As a native English speaker I was hardly expecting language difficulties in the US, a nation that’s smeared my mother tongue across the globe like Coca-Cola on a Southern-glazed ham. Yet my wife and I had a heck of a time getting coffee up, eggs easy over and our point across in a recent trip.
As the Big Apple itself rotted in the 1970s and 80s, so too did Coney Island. Once the global synonym for fun, for decades it mouldered through slow decline, a byword for urban decay. Fairy floss and hoopla gave way to hoods, graffiti and gang-banging.
Freelance journalist Carla Pratt writes: I’ve seen people hail cabs in all the movies set in New York City. Carrie Bradshaw can hail them with just a whistle, it surely can’t be that hard. Out went my hand in the air. Zoom…….straight past me. There are 4.5 million residents in NYC and 50 000,cabs. I didn’t […]
Today I learned how to cook the tasty dish, Pescado a la Veracruzana, at my favourite Mexican restaurant. That was at midday. It’s nearly midnight in New York and I’m still on a high. Sustaining this level of ecstasy usually costs a lot more than what I paid for lunch.
During my first Thanksgiving in the US, I set aside my usual cynicism about retailers using the holidays to boost revenue.
Caroline Regidor writes: “I’m packing lead in here,” the elderly woman said to the younger one, her face set in a snarl. Gangsta grandma rummaged through her handbag as if she were looking for a gun. She had plopped down next to me. I couldn’t help myself. Curiouser and curiouser, I peered down. All I could […]
This week a recruiter asked me what someone from Australia (with its miraculous 5% unemployment rate) is doing looking for a job in New York. Fair question. The number of people unemployed in the US, at 14 million, is equivalent to two-thirds of the population of Australia.
Julie Zhou writes: I looked anxiously up at the sky — dark clouds hung ominously low, the air smelled like wet laundry. These were not ideal conditions for tennis, but there I was, standing in front of the gate at Flushing Meadows, getting ready for a night of grand slam tennis featuring Roger Federer and […]
The French are snobby and smelly, the Italians are mafia gangsters who consume pizza and pasta all day long, and Americans are fat because they eat too much of... well, everything. Or are they?