Eine Kleine Nachtmusic

“Y’know, we can’t believe it – every time we come to New York we find another neighbourhood where you just wouldn’t have gone to a few years ago – and then, you get somewhere like THIS!” The woman and her husband from Washington DC weren’t wrong. If you take the L Train to Bedford Avenuein…

Going Underground

Most visitors to New York will concentrate their stay in Manhattan. And why wouldn’t you? All the main attractions are close by, and there’s no shortage of choice. But if you do come here, I’d urge you to hop across at least one bridge. Like Brooklyn’s. Not only do you get a great view of…

The Right Side Of The Tracks

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. First impressions count. New York is notoriously known as being unfriendly and impersonal – and the stereotypes are reinforced on arrival at La Guardia airport. “You stand DER and DEY’LL woik in an’ call your name.” I’m not sure if it’s a piece of helpful advice…

Nashville : On The Record

“It show is pretty weather ahht they’re,” says Jodi at the front desk. And it is. After a day of rain and biting winds, Nashville looks good in the sunshine. Broadway is still teeming with tourists, and plenty are heading for a Sunday morning snack. One scoop of ice cream seems a bit mean, so…

Smashedville

Only in America would people refer to a shopping centre as a mall. And only in Nashville could this idiot mistake a park for a shopping centre. On the map, it clearly said “Bicentennial Mall”. Thinking that this might be some sort of Robin Williams themed retail experience, I got on the free Music City…

The Next Big Thing

If you’ve ever seen the TV show Nashville you probably imagine the country music scene to be a cross between Fame, Glee and Desperate Housewives. And as someone who knows as little about country as I do, it may seem an odd choice to be attending Tin Pan South, the annual songwriter’s festival. But the…

A Date With Death

Everyone knows that they do funerals with style in New Orleans. The jazz cort├Ęge leading a parade through the street and all the showbiz that goes with it. And they may be gone, but they’re certainly not forgotten, as illustrated by the elaborate headstones in Lafitte Cemetery. Some of these memorials aren’t that old, but…

D-Day, Popeye and Satchmo

Louisiana, and in particular New Orleans, might not seem the obvious place to locate America’s National World War 2 Musuem, but there’s a good reason for it. The D-Day landing craft – known as the Higgins Boats – were designed, built and tested here. So it’s little surprise to see one taking pride of place…

Keeping It Real

The word authentic is often overused, especially in big tourist destinations. Businesses vie for a claim to be the “original”, the “first” or the “unique” and rarely are. So to search for the “authentic” side of New Orleans, breakfast is a good place to start. And the often overlooked humble beignet. Think of a doughnut…

Bonjour, Frenchman Street

On a corner of Frenchman Street is the reason I keep coming back to New Orleans. A live jazz band is in full swing, drawing a large crowd and generally blocking the traffic. But the cab drivers don’t react by honking their horns or shouting at them to get out the way. This is everyday…

My favourite price : Free

Whichever way you look at it, Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 is a wonder of modern day design. It wasn’t always thus : its opening was notoriously hit by technical problems. But today, from the moment you step off any form of public transport, it’s a well organised building, easy to navigate and – as there…

Welcome Home!

“Don’t ever become old and boring, Kev. See the world.” I like Tim. I’ve known him for about 10 years and we share a love of beer and travel. Yet he seemed perplexed when I said I was going to New Orleans for a third time, followed by Nashville and New York for a second…