Lower East Side Manhattan, was my home for one glorious month in November, 2010. A low rise, brownstone apartment housed four of us in modest style. It was noisy, exhilarating, a relentless sea of people and cars, but never dull .Whilst there I experienced Halloween, the five consecutive night baseball playoffs, between the Mets and Yankees, both local NYC teams, and the Melbourne Cup . It felt like the whole city was in a permanent party mode.
Fittingly Americain, won the Cup that year, we celebrated by finding a late night bar run by an expatriate Melbourne father and son team, and watched the big race, in the wee small hours. The Halloween Parade that went for multiple city blocks, was hugely popular with paradees and viewers alike, and seemed to host an all night subway party. Baseball blared from every bar, coffee shop and restaurant, on a nightly basis, as the 2010 World Series Games were played out.
A highlight of the trip was multiple visits to MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, who were hosting a Van Gogh retrospective exhibition, and the Guggenheim Museum. Both exemplary viewing spaces and innovators in the visual arts. I loved the Staten Island Ferry, and the vintage shops on the Island. The Bowery was home to great bagels and cheap booze. Flea Markets abounded in Brooklyn, and inexpensive, end of season shopping, was to be had in New Jersey. Legendary, cavernous, warehouse sized thrift shops, threw up priceless gems,eg; Vera Wang new black satin cocktail pants, and Jimmy Choo barely worn heels, all with bargain price tags .
It was an inspiring visit and one I hope to replicate in the not too distant future .
Sydney unleashed its tawdry charms for a stolen weekend .
Its slightly down at heel scruffiness captivated me . The nonchalant beauty of it’s spectacular harbour . Seediness of Kings Cross , coiled energy of downtown , decaying splendour of the inner city , griminess of Darlinghurst and spectre of abandoned monorail . Dishevelled Surry Hills sheltering beneath the spindly branches of nude plane trees revealed its markets , cafes ,tri level houses , and dogleg lanes , sprinkled with pocket handkerchief parks . Brashness of Kings Cross overlaid with a faded , old worlde charm of ravaged gentility. Gritty Redfern spewing ghetto , burnt out terraces and sheltering the homeless , disadvantaged and desperate . Glittering Mosman , the jewel in the harbours crown , reveals ordered streets , manicured footpaths and sprawling federation mansions . The cacophony of disparate noises tells the tired traveller they are in Chinatown , gateway to the newness of a swashbuckling , Darling Harbour . Far below the subterranean city , the surge and retreat of the restless harbour waters fuses Sydney’ s life force plying the steamy air with compressed energy .
Languid , gorgeous and slatternly she teases her dowdy younger sister , the sedate Melbourne , who cannot compete with her effortless beauty , easy grace and fecund charms .
Rumpled Ruschutters Bay , bawdy Bondi , bucolic Glebe , and bustling Paddington are an affront to classy Camberwell , hectic Hawthorn, timeless Toorak and brash Balaclava. The Coathanger , Sails , and nostalgic Ferry trade , captivate and titillate . A lone Anzac warrior stands , a silent sentry , at the entrance of the flyover to the West , encircled by primeval Gymea Lillies , that most majestic of indigenous botanica .