May Week, and the less famous city
June 19, 2008, 1:26 pm
Filed under: travel


Originally uploaded by cobismith.

I’m back in the East of England.

I was in Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon (pictured) for the Queen’s College garden party, Darwin literature garden party (or something) and fireworks on the river, and will be back on Friday for the Darwin College May Ball. At the moment I’m in Norwich.

People in Cambridge and London may be derogatory about Norwich but I really like it. It’s a bit like Adelaide in relation to Melbourne or Sydney; great lifestyle, culture and research facilities. Locals prefer to keep quiet about how great it is, to avoid the price rises and onslaught from more famous cities.

If I were to move back to England I would move to Norwich (and go to Cambridge for May Week every year, and the odd formal hall).

(not going to happen though)


New York?
June 19, 2008, 1:15 pm
Filed under: travel

in Harlem

Originally uploaded by cobismith.

New York is, needless to say, a very big city. There’s no way three days is enough to see everything – I barely scratched the surface. It was enough time to appreciate one thing decently (namely Central Park) and get a taste of lots of other things.

Several of my friends plan to live in New York at one stage or another; some are working towards that now. I’m not sure if I’d want to live there. I loved visiting, it was sensational. A big part of that had to do with my two wonderful friends who showed me around; I’m so thankful for these inspiring people.

But there were times I found the crowds frustrating and the noise disturbing. I think New York is more raucous than London or Tokyo. On the other hand, wandering through SoHo on Sunday afternoon I definitely had a sensation of affinity.

Most New Yorkers I met were super friendly, against the stereotype. I didn’t feel unsafe very often, no more than in London anyway. We found plenty of funky cafes and restaurants – no need to resort to Starbucks.

I think if two more of my friends moved to New York that would tip the balance in favour of me wanting to live there. In the meantime, it’s an ideal place for a summer weekend.

Central Park flash mob water fight
June 15, 2008, 5:17 pm
Filed under: travel


Originally uploaded by cobismith.

So I’m off again… let’s just skip forward about six months, now I’m in New York for the weekend, staying with a friend from Cambridge who’s now living here.

The awesome thing about staying with locals is you get to do local stuff. Being part of a flash mob isn’t your standard weekend in NY tourist activity. But somehow I got embroiled in a flash mob water fight between a bunch of Columbia University grad students vs. a bunch of high school kids, with a bunch of other random types thrown in.

It was a hot and humid summer day; the water fight was the perfect antidote for my jet lag and general wretchedness after my first night out in NY.