New York, New York

img003I had a wonderful trip to New York. The book-related reasons to go were to sign copies at the Columbia Alumni Book Fair and to give a speech at the Jack Kerouac Literary Group, both of which went very well.

Outside of the scheduled events, it was great to spend some time in New York City, where I lived for six years before moving back to the UK in 2006. I managed to catch up with friends from my various incarnations:  a corporate banker at Citigroup, a student at Columbia and then a journalist at the Wall Street Journal. And then I spent time just wandering down memory lane. Of course things have changed, but most of the old favourites are still there. As I list them, it’s interesting how many of them are food-related! Anyway, in my old neighbourhood on the Upper East Side: hot pastrami on a poppyseed bagel from Tal Bagel (I used to live in a little apartment upstairs), breakfast at the old-fashioned Mansion Diner, and little choux pastries filled with custard from the Choux Factory. Further downtown, brunch at Danal’s was a must. Then there was Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, the various riverside walks in Manhattan, and of course a lazy, sunny afternoon lying on the Great Lawn in Central Park reading a book and trying not to get hit by frisbees. And visiting friends in New Jersey gave me an excuse to rent a Corvette for a day and hit the gargantuan American highways.

I realise that holiday snapshots are usually more interesting for the person who went on the holiday than for everyone else, but I’m posting a few of them anyway 🙂

Van Cortlandt House in the Bronx. Shortly after coming across this, I found myself watching a game of cricket in the adjacent park. Not a side of the Bronx that you see very often.
Van Cortlandt House in the Bronx. Just around the corner there was a cricket match going on - not quite what I expected to find in the Bronx, but I spent a very relaxing afternoon watching it.
Columbia University. The bouncy castle wasn't there in my day - standards must be dropping...
Lower Manhattan as seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. 111 Wall Street, where I used to work, is the squat dark building just left of centre. It looks small here, but at 24 storeys it would be one of the tallest buildings in London.
The Great Lawn in Central Park
The Great Lawn in Central Park. It didn't stay this empty for long.
Sometimes you just have to get out of the city...

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