Archives for USA

Denver – a work in progress

Denver, the capital and main city of the mountain state of Colorado, is a large and growing city stuck in the middle of nowhere with a fierce local pride and seemingly much to be proud about. View PDF
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Slave to history

Baton Rouge, the state capital of Louisiana in the deep south of the US, is a drawcard for viewing alligators in the swamp, catching crawfish and its rich history of architecture and a “colourful” way of life. But among the highlights are the low-lights of Louisiana: its history of slavery. View as PDF
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Low lights of Louisiana

Baton Rouge, the capital of the state of Louisiana, presents a medley of experiences for visitors, both in the city itself and as a jumping off point for the state’s many natural attractions, including swamps, alligators, fine historical houses, and special French flavour not found elsewhere. View as PDF
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A Walking tour of Boston published

A piece I wrote about the joys of walking around Boston has been published in Rotary Downunder, the magazine that goes to 61 000 Rotarians in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
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Profiling three Kiwi Chefs in New York in the Listener

  As a result of my travels in the US earlier this year I’ve had a piece published in this week’s Listener on three Kiwi chefs making a go of it in New York, including the big guy Matt Lambert whose restaurant holds a Michelin Star. The others are Pauli Morgan of the Nelson Blue bar and restaurant and Mark Simmons of the Kiwiana Café in Brooklyn. A pleasure to talk to all of them.
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An American Traveller’s Tale Part five

Santa Monica: chill out in an oasis of calm Forty minutes down the road from Los Angeles International Airport is the seaside settlement of Santa Monica, and a charming spot it is too. Very chilled out, but also modern, authentic not tacky, with great restaurants and cafes (always important for me), an interesting and historic pier, a thunderously good beach and no showoffs (go to Venice Beach for that). I spent several hours there last week in between flights in and out of LAX. What a contrast to the hustle and hassle of a busy airport. It’s dead easy to get there. Take a Flyaway bus from just outside the entrance to Tom Bradley (or any other terminal) on that great sweeping boulevard where buses are monsters. The Flyaway bus to Santa Monica comes past every hour at 45 minutes to the hour. $8 for a single journey. (It’s even cheaper if you take a shuttle to a carpark and catch the Big Blue Bus – then it’s only a $1.) Remember the song…..”until the the sun comes up.on …”
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Night tour of Boston’s breweries covers only a few

Boston has an active craft beer scene and the state of Massachusetts has at least 47 micro breweries, ten of them in greater Boston. I signed up for an evening brewery tour with the Boston Brewery Company, and eventually five of us headed off in a van across the river to Night Shift Brewing while Andy from Arkansas, our beer guide, talked about how lifting the legal ban on home brewing in the late 1990s had led to an explosion of experimentation. Night Shift Brewing’s story is typical: three guys in an apartment making their own stuff and giving it to friends, who eventually said, ‘man, this stuff is good enough to sell.’ Now they have a large warehouse with big steel tanks, a range of brews and a bar out front where people from the neighbourhood gather to sip, talk and eat stuff. Very homely. We tried four beers there, a very plain beer called Whirlpool which had grapefruit flavours but not much else; 87, which was a 7.8% IPA with extra hops added at the end of the
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A Traveller’s tale in the USA – part three 8 May

Coney Island Adventures I have wanted to go to Coney Island ever since I saw the 1979 cult thriller Warriors where Cyrus, a gang leader calls a summit of all the city’s gangs in Pelham Bay Park Representatives of the Warriors gang from Coney Island attend, but get framed for Cyrus’s murder and have to make it home. The result is a series of confrontations and escapes until the dénouement on the sands of the beach where the real killer is himself killed and falls bloodied to the sands. Today the souvenir shop at Coney Island still sells a wide range of Warriors memorabilia, T shirts from toddler to giant, hoodies, ashtrays (yes ashtrays), fridge magnets and the like, and the shop owner tells me they sell well. Coney Island is the world of Robert de Niro’s Raging Bull, a throwback to the 1904s/50s, now well faded and not even faking its former glory. While it’s rundown and even seedy in place, there are hundreds of millions of dollars being spent redeveloping it. Paul’s Daughter’s café reflects those times. It
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