth the line to get in, just don’t bring a big bag, unless you want to wait another hour! 
Bright-8 Bright-9 Bright-10Tribute to a fallen hipster 
Bright-11 Every saturday on the East River State Park, Williamsburg plays host to the Smorgasburg, a very large artisan food market. It was wonderful, and the food, albeit rather pricey, was delicious! Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. 

Bright-12 Bright-13This hot chocolate was from a place called Bakeri, on Wythe ave. It’s a small and unassuming patisserie, with, what I can only describe as a moody, adolescent Cath Kidston feel inside. The hot chocolate they served doesn’t look like much, but it’s one of the most unusual I’ve tasted. It was rich and warm, spiced with cardamom, normally used with coconut milk and cauliflower in some curries. It remained delicious to the very last drop. 
Bright-14After this, we packed up and moved to the next hotel, using Uber! It was one of the coolest things ever, you order a taxi through an app, and like a video game, it shows you, as a little icon, your cab coming towards you, and plots your entire journey. The payment comes off your card, and is, mostly, a lot cheaper than a normal NYC cab. Their customer service is also excellent, having both my issues resolved with money back too, I’d wholeheartedly recommend them if you find yourselves in the city. 

 

That’s all for now! 

 

 

The last one

What struck me most about the third was the fact that I was super emotional watching the kids go.

I had quite an odd tent, with a mix of seven and nine year olds. This was initially quite a challenge, given the mental age gap between the two, but they have been absolute angels in comparison to the other two sessions. Don’t get me wrong, there were still times where J and I got mad, but they were just being kids!

I felt like a proud dad when one of my kids passed his blue level swim test, allowing him (and us, finally!) to swim in the deep – the first time it’s happened in years. I also managed to teach two kids how to ride a bike for the first time with no training wheels which filled me with relief more than pride as biking with the young ones often involves us doing 95% of the work whilst they sit there enjoying the ride.

We were also the first little johns in a long while to have an entry in the talent show! They all got together and did a cute dance to Bruno Mars. If I’m honest, in comparison to the other entries, ours wasn’t great, but I’m just amazed that this was something they really wanted to do and pulled through with it, despite nerves and tantrums.

The talent show this session was actually one of my favourites. Despite the circumstances of some of these kids, there is some absolutely amazing talent. I’m struggling not to use the diamond analogy, but being pressed in at all sides does sometimes yield gems!

These were some of the Sherwood boys

I loved this because it was so different from the other dances. It’s rare kids this age would try contemporary!

This was my favourite act of the night. One day during music, JJ, the girl, started singing this song. T, the guy, then hopped on the piano and started singing and playing along whilst another girl made a beat tapping on the acoustic guitar. The result was enchanting. We had a talent agency visit from across the way a few days ago. They loved his music so much they donated a piano as he only has a chance to practice on sundays at church. His passion for music is absolutely astonishing.

The banquet that follows was also one of the best. Our unit leader staged a wedding with the unit leader of the oldest girls’ hill as everyone said they should get married. It was hilarious, and genuinely would have made a lovely real wedding ceremony! sherwood sherwood-2

I didn’t really expect to get so attached to the place when I first arrived, treating it more like a job than camp, but everyone is genuinely like one big family. Yes, like any family, it has its cracks and flaws, but then you have moments like this when everyone gets together to have fun. Those are the memories I’ll be taking back with me!

B

The one with the cabins

Everything is really hectic at the moment. The season is coming to an insanely quick end, and classic Bryan has left all his planning to the last minute. As it stands, I still have very little idea of what I’ll do after the next four days, ha!

For our last day off, we went to a camp up the road on Seabago. It’s odd thinking I’m leaving one camp and going to another (out of choice!) but with no kids around, it was serene. We had a really nice group of people who were up for just relaxing, making it one of my favourite days off. And It would have been too, had we not been forgotten by the staff who came to pick us up five hours late!

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Their lake was gorgeous

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We found some coal and had a beach fire

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And used the rest in the cabin. Falling asleep to a roaring fire is one of the most comforting things ever.

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Silence, no one needing to pee, having nightmares, falling off beds, nothing but the sweet chorus of nature tells you its time to get up

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The deer sure are a lot nicer without hundreds of kids running around

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So are the hummingbirds!

Blogging has been slow and laboured, there are a lot of posts to catch up on, hopefully they’ll come soon, but that’s all for now!

 

B

 

The one with the Ottoman

 

 

 

it’s pretty customary to have a little rummage around when you first move into an apartment. Next to my bed was an ottoman, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to open it and see if there was anything inside. And I struck gold! Well, mainly coppers and a few quarters. But deciding it was probably the previous tenants’ savings for a rainy day, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and satisfied myself with the pleasure of the whole thing.

As we were preparing to head out to grab some stuff for dinner, I found another ottoman in the master bedroom. Excited by my previous discovery, I sought my fortunes a second time. Boy was I not prepared for what came next – $420.

This huge roll of cash was just there, in plain sight, staring at me in the face. So many conflicting thoughts were running through my mind. It just so happened that there were seven of us, making it $60 a piece. It was such a dilemma!

On the one hand, the guys in the apartment beforehand left it there, and as it was cash money, no one could really pin it on us, as it could have gone missing anywhere, really. It wasn’t difficult for us to just take it and leave.

However, it was still someone;s cash, I tried placing myself in that position, having kept a stack of cash handy for when I needed it. Perhaps they were tourists, like us, who were sick of carrying their travel money around and thought it a good idea to stash it in the old ottoman. Taking it was also super dishonest, as it would involve having to lie at every turn from then on to save my own skin. Enter the quandary.

Making the decision is theoretically a cakewalk. The obvious answer is to leave the cash. However, on the ground, with your share in your hand, the crystal clear resolve becomes decidedly murky. Leaving the cash does’t mean the person gets back the full amount, in fact, they wouldn’t get it back at all, as someone else in the group would split it out amongst them. It would also mean the weekend’s room would be all but paid for, a large consideration given my financial situation! Thoughts of all the things I could buy raced through my mind, a nice lunch, those S. Perry boat shoes from Journeys, maybe a pair of Roshi’s or Free 5.0s.

I could also have given the money away, that way I wouldn’t have kept it, and it would have gone to a worthier cause than my own indulgence. This avenue still didn’t rid me of the fact that it wasn’t my money.

Looking back on it now, I would like to think thatI wouldn’t have kept the money. That’s the last thing that was going through my mind before I heard that the true owners had called up to claim the wad. The landlord could have botched it, he could have taken a cut himself, but, I guess, the main thing was that it wasn’t, isn’t on my conscience, which would have been a massive killer; the extra sixty bucks would have been nice, but the price was too great.  NY-15

The one in Brooklyn

This intersession was spent in Brooklyn, one of the boroughs of New York City.

In all honesty, the prospect of staying in “the hood” chilled me to my very core, but we left planning to the last second, booking the apartment less than 24h before we left. I was expecting a dingy flat in a neighbourhood filled with people that look like they could eat you up for breakfast. I was mostly wrong, mostly.

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With some chocolate from Duane Reade, the only corner shop that stocked more than Hershey bars, this happened! Put some hot chocolate on a double boiler, add milk, stir until it’s all dissolved and the result is this incredibly indulgent drink that warms you to your very core!
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The apartment itself was stunning. for $40 a night between us, it was an absolute bargain. Having a bed of any description, after sleeping on a creaky bunk for two weeks feels like a cloud. And don’t even get me started on real showers. The real bonus, however, was the fact that we’d have a kitchen and could cook food for the first time in five weeks! The neighbourhood itself was pretty sketchy, however. The sort of place that you wouldn’t want to walk through alone at night. But we did. 

This was breakfast for the first day – the sketchiest pancakes I’ve ever made, no measuring cups, cylinders, just a little bit of everything in a bowl. Plus syrup.

Williamsburg

Brooklyn is a fair way away from the hustle and bustle of central manhattan. It’s had its fair share of rough times, but we got to find gems in the borough, one of which is Williamsburg. In a similar fashion to many areas of East London now such as Shoreditch, Hoxton and Brixton, once rough, now the hipster capitals of their cities!

There was such a different vibe from the whole place, everything was smaller and weirder, there is a complete change in pace compared to the city – no yellow cabs in sight but everyone cycles and longboards; I was home.

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The first thing we saw when we hopped off the Subway was this junk shop. These are about a dime-a-dozen in this district, but we decided to give it a look. Inside were these two huge bins filled with old photographs.

Christmas, birthdays, graduation family shots, scenery, everything! It was really surreal being involved in so many different people’s lives, to be privy to all these different moments in time. Some were absolutely beautiful, and made you wonder why someone would ever let it go. Others had lovely messages to a loved one or a family member, like a picture of this woman to her lover during the war.

I looked at this one picture, and asked someone who I thought worked at the shop for the date. He was deaf. What proceeded was a really odd moment where I shrunk back in my awkwardness and aversion at the whole thing, and his genuine attempt to communicate with us, despite our lack of sign language knowledge. I expected him to get on with it and just leave me alone when he found out I couldn’t sign, but he kept going, making a real effort to get across what he was trying to say. He was super knowledgable about all the photographs, and was probably a master photographer back in his day. He then proceeded to show us how he knew it, bringing out the camera that took the picture and showing us how to use it. I didn’t manage to get the make or name, but it was shot “from the hip”, as the viewfinder worked quite like a periscope, and had two of them, for shooting portrait and landscape

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Lunch that day was a small Italian on the corner of bedford. It was amazing. The first healthy meal I’ve had out in five weeks. I’d had pizza the night before, and admittedly, it was delicious, but in a greasy, carnal fashion. This had considerably less meat, but the combination of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves was a good antidote to all the America iI’ve ingested. To top it all off, every pizza was $10, so we got half and half. Life was good.

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If you’re ever in a new big city., check out whether they have a TimeOut, it’s a great way to discover cool things to do. It recommended a place called Mast Brothers – an independent chocolatier that specialises in dark chocolate.
The first thing you notice is the, near overpowering, smell of melted chocolate. Caustic to your nose, initially, then gives way to a warm sweetness that leaves you begging for its source! I have never paid so much for a bar of chocolate in my life, and I’m not sure I will ever again, but my gosh it was incredible. It was 72% with hints of maple – ravishing

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This was the coolest urban outfitters I’ve ever seen. It was in this derelict building along with some other independent brands. There were a few floors littered with the usual UO affair, but at the top was, amongst other things, a photo booth! The results were spectacular!

Just behind was a bar, which led to a further section on the roof. Not the best rooftop bar I’ve seen (that being the Abbey Tavern in Kentish Town) but it had amazing booths. A small problem with NYC is that you’ve got a lot of vertical competition to get a good view in from the roof.

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The street art in this area was incredible! NY-60

I’ve really tried hard not to climb the empire state building. I don’t really know why, but something about having to pay to climb a building really gets to me. Besides, you’re gonna get a much better view of manhattan from outside it! I’ve yet to find somewhere to see the sun rise – maybe next time, After spending almost the whole day in Brooklyn, we crossed the Williamsburg bridge into manhattan. It was absolutely full of cyclists, skaters and long boarders, graffiti and stickers – such an odd image set against the clean and sterile backdrop of downtown. The views were incredible, however, and you got to see all the cool art on the rooftops as you climb over. Shopping in the city is pretty dire. There’s not a Sainsbury’s in sight. Instead, you have lots of “delis” and grocery shop equivalents. They’re usually pretty small and contain sweets,, snacks and beer. Any actual food is hot, from a deli counter, or tinned – you have to look far for fresh ingredients.

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However, we were really lucky and managed to find a nice Chinese deli which did the trick! It’s still cheaper to cook food than to eat out in the city, it is just a lot more effort. This came out at around $9, but having to walk by Five Guys, Wendy’s, and a myriad of other fast food eateries on an empty stomach because of it was no easy feat. In the UK, machines like this would be like £1-2, but $.25?? Crazy! Safe to say I had a fair few goes, but couldn’t even touch the high score!

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We hung around union square for a while to see all the street kids. Loads of people were hanging around this huge space, skating, dancing and playing hackey sack, and they were amazing! I’d pay to see stuff like this.

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The first ever shake shack, incredible! NY-47 NY-48 NY-49

The feel of this intersession break was just so different to that of the last. Less of the deer-in-the-headlights tourism, more relaxed, taking the day as it comes. Yes, I didn’t leave the house until around 2 and didn’t really have much to show for it at the end of our ridiculously long day. No majestic landmarks of complex itineraries ticked off either. But it was a lot more relaxing than trying to go all out.

It’s also a lot more fun when you explore with other people. Logic tells me to get up at 4 to take the metro over to the west side and catch the sunrise over manhattan, return, crash for a few hours and then leave before everyone else wakes up and hit everything the city has to offer as it’s the only way to make the trip “worth it”. One thing that made this break particularly fun was getting to know other colleagues who I’d never normally run into, and the collective discovery of new places and experiences is definitely better, shared.

This was a holiday.

B

The one in the big apple

Intersession!

We stayed at The Lexington, on 48th, which is two or three blocks up from Times Sq, making for great travel and food opportunities! Sadly, our room was the party room for the first night, with …mixed results. However, despite a slightly groggy start to the morning after (trying to fit five people in a double bed is not a good idea guys), I got my professional tourist on!

Had to grab lunch at a classic diner. Comfort got really good reviews. Despite the slight price, the food was delicious!

Had to grab lunch at a classic diner. Comfort got really good reviews. Despite the slight price, the food was delicious!

This BLT was probably the healthiest thing I ate all weekend  I still can't quite get my head around prices in America, you have to add a random amount of tax to everything you buy, AND everyone expects tips, it's insane, buying anything is like a sick game of Russian roulette as you never know exactly what is going to happen until you get the receipt!

This BLT was probably the healthiest thing I ate all weekend
I still can’t quite get my head around prices in America, you have to add a random amount of tax to everything you buy, AND everyone expects tips, it’s insane, buying anything is like a sick game of Russian roulette as you never know exactly what is going to happen until you get the receipt!

this was a longer exposure shot of the main plaza, it's interesting to note how still some people stood for the entire length of the shot, they are so sharp!

this was a longer exposure shot of the main plaza, it’s interesting to note how still some people stood for the entire length of the shot, they are so sharp!

The roof of Grand Central is spectacular, Sadly, I don't have a wide enough lens or short enough legs to capture the entire thing in any sort of detail, so this little bit will have to do

The roof of Grand Central is spectacular, Sadly, I don’t have a wide enough lens or short enough legs to capture the entire thing in any sort of detail, so this little bit will have to do

Classic

The subway is like a dirtier, more expensive version of the tube, I miss you, London!

The subway is like a dirtier, more expensive version of the tube, I miss you, London!

This has to be my favourite advert of all time

This has to be my favourite advert of all time

It's longer than you think

It’s longer than you think

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The view from Brooklyn Bridge was pretty fantastic, great sights of the water and the Manhattan skyline

The view from Brooklyn Bridge was pretty fantastic, great sights of the water and the Manhattan skyline

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Shake shack make incredible stuff, How did I not know about this before?!

Shake shack make incredible stuff, How did I not know about this before?!

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Ground zero, you have to see it, words can't really do it justice.

Ground zero, you have to see it, words can’t really do it justice.

Yesterday it rained, hideously, and so the only place we could find in the few moments we had between monsoons was a nondescript Chinese. I had slow cooked beef brisket in noodle soup. Normally, I'm not a big fan of Chinese, with a very reserved pallet (darn you, Mother!) but this was fantastic! I'd definitely have it again, a great bargain for $10.

Yesterday it rained, hideously, and so the only place we could find in the few moments we had between monsoons was a nondescript Chinese. I had slow cooked beef brisket in noodle soup. Normally, I’m not a big fan of Chinese, with a very reserved pallet (darn you, Mother!) but this was fantastic! I’d definitely have it again, a great bargain for $10.

There was this nice little french-looking patisserie a few blocks up from my hotel. As the guys in the room were recovering, I stole the opportunity for a cheeky breakfast. The pastries were delicious, and the service was fantastic, however, it's probably the worst hot chocolate I've ever had, ever. It was like drinking warm water *shudders*, couldn't tip.

There was this nice little french-looking patisserie a few blocks up from my hotel. As the guys in the room were recovering, I stole the opportunity for a cheeky breakfast. The pastries were delicious, and the service was fantastic, however, it’s probably the worst hot chocolate I’ve ever had, ever. It was like drinking warm water *shudders*, couldn’t tip.

I love this

I love this

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Lego wall!

Lego wall!

This Apple store was pretty cool, unnecessary, but awesome - apple in one!

This Apple store was pretty cool, unnecessary, but awesome – apple in one!

To shelter from the rain after our Steak 'n' shake (seriously, the best and cheapest burgers in Midtown Manhattan), I happened upon The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and had, after my disappointing breakfast, one of the best hot chocolates of my life. This was a sweet offering, contrasted to TAP's darker, more wholesome contribution. It was big too, and just under $4!

To shelter from the rain after our Steak ‘n’ shake (seriously, the best and cheapest burgers in Midtown Manhattan), I happened upon The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and had, after my disappointing breakfast, one of the best hot chocolates of my life. This was a sweet offering, contrasted to TAP’s darker, more wholesome contribution. It was big too, and just under $4!

 

Now for Second Session, wish me luck…

 

B