New York, losing its cool

A few years ago (or maybe more) when scientific reports about global warming filtered into the mainstream, I recall feeling immensely anxious. The predictions were apocalyptic, and it was hard not to worry about what lay in the future for the human race. Luckily, climate change ceased to be new or “news” and the reports … Continue reading

Coming back and maybe coming home

Since I’ve returned to New York, I haven’t had time to post. This surprised me, but let me tell you why: New York is hard. I had thought that I’d return from my protracted stay in Dublin all relaxed and refreshed — which I did. But I had forgotten that New York likes to flay … Continue reading

An artist in the urban jungle

When I first came to New York I was surprised to find it bland. I missed the wry humour of Londoners and the outsider-ish perspective which everyone seems to have there, even those you might think of as insiders. But gradually that changed, and I realised that I just needed a way in. New York is … Continue reading

A short story with a happy ending

The New York pet is a particular creature — cosseted, primped, pedicured, brushed and tooth-brushed by its owner and transported around town in bags and on bicycle baskets. All this goes some way towards saying that I never expected to own a pet in this city. When a housemate was leaving for California, though, and … Continue reading

Democrats in denial?

The Guardian last week showed a video titled, Democrats in denial. Gary Younge interviewed Democrats in Colorado working in lonely silent offices, who claimed they thought they could still win the Senate and the House. The video’s title says it all – that they don’t stand a chance. Yesterday, Bill Clinton was in town for … Continue reading

Why I like grafitti

An angry and rather clever, if not technically gifted,  grafitti artist is at work at the Fort Hamilton Park subway stop, adding a glint of light and humour to an otherwise grim station. The subversive scrawls are much easier on the eye than the patronizing, commercial messages of the ads that they deface. Hurrah for subterranean … Continue reading

Curious & curiouser

Every week on Thursdays I work at a place called Launchpad on Franklin Avenue, which is open to freelancers, writers, and anyone who wants to use it for non-profit purposes. I’m often the only person there, and I tap away on my keyboard, interrupted only by local artistic types coming in to ask questions about … Continue reading

Saturday stroll after the tornado

I’d planned to leave my workplace around 5.45 last Thursday, but suddenly it began to thunder and lighten, the lights flickered, and sheets of rain hit the sidewalks outside. I waited, updating my facebook profile to say I was scared to go home, and receiving an instant response from a friend — ‘that was some … Continue reading

Rapping on Dean Street

When I picked up my camera this afternoon and headed outside, I never thought I’d come across a bunch of rappers: eight of them, along with a woman with a video camera and a car blasting background music, right outside my house. The videographer was Leah Hart, and they were performing a rap cypher, a … Continue reading

New York blues

If you’re in a bad mood in New York the best thing to do (if possible) is to stay indoors. Don’t go to the shops, don’t buy coffee, don’t get on public transport or walk on crowded pavements. Don’t even check email. Wear a helmet. There’s something strangely responsive about this city, as if it … Continue reading

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