The Vancouver The Guidebooks WON’T Tell You About!

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Sitting in a driveway, waiting for a bag to arrive. This is my day. Deep, deep in the suburbs of Vancouver, on a tidy treelined street, quiet and motionless in the mid afternoon, smell of cut grass, gas stains on the cement; skies are dismal, occasional weak sunshine peers … Continue reading The Vancouver The Guidebooks WON’T Tell You About!

Oysters On The Edge Of Infinity

Stepping off the afternoon train in Bayonne I was swallowed by damp. A fine wet mist hung in the air, softening edges; it smelled of salt and mystery. I dragged my bag noisily through the pretty cobbled streets, stopping to take a breath on the Pont Saint-Esprit. I leaned on the parapet and watched the … Continue reading Oysters On The Edge Of Infinity

Fighting Vainly The Old Ennui…

At the window of my suite in the Citadines hotel, I yawned and looked out across the square at clutches of elderly Parisians huddling in fear as gangs of shouting, spitting teenagers slouched by. They call it a suite because in a sort of alcove off the bedroom there’s a sink with a hotplate next … Continue reading Fighting Vainly The Old Ennui…

Will Someone Please Explain Florida to Me?

I’m the problem. It’s me. Florida is fine– they know what they’re doing, lumbering around blinding freeways in their hulking SUVs, eating their fried fish fillets, painting stuff beige, keepin’ it familiar. It’s just that I don’t get it. I try, really I do. I went down there with the best intentions, eager to spend … Continue reading Will Someone Please Explain Florida to Me?

Back to the Beach

I’m about to board a plane for the first time in 14 months and jet down to sunny Florida. Like drug-induced hallucinogenic paranoia, it’s a state I haven’t been in for 25 years, and one I have mixed feelings about revisiting. Working the Caribbean as a lowly musician aboard monstrous American cruise ships, the town … Continue reading Back to the Beach

It’s Puddin’ Time

As much as you think you won’t like it, because it’s chock full of gross dried fruit, held together with beef fat, and has been sitting in a corner unrefrigerated for six weeks, Christmas pudding is an objectively wondrous thing, and you will love it. And you will ask for more.

New York City: Signs of Life in the Smoking Ruins

At an old favourite, 1803 in TriBeCa, we sat in the ruins of our city and ate grilled oysters, while a band of our friends and heroes played their hearts out, their music echoing through the deserted neighbourhood; intently ignoring the iceberg out the porthole and the water lapping around their shins...

South Brooklyn Badlands and a Bar with No Name

I’m standing at a bar, pushing my luck. I’ve got a beer in my hand and I’m wearing out my welcome. Currently in New York City, I’m allowed to order a drink at the bar, but not drink it there. Mask on, distance observed, I’m supposed to order and pay, then take my drink and get the hell out. But I want to sit here. I want to lean back in a rickety stool, eavesdrop on neighbours’ conversations, maybe pass an eye over some sport I don’t care about on the TV in the corner, spin a beer mat between my fingers, and order another one. That’s what neighbourhood bars were invented for...

Quarantine Dreams pt 2

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m standing in front of my open fridge, staring mindlessly at the same sad selection of wilting food I stared at yesterday and the day before. But you’d be wrong. I’m actually edging my way through the crowds at the Old Airport Road Hawker Centre in Geylang, Singapore. It’s a squat, two level concrete pile, open to the elements on all sides; it feels a little like a converted parking garage. Round metal tables are bolted to the floor, surrounded by similarly affixed stools, all of them occupied. I’m never going to find a seat.