Archives for USA

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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A traveller’s tale in the USA – part one of 2 May

Experience trumps expectations in my travels. Experience, it is said, is a great teacher. Given these four experiences I could have coped with ignorance. My dear wife and I set out from Wellington to New York – a long planned trip. That was the easy bit. Here are four expectations we made, make that I made, that were not met. One: if it’s ok internationally, it’s ok domestically. I bought a couple of little bottles of whisky at Auckland airport – about 200 mls each – enough for a few drinks including on the night we arrived in New York after 23 hours of travelling. No problem having them in my hand luggage on an international flight. So they stayed there for the domestic leg. Never even thought about moving them. No, no says the National Safety Administration lady at LAX, each one is over the allowable liquid limit so either check the bag through or surrender them. The booze was NZ20.00 and a second checked bag was USD 25.00. So you do the maths.  Arriving in New York was
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