USA

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The USA, land of the free and self-appointed protector of the world is an interesting amalgam of people, places and experiences. In many ways, it is a contradiction in terms. It’s united in so many ways, but the recent 2016 elections proved it’s completely divided. A so-called class-less society, there is an obvious split between rich and poor, black and latin. Yet there’s a patriotic fervor here like no other. It’s these tensions that make it an interesting study in humanity – the world looks to it for leadership, trends and ideas, yet they mock it for its exclusionary attitudes. Strange for a country that was a beacon of hope and attracted generations of new-comers to find freedom in the place that was originally (like Australia), a dumping ground for criminals and miscreants.

The best way to experience the United States is to split it up into manageable bite-sized chunks. Start with the obvious coastal cities and the bright lights of Vegas, and then start digging a little deeper to see what makes this such a weird and wonderful place to visit.

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition, Coney Island

World class competitive decadence is a major draw to Coney Island on the 4th of July for the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition. Americans are known for their love of a fair fight and their love of carbs. These come together perfectly once a year. Nathan’s is one of the original creators of the hot dog (there’s some conjecture between junk food historians)...

Friedsam Carousel, Central Park, NY

The Friedsam Carousel stands as a living piece of history in Central Park’s southern end. For a couple of dollars, you’ll be transported back to the final years of the 19th Century as you ride a fine stallion accompanied by an original music box. Step right up! There’s a strange, stately majesty that collides with a spirit of childlike glee when one first sets eyes...

Exploring Coney Island, New York

Bright lights, boardwalks, hot dogs, Coney Island had us at hello. Growing up in Australia, it sounded like an amazing place, mentioned in Saturday morning cartoons like a mecca for kids. Sadly it’s not as pristine or exciting as an adult, but gladly not as seedy as ten years ago. The Coney Island of today is a quirky place, the closest beach to Manhattan, yet only a...

Culebra and Flamenco Beach, PR

Crystal-clear turquoise waters, white sand, abundant sea life and sunny skies make Culebra a hard place to beat. Coming from tropical Queensland, home of the Great Barrier Reef, it takes something special to impress us. Culebra didn’t just impress, it set the new standard for holiday destinations. This way to paradise Culebra is a large island, 27km off the east...

Algiers Point, New Orleans, Louisiana

Algiers Point is a quaint, leafy suburb of New Orleans. We used it as a base to explore the Cajun wonderland. As budget conscious, but seasoned travelers, we have been supportive of the rise of Air BNB. It gives you the opportunity to step outside the tourist traps and experience at least a basic immersion into local cultures. Early indecision in our booking plans...

Review: Hundred Acres, Soho, NY

Brunch is our favorite meal of the day and a Hundred Acres in Soho, New York has been on our list for a long time. A Hundred Acres is within walking distance from our Greenwich Village home and we have walked past it several times but never at the right moment to go in. It’s regularly on the hotlists for brunch places in all the right NY magazines. One morning...

Review: Ruby’s Cafe, Soho, NYC

Ruby’s Café, or Ruby Soho, as the San Fran punk band Rancid sings about is an Australian gem that started out small and has become a hot spot for ex-pats and New Yorkers alike. Yes, Virginia, there really is a genuine Aussie burger in New York. It’s at Ruby’s Cafe. I remember the first time I stumbled upon a place that served egg, beetroot (beets as the...

Smorgasburg, Brooklyn, NYC

Smorgasburg is a massive outdoor marketplace of food trucks and tents selling all manner of delights. The twice weekly event happens at Williamsburg (Saturdays) and Prospect Park (Sundays) and attracts tens of thousands of hungry visitors. The result is a mash up of different flavors and aromas to try and to share. Smorgasburg. It sounds kinda exotic. Like someone...

Texas School Book Depository Museum

There are not many government storehouses as notorious as the Texas School Book Depository. The 6th Floor Museum is an incredible place to learn about the pivotal moment in American history, when Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK from the 6th floor window. This is hands-down the best museum we have ever been to. It doesn’t have grand exhibitions spread out over...

Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX

Big belt buckles, cowboy boots, line dancers, Deep Ellum had none of the stereotypes you’d expect when you think of Dallas, Texas. We came with low expectations and a hunger for a good steak and the whole experience surpassed anything we may have even hoped for. The Williamsburg of Dallas, Deep Ellum is home to live music venues, hipster coffee shops and eateries and...