Travel for curious families
Currently Browsing: On America

5 ideas for carving Halloween pumpkins

TweetI love doing Halloween with my daughter here in the UK, especially since it’s still in its infancy. There’s a bit of trick or treating, there are a few parties but the celebrations aren’t over the top, like what can be a consumer-fest in the U.S.  I also find the whole super-gruesome costume thing that adult revelers have embraced creepy in the extreme. But one thing I am glad that has caught...

Eating at the food trucks in Austin, Texas

TweetAustin has been circling the food wagons for some time – food trucks have become such an institution in the capital of Texas that they’ve prompted innumerable blogs and even a next-generation fashion truck called Bootleg, which is a shoe shop in an Airstream trailer featuring hard-to-find labels.     We go to Austin every summer and every summer I love to visit the food-truck enclave on...

A typical day in New York

TweetIt’s been almost 10 years since I lived in New York, but coming back here ignites a yearning for the city. I still find it compelling, from the old-style radiators, the sheer metal canyons around Radio City Music Hall, the no-nonsense New York attitude you find in everyone from middle-class parents walking their children and dogs to car-service drivers who argue that it does cost $50 to get to Brooklyn...

The latest great American import: the doggy bag

TweetThe list of things America has given the food world is substantial: Velveeta, the Hard Rock cafe, the list goes on. But now one of our most widespread contributions has finally gained purchase on English soil: the doggy bag. So simple a concept. After your restaurant meal that you’ve paid for, you take home what you haven’t eaten to enjoy later. That might mean having yummy leftovers after a...

Thanksgiving: it’s not the same for expats

TweetDon’t tell me you don’t know what today is! It’s just the biggest holiday in America outside of the gloriously commercial three months of Christmas. What – you don’t know? Well, me neither. Since moving to England, I’ve found that the fourth Thursday in November comes round just like the first, second and third ones and it’s not until a fellow American reminds me that...

Why Americans should love Guy Fawkes night

TweetEverybody needs a holiday during which you can squirm with anticipation until nightfall, burn your fingers on spent sparklers, and singe your hair while lighting firecrackers. I grew up celebrating Fourth of July in Texas, but I quite like Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK. Not only does it get darker earlier (hurrah!) but you have that crisp chill in the air and the bloodthirsty backstory. It’s too bad...

The definitive map of the world according to Americans?

TweetOne of the challenges as an American abroad – both living and travelling – are the preconceptions people have about us. You know – childlike, fat, shorts-wearing jingoists. Anyone who knows me, knows this isn’t universally true of Americans. I, for one, hardly ever wear shorts. I’ll leave it up to you to decide the accuracy of this map, sent to me by Sarah Ebner who writes the...

My day on 9/11

Tweet“This is so fucked up” “What are you talking about?” “Turn your TV on.” Ten years ago I was sitting on my sofa in Brooklyn when my friend B. IM’ed me on AOL Instant Messenger a little after 8:45. I turned on the TV and saw what so many other people did – smoke billowing, newscasters reporting that a plane had hit one tower of the World Trade Center. The two of us IM’ed back and forth, trying to deduce what...

Do expats celebrate 4th of July?

TweetI can tell that I’ve finally assimilated into the British way of life when July 4 rolls around and my English husband has to remind me that maybe it might be fun to celebrate America’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Oh yeah. Should we have a burger or something? As a kid, I always loved the Fourth of July. We would drive to the edge of town where skeezy guys wearing dirty gimme caps...

A very cool video of my spiritual home, New York City

TweetI left New York City more than 8 years ago to live in London, and I still don’t think I’m over it. The city is like a lover I can never forget. Sometimes it drove me mad, or made me depressed. Sometimes I vowed to leave. I did do that once – relocating to Paris, which I had adored from afar since I was a teenager. About a year later I had to return to NYC for mundane reasons (sort out my...

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