New York: Driving into Manhattan with Aerosmith on the radio towards a hot pink Empire State Building lit up specially for Valentines Day. We weren’t there five minutes before the city sucked us in and people started asking me for directions. And strangely enough I knew the answers. Howling winds, an icy bite to the air and snow, not so much falling as blowing indecisively in the sky. Marching through the streets, hands in my boyfriend’s pockets, sightseeing at speed to keep warm. Black coffee, diner breakfasts, hailing cabs (sometimes even successfully). Breathtaking views from 1250 feet up, peering down through the smog and the steam pumping from the sides of the buildings, the vents in the road. Drawn in by the beat of a drum to join a Chinese New Year parade and spending an hour in Chinatown chasing dragons & snakes & kicking up confetti from exploding firecrackers. Stumbling across Joe’s pizza – surely the best. Jones Street. Joining another couple on the swings in Central Park and tentatively followed by others that passed – are these for kids or…? – until we were a whole row of adults swinging up & out of the trees towards the high rises on 59th Street. Cruising the choppy waters of the Hudson to see the Statue of Liberty. Walking the Williamsburg Bridge and getting lost in Jewish Brooklyn. Coney Island! All torn up after the hurricane, loose nails & splintered wood on the boardwalk and displaced cats in the sand.