New York

I wasn’t sure how it would be, arriving back in the US after being home for eight months. Surprisingly everything was reassuringly familiar — the people, the cars, the accents, the logos. The country no longer feels like somewhere foreign, just somewhere different.

The New York-ness of New York took a while to hit me. At first that familiarity of being back in an American city didn’t make it seem that special. But when Kass took us for a walk over Brooklyn Bridge the place looked stunning. There’s something about seeing a city from one of its bridges that makes it seem like the only place you’d ever want to be; I get the same feeling whenever I cross the Thames, or walk across Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Over in Brooklyn we met up with Clay in Last Exit, a great bar with comfy seats. London can’t seem to create cool bars. Maybe it’s something to do with visiting a city, rather than living/working there, but last time I was in Amsterdam its bars also seemed so much cooler than anything in London. While London’s bars try to be cool, New York and Amsterdam’s just are. While, obviously, not a universal rule, it feels like the foreigners are trying less hard to be cool, they’re just going out to places that are effortlessly laid back, relaxed and characterful. Whereas in London it feels like there’s a desperation to be the next big thing, to be the most exciting and trendiest new hang out. It feels too fake, too desperate. There are very few bars in London I enjoy visiting merely for the place and its atmosphere and clientelle. Maybe I’m just going to the wrong ones.