Sunday, 14 August 2011

Love these pictures

These pictures were taken around New York in the 1960's. I particularly love the picture of Tompkins Square park in the rain.

Click on the link and enjoy -

Friday, 5 August 2011

Life in a day

Tonight I went to the cinema and saw Life in a day. The movie is a collaboration between Ridley Scott, Kevin Macdonald, National Geographic, YouTube and 80,000 normal people with a camera.

YouTube and Nat Geo asked ordinary people like you and me to go out there with their camera and just film their day. The footage that was created and submitted by 80,000 people was moulded into a breathtaking movie. It's amazing. The film takes place a year ago on July 24th and show's various people in multiple countries all over the world.

The movie does something only real life can really do, it shows the full spectrum of emotions we as human beings share. It's funny, sad, beautiful, awful, tragic, joyous, scary, shocking, loving, and more. I loved it. I'm sure you will too. It's your story, our story, and it's a great one. It's made me want to travel again, actually leave right now! In the meantime, I'll get this movie on DVD.

Friday, 29 July 2011

a dedication

In the last blog I wrote that I hadn't been inspired by New York in a long time. It's true, I hadn't. That's not to say I haven't been inspired, it's just that I haven't been inspired by the city. Instead I've been inspired by the strength, patience, dedication, and wisdom of one person.

I often say that "Patience is a virtue", I believe it and I believe it with all my soul. Patience is what helps us think, plan, and act with perfect reason. Patience though is a bitch to uphold sometimes. Patience is a hindsight understanding. You can't understand the true patience, or indeed admire it, unless you've been through those days in which you were being patient. It's simply a dedication that you only feel the true worth of after the culmination of that period.

Now before I descend into a gushing appraisal let me put in context why the person that's inspired me has. When I moved to New York I had just started seeing a beautiful girl whose name I will omit for the sake of privacy. She was a wonderful admission to my life and made me smile in a way I hadn't for a while. She literally made a choice of moving to New York, a bloody difficult thing, after only a month of us falling for one another. When I left London, and my new love, I was clearly torn apart. I couldn't just forget. Then, after weeks of being in New York without her we decided she should come over and we should give it a try. My thought was that you don't get to meet people like this more than once in a life time so you better take the opportunity otherwise you'll regret it forever. That person, I am happy to say is now my girlfriend. So to say that I made the right choice is a huge understatement.

When my girlfriend moved here she was coming here for me. Ok yes, she had some option of work as a photographer for a well known magazine in New York but if it wasn't for me she'd be happily living in the creative center of the world, London. Her dedication to us has been inspiring. She's stayed here with me, with limited work, for 7 months. Now let me tell you this, she is by no means work shy. She loves to work. She is one of the most social but hard working individuals I have ever met. It's one of the many things I love about her. So to go without work for even a month is despairing for her, so you can only imagine what 7 months would do. It's torturous.

So months were passing by and there was no job in site. Photography work was going on but it's freelance, and freelance in New York means pretty much the former part of the syllable. The lack of work meant the lack of structure and not having structure is hard. Simply put, not having a job is shit. I know it is because I've been there. However, by no means have I had it as hard as my lady, because not having a job whilst in a foreign country with no friends or family around is probably the hardest thing I can imagine. It's not like you have a wad of cash you can use to float around being a tourist, or ideally just jump on a plane home either. It's a real, "stick with it" mentality to ... well stick with it.

Thankfully I'm writing this blog in hindsight and after months of irregular work and serious patience, my girlfriend has a brilliant job. She is working lots and lots, and although I don't get to see her when I want that's cool because she deserves the great things a job gives. She has purpose, meaning, and a social element to her day that wasn't there a few weeks ago. More so, she has new friends. Great new beginnings are already blossoming and she's become close with more than one of her colleagues. I guess it's hard not to do that when you work at a place like babycakes.

Babycakes is her work place. It's an allergy and dietary conscious bakery in the lower east side of New York. It's super cool. All the girls are fun and dress in 50's style aprons. The place is very popular and each day they offer a great choice at the counter. No I'm not talking food, I'm taling tip jar. You can pay your tips with a choice, do you choose biggie or tupac? Johnny Depp or Johnny Cash? The choice is yours and you must decide with your dollar. I love the place, but most importantly it's my other half that loves it more, and that makes me happy beyond belief.

I guess I'm gushing now but the patience, dedication, and sheer strength of my lady has left me in awe. I am not only grateful but inspired. She's been through a lot, I hope I repay her. This blog, and new found inspiration, is dedicated to her; my sunflower in the bakery.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Hit the road

So it's been a while my blog reading chums. I've been busy, I've been doing things, and probably most importantly I've been, urm well how do I say this... I've been somewhat lacking in inspiration. Actually no, New York has been a little uninspiring. It's not tickled my fancy so to speak.

Woah there New York don't go punching me in the kidneys, it's probably not your fault, you're just busy too. Busy being convenient, crazy, temperamental, and pre occupied. You probably didn't realise you were even neglecting me, IT'S FINE. Relax. Ya know what New York, it's ok because that's how I used to feel. I'm feeling different now and it's thanks to a little friend of mine named Ginger.

Ginger is the old Raleigh bike I purchased at a market in the East Village, no it's not stolen. I think. The reason she's called Ginger is her colour, she's orange as Chris Evans lunchbox. I love her. She's opened New York to me in a way I didn't expect. The two wheels, leather saddle, old crappy white tape of the curved racer handle bars, and the bright orange frame come together to unite a pure transportation joy. Ok she's had a couple of problems but she's an old girl and she needs a bit of love, she deserves it because if it wasn't for her I would have to get the subway. (que dramatic horror scream...AAAARRRGGGHHHHHHH THE SUBWAY).

Yeah the bloody awful sweaty subway. yuk. So now I ride to work, I ride to the shop, I ride to my friends, I ride to a gig, I ride everywhere I possibly can. It's not really for a fitness sake, which I can tell you is great because already I am noticing differences in fitness, it's actually more about the discovery the bike gives me. The bike is like a key to New York, it unlocks it completely. Suprising I know. New York is known for yellow cabs, and generally shit drivers, not for bikes. But who knows we may have a future city that has more bikers than cars, here's hoping. However right now it's still a little new.

So why is it that biking is so good? Well it's down to the small size of New York. Small?, you say in a downright questioning manner. Well yes, small. It's geographically a very small city with no more than a 30 minute bike ride from anywhere, and generally it's more like 15 mins. The streets are wide, the avenues are long and clear and easy to see, the streets are straight and not winding, and it's a grid system of easy navigation.

The great thing about all of those above things is that it means I worry less about how I'm getting to somewhere but more about what I see and how adventurous I can be on my route. This has meant I've seen parts of New York I'd not see before. Areas like the East River park, the underside of the brooklyn, williamsburg, manhattan bridge, etc. I'm exploring again. I'm seeing new things in a city that was becoming far too functional. It sounds corny but navigating around the city on a bike is like making poetry from words, the words are the avenues and streets and poetry is the exploration of those streets and avenues to see new wonder.

So here's to Ginger, here's to me joining the 2 wheel club, but most importantly here's to me exploring again because frankly if you know me at all you'll know that it's exploration that inspires me the most.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


So there's a rule I live to when it comes to supporting a sports team. The first team I see live is my team for life. So far that's meant I'm a West Ham fan, A Knicks fan and as of today I will be a Yankees fan.

A lot of people have told me that it's like supporting Man Utd or Chelsea instead of a proper team like West Ham - The Mets. I get that and I have said similar things to people in the UK but the rule chooses me not the other way round. I have not sort after these tickets, they came to me. So as of today I will be a Yankees fan. I can now buy a cap and wear it like Jay Z.

Here's a bit about the New York Yankees from Wikipedia -

Monday, 11 April 2011

It's been a while...

So I apologise for those 10 people that follow me on Blogger, and the other few that have a look when I post on facebook and twitter. I've not been on here in such a long time. It's not that I've given up on the blog it's just that I've been so bloody busy. Also to note is that I have moved into a new apartment and it doesn't have internet access, a major hurdle in the blog update situation.

So here it is, I'm back. The internet is to be installed a week today so I will be on this a lot more than before and will keep it regular. So what's been going on then I hear you cry, well here's a top 5 of what's been happening.

1. I moved! I was in a cool apartment with some cool people on the corner of east 7th and A but it was noisy and cramped. When my girlfriend moved over it literally got to the point where I was queuing for the bathroom in my own house. That's not her fault it's just that 5 people in a small house with one bathroom is way too much. The old place was great but the new place is mine and no Que's anymore!
The new place is just around the corner in the same neighbourhood. The wife and I (don't worry I'm not married, it's just a Watford term for the long term girlfriend) moved in around January and we couldn't be happier. It's quieter but not too quiet, Spacious, and generally a good area.

I now live close to the corner of Avenue C, better known as Losiaida. It's predominantly a Spanish neighbourhood which back in the day (80s/90s) was a high crime ghetto. Nowadays it's becoming more and more gentrified and rather than high crime it's more tight jeans and prams. I love it and I love having my own place. Each month I am adding new bits to the apartment and it's becoming home. Here's a couple of snaps of it.

2. I have been working a lot. Work has been pretty intense around here recently and it was killer around Christmas and January. So that plus moving meant I was all consumed. I have been doing well in this job though and I think the changes I have had to take on board have been pretty painless and in some cases quite natural. My last job was far more strategic and high level thinking but less involved. This job means I am far more hands on and a lot more ingrained into the finer details of a campaign. No more brush strokes folks it's about that finite detail. Good news is that I was personally mentioned for good strategic work by a client in the 4 month business review with top members of Carat.

3. The lil lady went back to the UK. With Clo going back to the UK for a while it meant that I was trying to preoccupy myself. I was out a lot! I was definitely not going to sit at home and mope about so I got out and got social. I went out with friends and colleagues and painted the town red. It was fun but time consuming and it did the trick because rather than moping about I was phoning Clo back home with a few drunk dials. ha! She has the picture to prove it. Not having Clo around is shit though so I'm very glad that is over and she's back.

4. Visitors. I have had a couple. One of my best buddies Mark came over and kept me company whilst Clo was away. Having visitors is actually pretty time consuming because you go out a lot. Normally when you go home you'd just whack the telly on and put your feet up but when you have a guest you push yourself to go out and occupy them. It was fun and I really enjoyed having one of my close friends over.

5. Back to Britain. I went home, and it was great. I really missed home and I loved being back. London is just a very different place to New York. People of Nyc ask me regularly what the difference is and if I'm honest I don't really know how to quantify it. I normally point out the mundane differences but generally I think it's just that London is home. For many years I struggled with the concept of where felt like home to me, in the last year of London I realised it was there.

Although London is home and it felt good to be home I also realised that I'm not meant to be there right now. I am meant to be in New York. I think I realised this when I was in London and thinking about New York. NYC is now home and I like the energy here, it's different but it's an energy I'm getting used to. I don't think I could stand to be away from London forever but I no that right now I'm not missing much in London. As ex pats often say, it'll always be there. I will go back to it one day but for now I am happy in New York and I think it took me a trip back to London to really understand that.

So that was then and this is now, I am back on the blogging and here are a couple of other things I want to get back into.

1. Writing. I miss writing and it comes and goes for me. I have times when I feel completely inspired to put pen to paper or keyboard to screen. Recently I think I have been in such a state of flux that I haven't had the time to listen to my soul. Sounds corny but ask many writers about that and they'll know what I mean. I will be back writing poetry, blogs, songs, and other endless rabbles soon.

2. Photography. I think having a photographer as a girlfriend has actually made me take less pics than normal. I have recently found some slides from when I was really enjoying photography. So I am going to invest in a camera and snap away. As I said, I wont be in New York forever and I will kick myself if I don't document it.

3. Diy Womp. It seems like a lifetime ago that Diy Womp was in my life. It's probably less than a year but it seems as though its been gone forever. I want it back and I am going to work on getting a professional blog up, a book, and perhaps an exhibition.

That's it from me for now. If you're on Spotify then listen to this little relaxing playlist from me.

Thanks for reading.

It'll be more interesting next time.