Lockdown in Birmingham

For an unrelated reason, on 23 March, I went to Birmingham. I’d planned to stay a week. Later that day, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that the UK would be going into lockdown! I could have got the train back. I think it was permissible to return home but I wasn’t sure. However, … Continue reading / view photos Lockdown in Birmingham

Walking in Birmingham

In the 1980s, someone I worked with, Ken, often spoke about Birmingham in the office. Most of us had never been there but had heard the cliches about its dreariness and joked about it with him. Ken stayed in London during weekdays but went back to Birmingham over the weekend. Eventually, he invited a few … Continue reading / view photos Walking in Birmingham

Flower show in Snowshill

Every time I go to the Cotswolds, I marvel at the honey-coloured houses and the immaculate front gardens everyone seems to have. I sometimes wonder if the area is inhabited by retired gardeners; perhaps to incentivise them, people are rewarded with a prize each year for best garden; or, maybe, cultivating a beautiful garden is … Continue reading / view photos Flower show in Snowshill

Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye

Friday was probably the hottest day in the UK this year. We felt the heat walking up Hay Bluff. The photo of it doesn’t do justice to the steep (but short) ascent. It was an enjoyable short circular walk before driving to Hay-on-Wye, the UK’s bookshop town. Living up to Wales’ reputation, Hay delivered spits … Continue reading / view photos Hay Bluff and Hay-on-Wye

Freedom Tower

Apparently, those who were around when President John F Kennedy was assassinated remember where they were and how they heard of his death. I wasn’t alive to have a JFK moment. I did, however, have an Elvis Presley moment: I was playing football on the street and a friend shouted to me from an overlooking … Continue reading / view photos Freedom Tower

Camp rock guitars

When I first went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”) in 1988, two things struck me. The first was how well the collection was curated: everything from the selection to the colour of the galleries was well coordinated. The second was Jackson Pollack. I’d never heard of him at the time but I … Continue reading / view photos Camp rock guitars

Vessel

After the morning bagel breakfast in Brooklyn and the walk along the scenic High Line, we went to see Vessel. When we went, it was free to enter but you had to pre-book, which my generous Airbnb hosts, Max and Alia, had done. I loved The Vessel. There was something different yet familiar about it. … Continue reading / view photos Vessel

Rainbow bagels to the High Line

I had the perfect hosts at the Airbnb I stayed at in Manhattan. My hosts, Max and Alia, were kind, considerate, and knowledgeable. They took me for breakfast at the best bagel place in New York. We then went on to walk the High Line and, finally, they’d booked a trip to the breathtaking Vessel … Continue reading / view photos Rainbow bagels to the High Line

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

New York has not one but at least fifteen botanical gardens! I spent a good chunk of the day at the trendy Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. The Gardens were partly closed for a large expansion that was in progress. Despite that, there was still a lot to see. I ambled around. I spotted a large turtle … Continue reading / view photos Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Coney Island and Kobayashi

On a hot and humid day in Manhattan, I headed for the beach in Coney Island, the south-western corner of Brooklyn. The journey was about 90 minutes on the subway. When I got there, it turned out to be as hot as Manhattan. There was no sea breeze to cool us down. I even walked … Continue reading / view photos Coney Island and Kobayashi