Countries, Culture, UK

Banksy, Murtsy and a history of graffiti

If my school had had a more liberal attitude to wall art, folks would be talking now about Banksy, Murtsy and a history of graffiti.

After all I was only following in a Classical tradition that dates back to the Romans and Pompeii.

For yesterday’s lewd diagrams to denote their red light district think today’s cock and balls.

Whether the graffiti great of the Classics world had the same celebrity though as Banksy has been lost to history.

An exhibition of yourself

Banksy’s capital: The Flower Thrower

But the shadowy scribbler’s notoriety is richly deserved and are celebrated at a special exhibition in Covent Garden, London.

The Art of Banksy is the world’s largest touring collection of Banksy artworks, boasting over 100 original works.

And it has already been shown in Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Auckland, Toronto, Miami, Gothenburg, Chicago, San Francisco and Sydney.

Whether they have the rat and briefcase piece he drew when I took la famiglia to New York for the first time I’ll have to go along to Covent Garden to discover.

The exhibition highlights works made for charities all over the world.

From the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation to international activists Greenpeace.

Showing pieces from private collections, The Art of Banksy showcases his most iconic pieces.

Alongside rare works never seen by the public before.

American Graffiti

With bells on: Liberty Bell, Philly

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, lays claim to being the modern-day home of graffiti.

Although, as in most things, New York contests this and insists the City that Never Sleeps is an upgrade.

If you’re a city break fan and seek out the places where the ragged people go then you’ll always glory in graffiti.

Graffiti always explodes where repression reigns and the Berlin Wall was probably the most graffitied surface in history.

Czech this out

Imagine: Prague

We saw it too elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe and particularly in Prague.

Where the John Lennon Wall came to represent the uprising against the Soviet invasion of the Czech capital in 1968.

Put the boot in

The bad guy: Putin

Of course these challenging times have inspired an outpouring of creativity to reflect our support for Ukraine.

And our revulsion at the invasion and our belief that the writing is on the wall for Putin.

The good guy: Zelenskyy

So you have my permission to make your mark on history.

And maybe I’ll get my spray paint out and get my name out there.

It’s got a ring to it, doncha think for the next exhibition…

Banksy, Murtsy and a history of graffiti.

How to get there

Icons: The exhibition

The exhibition at 50 Earlham Street is on Thursday and Friday: 10.00 – 21.00, Saturday: 9.30 – 19.00, Sunday & Monday: 10.00 – 18.00.

And if you don’t know London, the nearest stations are Covent Garden (3 minute walk), Leicester Square (5 minute walk), Tottenham Court Road (8 minute walk) Holborn (8 minute walk) and Charing Cross (10 minute walk).

Tickets are priced from £14.50 and can be booked online at artofbanksy.co.uk or over the phone, on 08440 412001.

America, Countries, Europe, UK

John Glenn and other space cadets

Many have said it about me, so on the 60th anniversary of his becoming the first American to orbit Earth here’s to John Glenn and other space cadets.

And a nod, of course, to NASA HQ in Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

And our friends, a visiting spaceman among them, who shared their world with us.

Including witnessing multiple sunsets.

Take me to space: Bandanaman and Spaceman

The bould John, 95 years young, last went into space when he was 77.

Now that space tourism is a thing and is no barrier to age as Captain Kirk, William Shatner, 90, proved let’s look to the stars.

Through the Rainy Days and Songdays songs that have inspired us the Space Race generation.

A Mars a day

Making it up as he goes: David Bowie

Life on Mars, David Bowie: And no, not Bowie’s first space song, nor his last.

Think Space Oddity, The Man Who Fell To Earth and Ashes to Ashes.

But Life On Mars from the album Hunky Dory is certainly his best.

And to bring it back to earth Bowie name checks Ibiza and the Norfolk Broads … both stop-offs for this space cadets.

Rocket science

Making a spectacle of himself: Elton John

Rocket Man, Elton John: Elt was spaced all right when he put the score to his pal Bernie Taupin’s lyrics.

So we can’t place him anywhere though we imagine that the-then coked-up Mr John would have been seeing a lot of The Troubadour in West Hollywood then.

Swing among the stars

What he just said: Frank Sinatra

Fly Me To The Moon, Frank Sinatra: We don’t know if they’ve got old blue eyes out in space but Frank’s voice is out of this world.

Obvs we want to name check Hoboken, New Jersey and the other cities that he bigs up, New York, Chicago and LA.

But the closest we got was Las Vegas and this inscription to the Rat Pack in Neon City

All-Hit Radio

Sibling space cadets: Karen and Richard Carpenter

Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, The Carpenters: Now this one is a new one on us but this was actually originally written by the Canadian band Klaatu (no us too but they were named after an ambassador from the extraterrestrial confederation in the film The Day The Earth Stood Still).

But it was in the hands of Richard and Karen Carpenter that the song really took off.

And it naturally has that Californian twang with the unique lead-in of Mike Ledgerwood on All Hit Radio.

This song will be heard once again

De Burgh was here: In the Nativity Scene

A Spaceman Came Travelling, Chris De Burgh: Only Chris De Burgh could come up with anything quite as overblown as a space hook to the Nativity Story.

But the Irishman did after reading Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken, with a sprinkle of WB Yeats and his belief that every 2,000 years something cataclysmic happens.

Never mind that the Nativity Story is only mentioned in two out of the four gospels.

And the Monty Python boys went this way too when they had a spaceship land in Bethlehem in the Holy Land in Life of Brian.

A Galaxy far, far away

Idle life: Monty Python

Which brings us neatly to Eric Idle’s pithy reflection on the human condition in Galaxy in The Meaning of Life.

So it applies to us all, John Glenn and other space cadets.

 

America, Countries, Culture, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Rainydays and Songdays – the American musical

Give my regards to Broadway, Remember me to Herald Square, Tell all the gang at Forty-Second Street, that I will soon be there.

Because it’s come to my notice that they’re making a movie out of Hamilton for release next year and we’ve been binge-watching musicals during lockdown.

I’m taking a Yankee Doodle Dandy dander through the American musical with a stop-off in London’s West End and Dublin’s Theatreland too.

Come all: Come From Away. www.broadway.com

Away, away, away, away

Come From Away: Which is all visitors coming into North America anyway.

These ones, of course, were the 38 planeloads who had to land in the small Newfoundland town of Dander after 9/11.

And found out a lot more about each other as I did when I saw it in Denver.

We all come from far away and have become friends over the years at IPW, the American Travel Fair, who bring the best of Broadway to whichever town is in town.

And here’s one from the show worth coming for…. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p8JI70eXjG8.

Peak form? Wicked. https://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/

Wicked stuff

And this one cones to you from Dublin and New York and Oz.

Which is, of course, the thing about musicals, they transform you to other lands.

Dublin was where Disney on Broadway invited us to take in Wicked.

But if you can’t get to the show this will warm your heart up… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HEnQY_66GZc

She’s all heart: The Carole King Musical. www.broadwaydirect.com

King of London City

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical: I felt the earth move when I caught the story of the greatest female songwriter of all time in London.

And that was just from my kids holding an unsanctioned party back in Greystones in Co. Wicklow in Ireland.

And our next-door neighbour texting us to tell us they had called the Gardai

Didn’t stop me throwing shapes though. It could wait until I got home before I threw my weight around!

And Carole.., What a natural woman!

All you need is…, Las Vegas. www.cirquedesoleil.com

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

The Beatles LOVE: And this being Cirque de Soleil you just know it will be an interactive experience.

With trapeze artists and dancers twirling about… Vegas, baby!

All to the background of Liverpool‘s finest, the Fab Four.

And you’ll be lucky and see a guy in the sky with diamonds (or sequins at least).

Of course, the best musical is the one about a half-Scottish New Yorker who made good and led his country to great things.

This is my pick from the various productions out there.

America, Countries, Culture, Ireland, Sport, UK

My Sporting Weekend – my sporting New York

And as the best golfers in the world hack their way around Winged Foot on the outskirts of New York I’ll drive you around one of the world’s great sports cities with my sporting New York.

Anyone for Tennis

Flushing Meadows, Queens: And we’ve just put down our rackets at the Billie Jean King Center

Home to American tennis’s biggest tournament since 1978 it became a big deal to the residents of Queens obvs and especially my NY rellies.

To whom it gave casual work when they would dream of booming down winning serves.

 

The US Open is a treat awaiting me when I next pitch up there. And it’s hot dogs rather than strawberry and cream.

The Garden

The Mecca for boxing before Vegas and in many traditionalists’ eyes still the place to trade punches.

But I’ve not come here, to Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, for a fight, but a dance.

It’s a Halloween and we’re staying in SoHo and I’ve brought my nine-year-old daughterie here for an ice-skate. Like a real New Yorker.

And like a real New Yorker you’ll be wanting to follow the Rangers in the Garden.

It means something else in New York than in Glasgow, and it’s ice hockey so that’s OK.

Knickerbockers… how sweet!

You’ll know them as the Knicks, New York’s basketball team but the original name was the Knickerbockers.

Knickerbockers are what Americans call plus-fours.

Father Knickerbocker was the symbol of New York, channeling the Dutch influence because they too wore their trousers to just below the knee.

Now all you need is one of those vests (hell, the Americans call them waistcoats) but you know what I mean. And a big foam finger.

Yes, they too play at the Garden.

And Brooklyn has a team too

Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn: Brooklyn is a proud borough (aren’t they all?) which we probably know best for its bridge and the now defunct and romantic baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

But here they have a basketball team too. And the name that jumps out from their roster here is All-Star Kevin Durant.

So that leaves the Yankees and the Mets

New York Yankees, The Bronx, and the New York Mets, Queens: And what they all dream of in New York is a subway series which is a derby to you and me.

Although obviously it turns into a nightmare if you end up on the losing side. My old New York brother and sister friends Tom and Kate informed me that if we were to remain friends then I’d have to pull for the Mets.

I even have the baseball bat and ball here with me on my desk to remind me.

While Kate has few illusions about her beloved Mets who lost the World Subway Series of 2000 to the ‘Damned’ Yankees. ‘They always break your heart, those Mets,’ she sighed.

Their football

Even before we got into the Kevin James sitcom, the King of Queens, I was already being pulled this way by my Uncle Eddie on my first trip to New York, after school.

Uncle Eddie, a proud son of Donegal, now living in Long Island supported the neighbouring Queens teams and particularly the New York Jets.

Whisper it but they’re no longer a Queens team, playing their games in New Jersey. As do their great rivals, the New York Giants. Yes, the same stadium, and that’s another subject we’ll get into sometime.

Then there’s ours

And the New Yorkers look to have embraced our football having flirted with it back in the day with Pele, Beckenbauer and the New York Cosmos.

New York City only has the one team their fans will be quick to tell you, in much the same way that their sister franchise Manchester City supporters will inform you that is the case in Manchester, with United playing in Salford.

New York Red Bulls, the older club, play their games in New Jersey.

This tie-up is as close to a grudge soccer match as you’ll get in the US.

You want more New York… then check out this Old New York piece of old.

MEET YOU AT THE GAME

America, Countries, Ireland, Sport, UK

My Sporting Weekend – slam dunk, the NBA

I was immediately marked out as a spectator and not a player.

When my cousin Maura threw me into a game of pick-up basketball with her boyfriend John in Queens, New York.

Basketball had always been a novelty game for milk bottle white Scotsmen whose only connection with the game was The Harlem Globetrotters.

A free throw anyone?

Until I got to America.

And saw the importance of the game on that visit to see my cousins in New York and then four years later in Boston.

Where I would pass by the statue of Boston Celtics’ legendary coach Red Auerbach.

Outside Quincy Market at Faneul Hall where I was a bus boy at GuadalaHarry’s and ice cream salesman at a parlour.

Anyhoos I had myself my basketball team.

And despite warming to all the teams in North American cities I’ve passed through in the years since.

The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies, LA Lakers and Clippers, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.

nba-orlando-magic-mickey-mouse-basketball.jpg

I was a Celtics fan. Which wasn’t a huge jump from my young days following a football team, Celtic in Glasgow.

This was my year for my long-awaited return to Boston 33 years but COVID has stalled that on the plate.

When I would also fulfil an ambition I didn’t even know I had.

The home of baseball: Fenway Park

To walk the Fenway Park Green Monster perimeter where I’d seen the Red Sox hit their home runs that 1987 season.

The NBA play-offs are playing out in a DisneyWorld bubble in Orlando.

And you should catch it on whichever channels you pick up.

MEET YOU ON THE COURT

ancient architecture attraction buildings
America, Countries, Culture, Europe

The multi-generation game

If I’d a pound, euro or dollar for every time someone asked me what ‘the new normal’ would be like I’d be the richest man in the world.

And be able to take the whole family on holiday.

Because that’s what I took out of the Family Travel webinar this week.

Where I was told that from now on ‘the children will get a big say in where we go on holiday.’

It’s called ‘pester power’.

And all of us who have been blessed/cursed with kids will know that the pestering starts from the moment you get the suitcases out of the attic.

Here are some random memories of holidays past and some admissions of bad behaviour…

The Scary One will tell you that was mostly me.

Men in Rome

Rome: And you’re rushing to make your audience with the Pope…

Well, visit to the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. But you know what I mean.

When the Son and Heir decided that he needed to have some lunch. We had told to bulk up at breakfast.

Un pezzo, the slice of pizza Romans buy from pizza counters, wouldn’t do and he had to have pasta, meat and dessert.

‘If that boy doesn’t hurry up I’ll throw him in the Tiber,’ rasped his usually patient father who was immediately called out for making a scene.

Turns out though that Ally, or Alessandro as we’ll call him for these purposes, was just following the maxim ‘When in Rome,’

Because the Romans never like to be rushed.

See Small roads lead to Rome and Rome on €50 and https://www.rome.net.

The Big Grapple

New York: And I get that children want to head for the clothes stores when they’re in NY.

But despite our protestations The Son and Heir decided he wanted a new pair of trainers.

And had to wear them which meant we had to stop for him as he hobbled around Manhattan.

Now this isn’t all about The Son and Heir because when I took my Dear Old Mum out to NY for a family holiday she played up again.

She insisted that we spend forever in Macy’s.

She dissed my choice of a pink Guess handbag for my wife and then rushed me through every site.

As I tried to get souvenirs for the family.

The next time I went I was on my own… Old New York: Hamilton www.nycvb.com

London Calling

London: Now sometimes even when you get a break from the kids they still spoil it.

We’d scored a weekend away in Theatreland, London’s West End, to watch Carole King’s Beautiful musical.

When the next door neighbours started phoning up towards the end of the show.

To complain that the kids were having a party next door and that they had called the police.

It would have been easier if they had just invited them…

And when the dust settled Daddy’s Little Girl was even invited to to babysit for her.

See Carole King… you’re Beautiful and https://www.visitlondon.com.

aerial seashore
Beach life. Photo by Mariia Kamenska on Pexels.com

Major Majorca

Majorca: And you’re having to keep two kiddies safe in a waterpark where salmon-pink potbellied Brits are whizzing down the chutes.

Myself and the Son and Heir mastered the Beast.

While Daddy’s Little Girl was hurt in battle and bravely soldiered on after we’d taken her to the first aid centre and got her plastered.

No, not that plastered, we’re not irresponsible parents…

Although the Scary One did calm down with some Rioja after all that.

Visit https://www.seemallorca.com.

And for another island experience try a Tenerife walking holiday (family fun as you wear them out) with http://www.CanariaWays.com and A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

Lovin’ the Louvre

Paris spree

Paris: And she can’t take me anywhere (https://en.parisinfo.com).

The Parisians’ famous rudeness was put to the test when I tried to take back a guide book I’d just bought.

The shipowner on the Left Bank did her best insouciant shrug and answered me back in English when I tried to speak French.

And, of course, the kiddie winkles didn’t go a bundle on being told that they could only have frites.

Because the prices in the fast-food stalls started hiking up when they heard our English accents.

Try the French Riviera The Boat D’Azur or the Pyrenees The Lourdes prayer and Water way to go in Biarritz instead.

MEET YOU WITH THE FAMILY

Culture, Europe, Food, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Hungry and Thursday – A dog’s dinner

No, I’m not complaining about the fare I’m being served up here during lockdown… I’ll leave that to the Son and Heir.

It’s just that my dog-mad extended Irish and American family have been preparing for the reopening of restaurants by flagging up how their pets have been coping in lockdown.

Well, is the answer if Harry and Coco are anything to go by.

Few are as barking about their pooches as the Americans and the Japanese but where they lead (sorry) the way we have followed.

So here’s my five top of the pups (there’s more of this!).

New Bark, New Bark

Paws for thought. Credit: Jenna Murray/IGC Hospitality

The Wilson NYC, New York: And where I first encountered puppy pampering and pedicures down on the block on Rockville Center in Long Island when I first visited the Big Apple in my first summer after school.

And only in America as they say because puppies never got their nails painted in Glasgow!

I’m glad to say that the New Yorkers still treat their pets as Top Dogs.

And Halloween gives them the perfect chance to dress their pups up as Superman, Batman and other superheroes down on Battery Park.

This Chelsea favourite sees the maitre d’ (for dog) put your pet up at the high table and treat them to a distinct dog menu.

With fancy options like a 16-ounce grilled ribeye steak for $42, pan-roasted salmon for $28, and grilled chicken breast for $16.

All on the restaurant’s side patio and front terrace, where their pet humans order their own steak off the regular menu. See https://thewilsonnyc.com, http://www.nycvb.com and Old New York: Hamilton.

Indian pup trick

Puppychino, New Delhi: The Indians have a religious love for their animals which is endearing but surprising for those not brought up around animals.

Such as my Dear Old Dad who baulked at the bus driver who stopped the No. 52 while a cow ambled across the road. Before getting off his coach to do a dump in the street and get back on.

This is Puppychino and it is one of many cafes and restaurants around India where the animal is put first, rather than in some establishments I’ve been in where you’re treated like an animal.

See https://www.zomato.com/ncr/puppychino-dog-friendly-cafe-1-shahpur-jat-new-delhi, http://www.incredibleindia.com and Yoga-dabba-do – International Yoga Day.

Japanese growl

Your table’s ready, Sir

Mame-Shiba, Cafe, Harajuku, Tokyo: Now Japan’s culture of low tables and sheer eccentricity lends itself admirably to dog cafes and restaurants.

And these guys are in doggie heaven…

The entry fee covers entrance, a drink and a time slot of 30 minutes with your favourite furry friend. Get there early to avoid long queues. See http://brangista.j-server.com/BRAOWLCATF/ns/tl.cgi/http://owls-cats-forest.com/free/mameshiba-harajuku?SLANG=ja&TLANG=en&XMODE=0&XCHARSET=utf-8&XJSID=0 and https://www.gotokyo.org/en/index.html and https://www.japan.travel/en/uk/.

Don’t mess with Le Toutou

You big softie

Le Toutou, Brussels: So Le Toutou means doggie, but you knew that, right?

And there’s no distinction between doggies and humans here.

With both being treated to a choice of dishes from pasta or rice to vegetables, beef or chicken, all being high in fibre and low in salt.

The pooches though get their own beer, as they should, Red Dog.

It’s an energy beer which is described as the ‘subtle taste of bone marrow’. Visit https://visit.brussels/en and In Flanders fields.

Old Barkie

Dog-tired

Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe: Billing itself as Scotland’s first dog cafe its owners are barking about two things…

Cakes and dogs, and chihuahuas to be precise.

They advertise that resident Chihuahuas will roam freely amongst guests.

For you to pet, cuddle, play with, take photos or simply observe and enjoy.

Just what Edinburgh’s most famous doggie, Greyfriars Bobby, would think of the Chihuahuas getting all this pampering…

Don’t worry though Bobby, you’re still No. 1.

Bobby and Jimmy

And we’ll never stop patting you, although kissing his nose has left it to wear away!

See https://edinburghchihuahuacafe.co.uk/product/thanks/ https://edinburgh.org, http://www.visitscotland.com and Edinburgh – an old friend and Putting these statues on a pedestal.

America, Countries, Culture, Europe

Hat’s the way to do it

We’ve long forgotten that it was milliners Dunn & Co who came up with the brand ‘If you want to get ahead get a hat’ in the 1940s.

But it’s the enduring appeal of the power of a slogan that it endures,

It has also become something of an unconscious personal mantra.

I’d even go as far as to coin my own slant: ‘put on a new hat, put on a new you.’

Hatta boy!

So an entirely unscientific trawl through five hats on my travels and why when I put them on I’m transported right back there.

The tail of Denver

Remember the Jimbo

Davy Crockett hats, Denver, Colorado: And a reacquaintance two years ago with an old friend, a raccoon hat in Denver www.denver.org and Go West.

I got a reputation for myself in my alma mater, chilly Aberdeen Aberdeen – a light in the north for wearing said hat.

Forward fast to San Antonio, Texas, and the Alamo town www.visitsantonio.com hosts the US Travel fair www.ipw.com in 2023.

And I’ll blend in with all the other Davy Crockett impersonators.

Does this car look big in me? The Cote d’Azur

In the Cannes

Trilby hat, Cote d’Azur: Well it is Cannes and it’s what they’ve come to expect of me out there.

A classic Fiat 500 is obligatory too. Visit www.mandelieu.com and The Boat D’Azur.

Sailor boy: In West Hollywood

Sail away in California

Hello sailor, West Hollywood: It’s nautical but nice and in Pride Week in camp WeHo you have to make an effort.

I strutted like a peacock after getting a compliment from a queen.

I was on my morning constitutional www.visitwesthollywood.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/

Buen Camino

Camino hat, Santiago de Compostella, Rome, Tenerife, the Austrian Tyrol: And if you’ve walked the Camino then it’s important to tell everyone after.

It also keeps the sun off your head but that’s secondary.

Visit www.CaminoWays.com, www.FrancigenaWays.com. www.CanariaWays.com and www.tyrol.com. www.topflight.ie and www.topflightforschools.ie.

And A pilgrim’s prayer, Small roads lead to Rome, A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

If the hat fits

Cowboy Jimmy

Cowboy hat, Washington DC: Like a Greystones cowboy, riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo.

It was given to me by my Portland, Oregon https://www.travelportland.com friends and I showcased it with a glittery beard in DC https://washington.org and Easy DC.

And on the hottest day of the year carting luggage around New York https://www.nycvb.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/28/old-new-york-hamilton/amp/.

MEET YOU IN A HAT

America, Countries, Culture, Deals, Europe

Covid-day Snaps – Canarian ‘safe’ passports

Nobody likes their passport pic, particularly now we can’t even smile.

Mine’s looks like it could have been taken more than 100 years ago when they were first introduced.

But we don’t even flinch at being asked now for it and I suspect we’ll quickly get used to the technology being rolled out by the Canary Islands to get us back travelling.

The Canary Islands (Spain) and the World Tourism Organisation have agreed a flight in July for the world’s first ‘safe’ flight using the Digital Health Passport, developed by Canarian firm Hi + Card

I can just taste that Tenerife Shakespearean wine Malvasia.

CanariaWays www.CanariaWays.com will make you earn it with their walking holidays but it’s worth it. Also see https://www.hellocanaryislands.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5dWNgOam6QIVCLLtCh2C-AsBEAAYASAAEgLfaPD_BwE

My other family

Family business:: I feel I know these LA folk

If your family is driving you up the wall you may be taking sanctuary in a TV family… me, I’ve been a fly on the wall at the Pritchards and the Dunphys in LA.

Our first introduction to American cities was througb the gogglebox… The Streets of San Francisco https://www.sftravel.com, Cheers in Boston https://www.bostonusa.com, Miami Vice https://www.miamiandbeaches.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/23/fort-lauderdale-and-miami-a-tale-of-two-sittings/.

Colorado rocks

Denver’s Dynasty www.denver.org Go West and Mork and Mindy in Colorado www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen Pawn Stars in Las Vegas www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic and House of Cards in Washington www.washington.org and Easy DC.

And New York www.nycvb.com where my Uncle Petie became a superstar in my eyes when Kojak filmed in his bar.

From Missouri to happiness today: Cam and Mitch

I always make a point of annoying the Scary One by pointing out that I’ve been there which is probably why she doesn’t watch Modern Family…

The climax of which is playing out in a two-parter.

Gay parents Mitch Pritchard, an uptight lawyer and Cam Tucker, a hillbilly football coach steal the show.

Hello sailor: In West Hollywood

But it is time for them to move to Cam’s Missouri and leave behind LA https://www.discoverlosangeles.com and I dare say to West Hollywood, the chillest, gayest part of LA https://www.visitwesthollywood.com and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/.

Where I was complimented on my sailor’s hat and bandana combo.

And if we you feel like the only news you’re getting out of the Oo Es of A is bad then I’ll redress the balance.

So hold on and I’ll let you know how among others my Native American and my Deep South pals are meeting the challenges and prevailing.

We’ll wait for you, Princess

Cruise liners were a sitting target for their critics when the virus first visited.

But they have shown a self-sacrificing responsibility and a willingness to change and I believe they will come back stronger.

Princess www.princess.com has announced the cancellation of select 2020 summer sailings.

And this is a reminder of what we’re all missing and will enjoy again https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/amp/.

We stayed open

Health is wealth: At the Buchinger Wilhelmi

Our European friends pride themselves on their spas and scientific holiday retreats.

And the Buchinger Wilhelmi http://www.buchinger-wilhelmi.com medi-spa, which overlooks Lake Constance and the Alps and prides itself.

On its therapeutic fasting and integrative medicine, has stayed open through this crisis.

They have a ten-day fasting programme from £2340pp.

And it includes two consultations with a doctor, daily nurse, check-ups, food/drink, fasting provisions and daily activities.

Now, I love an oul’ spa and retreat and my friends, the Czechs know them better than most… www.czechtourism.com and Hope springs eternal.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

America, Countries, Culture, Food, Food & Wine, Ireland

Hungry and Thursday – New York’s Irish Cottage

A little corner of Queen’s, New York, will forever be Co. Donegal.

For 60 years ex-pats and people who aren’t called Pat but love their craic have chosen The Irish Cottage as their place of refuge.

From the humdrum and their troubles at home.

A Donegal dream

Here Danny and Kathleen McNulty would make them feel part of their family and as close to being in Donegal https://www.govisitdonegal.com as you could be… 5,000kms from Ireland.

An emotional moment: At the Irish Cottage

Full disclosure here, Danny and Kathleen McNulty are my uncle and auntie.

The force of Nature that she was, Auntie Kathleen, passed onto the great Irish Cottage in the sky last month.

Where Uncle Danny would have been waiting for with her favourite drink.

Cottage industry

I first visited the Irish Cottage in 1983 before I could even legally drink but it didn’t stop Auntie Kathleen have me moving kegs out back.

King of Queens: Andy Murray, US Open champion In 2012

All the cousins were employed there to varying degrees over the years.

The canopy was lowered on a Queen’s institution – Steve Buscemi (of Boardwalk Empire) is a patron – last month to mark Auntie Kathleen’s passing.

Break soda bread together

I have a wealth of memories of the Irish Cottage.

Particularly the last occasion we broke (soda) bread there.

And the McNultys got the greater family out from Long Island.

And we had their famous Surf ‘n’ Turf… I could still be trying to finish it now.

The Lady and the scamp

Visitors to New York https://www.nycvb.com will obviously and rightly take in the iconic sites…

The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty. the Rockefeller Center, Broadway er al.

Hamilton’s home

Me, the history buff that I am walked in the footsteps of Alexander Hamilton https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/28/old-new-york-hamilton/.

If you have time (and if you don’t, make it) then head out to the borough of Queens.

Another famous New Yorker

And Flushing Meadows https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/flushing-meadows-corona-park.

Open and shut case

Where the US Open tennis https://ustanew2.gotennissource.com is a unique experience and where another famous Scot (Andy Murray) rocked NY when he won the men’s title in 2012.

You should also check out the New York Hall of Science https://nysci.org, the Museum of the Moving Image http://www.movingimage.us and Rockaway Beach.

While I’ll also pay a visit and dwell and think about the most famous residents of the Irish Cottage at 10807 72nd Avenue, Forest Hills.

MEET YOU IN NEW YORK