|If you won the Lottery (or even Monopoly) would you go to New York?|
I'm not as good at gritting my teeth as I should be - but this blog helps. When people tell me about where they've just visited (New York) or where they are going (New York) or where they plan to take their daughter on her 16th birthday (New York) or what they did last school holidays for just 4 days in New York I make an effort to listen, and see if I can figure out a UK alternative. Today it is New York v London in a three round battle.
1st Round - looking around
Turns out the hot new thing in New York is a walk along the raised High Line, a one-time goods train line that ends up in the Meatpacker District. It's now a park, with wheelchair access, that provides a lovely off-road walk with incredible views. All the info is here. But it's absolutely no different to the Parkland Walk - a former railway that runs from Finsbury Park N4 in London up to Highgate Woods. If you take a brief detour you can then go on to Alexandra Palace. It's 4.5 miles (7.2km) of rustic pleasure in the middle of the best city in the world (oops, a bit partisan as I'm thinking London!).
New York nil: London 1
2nd Round - stylish living
"We loved hanging around in NYC with all those Art Deco buildings, drinking cocktails, jazz and the atmosphere..." Oh, easy win for London. You just head to Hackney's Mare Street (breathe in the edgy atmosphere) and in your best outfit pop into the Town Hall Hotel. Here there's a mix of Edwardian glamour, '30s furnishings and loft chic (sounds New York doesn't it?). Best of all the Town Hall Tea Lady serves martinis from her trolley. Bliss.
Result: New York nil: London 2
3rd Round - fabulous street food
American immigrants have introduced the best foods to the big apple (even if the US is infamous for it's Macfood exports). Noodles and spices and easy over breakfasts are all done wonderfully in New York. Servings are monster, prices cheap. But street food markets are the big trend in London and offer Korean fusion and other fabulous choices. More to the point - when I asked my cousin (who'd just come back from New York where she successfully stayed in an airbnb appartment) what new food was all the rage in America, she said she'd noticed nothing any different to the food on offer in London. If you are still thinking Pizza Express is the bees knees, then maybe it's worth trawling Hoxton or China Town in the evenings or for a lunch time tastebud treat try Exmouth Market, Broadway Market or Whitecross Market . If you subscribe to Boat Magazine (£2) you can get a rather fab map of London's best street food. Or take a look here at London's top 10 street food vendors published in the Guardian.
Result: It's a knockout 3-nil win to LONDON.
Airmiles of carbon saved - 1 tonne (see carbon comparison website info here).
Over to you
What's close to home that feels like somewhere very other, or even New York?