Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Back home

I'm back and recovering from jetlag in Sally Bradshaw's very nice Highbury flat, where I am cat-sitting. I missed the departmental meeting. Bad GTA rep. I did mean to go up, but I just lay down at 10 o'clock and basically woke up at 3.

New York, more thoughts.

Everywhere I went, the food was awesome, just in little random places. In fact the only bad food was at grand locations like on 5th Avenue and at the Met. I had the best bagel of my life, the best sushi of my life, a spectacular Greek salad. The best Greek food ever – fabulous octopus – pity about the singing though. (Some cultural forms don't deserve to survive.)

Which urbane sophisticated hipster failed to go to the MoMA because he confused it with the Met? Even after actually arriving at the Met and spotting the signs for exhibitions of Etruscan and Roman art?

The Guggenheim is beautiful and had a small but perfectly formed display of really excellent early C20. My favourite period.

Things that will make Londoners feel at home in New York: lots of Japanese tourists, cheeky sparrows and randy pigeons, foreign languages audible everywhere. Things that will make you feel foreign: politeness, the squirrels (they have stronger forearms and look more like Disney cartoon squirrels), all the different American accents.

The real difference you notice with London is the civic pride that New Yorkers have. The city really has a sense of identity. Whereas in London, we just grumble.