28 November 2011

off on my travels...taking the high line

new york's high line was my very favourite part of the trip...it's a public park that has been built on a freight rail line 30 feet above the streets. it starts in the meatpacking district with its former working buildings all gritty and industrial and strides across the streets and under buildings of west chelsea to west 34 street between 10th and 11th avenue. here are some photos...

the standard hotel straddling the high line

chelsea market public art

(my favourite photo of the empire state...)

i think this will be part of the planned new section

off on my travels...macy's thanksgiving parade

in new york on thanksgiving...what on earth do we do? run around the city getting glimpses of the macy's thanksgiving parade, that's what. it was the parade's 85th year and we liked that it had been started off by the macy's employees who wanted to give something back to their local community.

the fun started on thanksgiving eve (?) queuing up to see the giant balloons being blown up on 79th and 81st streets, just around the corner from our holiday apartment (via air b&b). there were a fair number of nypd's finest with road blocks and fences making us all feel safe and making sure we went round the streets in the correct manner. i'm not sure why they needed to be in groups of four mainly texting, chatting and snacking but perhaps that's how it is done over here.

on the day itself, we ran around new york like fools trying to get a good view of the parade that featured floats, marching bands, dancers, little balloons but we could never get close enough to see anything but the giant balloons bobbing around.

the smurf's bottom near times square
kermit...in the distance

we also stumbled across some green-outfitted dancers - at first i thought they must be irish dancers but their hats seem to say alabama boliviana or boliviana alabama so clearly not. the round metal things on their legs are bells...you could hear them coming for miles. and check out those shoulders pads.

where's everyone gone?
all jokey comments aside, it was an amazing spectacle and everyone loved it. i'd definitely recommend going if you're in NYC over thanksgiving but my tip is to get up early (earlier than us!), decide where you're going to watch the parade and sharpen those elbows!

22 November 2011

off on my travels...a stroll around cambridge, ma

i'm in america again, visiting p in cape cod. on saturday, the night of my flight in to boston, we stayed in cambridge for a change, just over the river from boston itself. by some miracle we were out of the hotel by 9.00 on sunday morning. this is a record for us and only possible because i was still on uk time (five hours ahead).

we spent the day wandering around cambridge, the home of mit and harvard but not before that all important sunday brunch at the friendly toast, a 50s style diner with all kinds of 50s vintage furniture, pictures, knick knacks and paraphernalia. the photos i took were terrible so here's one from our visit to the friendly toast in portsmouth, maine. the cambridge one is mainly apple green. there are photos on the website. i had a costa rican breakfast.

all full up we started out wandering...we saw a red tree...

i sat in a huge chair...

saw a narrow, boarded up building right next to lots of glossy, shiny ones...

wandered around a farmers' market...

went into a tobacco, cigar and 'men's' shop...

marvelled at mit's own railway, presumably for bringing in their boundary-pushing pieces of kit...

wandered through mit's main building as there seemed to be some kind of open day...

saw mit's very own henry moore sculpture

strolled across the bridge to boston...

and sat in boston's park watching a surprising number of parents having photo shoots of their babies...it was very funny watching mums and dads trying to get their bundles of joy to look at the camera and smile...

overall a great day especially as it was lovely and warm and sunny, so we carried our coats around most of the day. i did do a bit of light shopping at the cambridge branch of black ink. the museum of useful things is also worth a look, which is stocked at black ink.

06 November 2011

off on my travels...in london town

so, last weekend, me and p went off off on our travels to london town. we travelled south on the train through the grand stations of the north. the station at darlington was especially lovely with soot-stained bricks, old school signs and sculptured building parts.

we stayed in spitalfields, in the hoxton hotel, which had been in my favourites for a long, long time. the room was fab, newly designed with lots of interesting quirky features...

and a very different big light to what i'm used to

on the saturday afternoon we walked along the south bank of the thames and wandered into the design museum for a spot of product design plus quite a bit of telling off of shoppers in the design museum shop from the shop manager for photographing pages of books. we also swung by city hall and tower bridge - i liked the juxtaposition between the old and new.

and the different blues of the bridge and the framework of girders underneath it.

on sunday, took us columbia road flower market, which i'd only ever seen on the television, in magazines and on blogs! it was such a bustle of people and a fabulousness of flowers.

we also a dog in a little green jumper (or was it a cardigan?)...how we laughed (quietly).

and a cream cheese and salmon bagel was a perfect snack...yum, yum, yum

from the flower market, we found the top of brick lane (visiting tatty devine and unto this last) and wandered all the way down it stopping off for some street food before calling into spitalfields market for p to buy a new jacket from albam. he popped back to the hotel to do some work and i visited labour and wait and aubin and wills.

we had a lovely meal in a caff i discovered on my solo travels called albion. here's my tea - shepherds pie with sides of buttered cabbage and bugs bunny carrots. it's definitely a place worth checking out next time you're in the spitalfields area.

on monday we tried to go shopping but p had to do some emergency work but not till after we'd had our lunch at the riding house cafe. it was very nice but quite different to what i expected - quite a tidy place rather than relaxed, more of a restaurant than a cafe. the toilet was very nicely designed, with copper pipes holding a light, a mirror and a tap.