Governors Island – fab family day trip

Summer is here, schools are out, cue anxiety about how to occupy the kids for 12 weeks. Governors Island is a fantastic place to escape the sirens, traffic and scalding hot, smelly sidewalks of Manhattan, and charge about on huge stretches of open grass.

Just 800 yards from Manhattan (we can actually see it from our window), Governors Island feels like a totally different world with its 172 acres of grass, playgrounds, cafes and eerily empty, decaying buildings. Continue reading “Governors Island – fab family day trip”

Boston – fab destination for a long weekend with young kids

Yet another day off school last week – this time to celebrate Columbus Day. American public holidays are completely different to the Brits’ – like only one day off for Christmas, but then a day half way through January for Martin Luther King Day. Taking advantage of the fact that this particular holiday fell on a Monday, we took the Friday off too and went to Boston for the long weekend.

Initially we thought we’d like to take the train, until we worked out the return fare for a family of four was double hiring a car. Poor old C ended up doing all the driving, since the whole driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road thing still freaks me out. We took the more scenic I-95 route, stopping for lunch in Mystic, Connecticut – who knew that Mystic Pizza is a real place?
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How British expats cure homesickness in New York

My homesickness  – when I get it – manifests itself in two ways. Family and food. Sometimes one or the other, but usually both. C’s mother is staying with us at the moment, the extra pair of hands with the kids is so appreciated after all these months out here just the four of us.

Yesterday I took advantage of the childcare during Spring Break (that’s Easter holidays to us Brits), and nipped out for an afternoon’s English nostalgia with my v. pregnant friend from University and fellow New Yorker, H.

We met at my old favourite, Tea & Sympathy, and gloated over the menu. Welsh Rarebit with bacon and baked beans. Bangers and mash made with actual, real English sausages. (Have to agree with T; American sausages do taste weird). A pot of leaf Earl Grey tea and a sticky toffee and pudding with custard later, my craving for English food was sated. I’ve blogged before about this cafe, and can’t recommend it enough, with the one caveat that it’s not big enough to handle small children. Once they’re old enough to appreciate a full English afternoon tea, then you’d be able to enjoy it with kids.
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McNulty’s Rare Teas & Choice Coffees – what a find

McNulty's Rare Teas & Choice Coffees
McNulty’s Rare Teas & Choice Coffees

Have stumbled upon the most glorious tea and coffee shop, I almost danced on my toes like an excited four year old. McNulty’s Rare Teas & Choice Coffees is one of the oldest shops I’ve come across in New York, on that very site in Greenwich Village since 1895.
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The Mysterious Bookshop

The Mysterious Bookshop
The Mysterious Bookshop

Have found such a beautiful bookshop in Tribeca, it warrants a blog post all to itself. Called The Mysterious Bookshop, it only stocks crime, mysteries and thrillers. Floor to ceiling shelves, with those tempting old school wooden ladders on rails so you can reach the very top. There’s a huge section devoted to Sherlockiana (that’s Sherlock Holmes to you and me), and much of the stock is signed by the author.
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