Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there

Photo of the day – Gothenburg, Sweden
15/08/2009, 08:29
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I’ve only spent two nights here, but Gothenburg has already made quite an impression on me. It’s a compact city centre, stuffed full of grand architecture, parks and canals. The streets are impeccably clean and safe, the people reserved but stunning to the eye and friendly to all.

If anything Gothenburg lacks a little edge, the European equivalent of Prozac – but if the worst you can say of a place is there isn’t the impending threat of violence or crime, that’s hardly a criticism.

Oh yes, and Europe played in the centre of town last night, just to fulfill the stereotype of Swedish music.

Twitchhiker - Gothenburg


Photo of the day – Newcastle upon Tyne, from the Tyne Bridge
08/08/2009, 20:00
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A view from a little closer to home for today – about two miles up the road, in fact. This was very much a spur-of-the-moment shot taken on the iPhone while crossing the Tyne Bridge a fortnight ago. I love the chaos of jumbling shapes and colour staggering up the north bank of the Tyne.

Twitchhiker - Newcastle upon Tyne

On the horizon at the far right hand side is Saint James’ Park, the once great cathedral of football in the North East, until it all went spectacularly tits up last season. Best not to ask, we don’t like to talk about it.

Photo of the day – the view from Sears Tower, Chicago
07/08/2009, 20:30
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Chicago is a city I’m seemingly barred from loitering in – I’ve visited twice, and on both occasions spent less than 48 hours there. The first time was the summer of 2007; the radio station I managed was giving away flights to Chicago, so obviously when I sent the breakfast team to broadcast from Navy Pier I felt strongly compelled to join them.

Twitchhiker - the view from Sears Tower, 2007

This is the view North across Chicago from what was the Sears Tower in 2007; as of last month it’s now called the Willis Tower. Regardless, it’s the tallest building in the US and the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the world, that’s according to my good friend Mister Wikipedia.

Photo of the day – Johnny’s Tavern, Lawrence
06/08/2009, 23:41
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Most of my time travelling during the Twitchhiker project was a dizzying blur. In the case of Lawrence, Kansas, I spent all of 13 hours in town before heading on to Wichita. Aside from meeting the team at Lawrence Journal-World, having my journey hijacked by the enthusiastic tweeps in Wichita (I was due to be heading to Denver) and enjoying a hot bath, I also squeezed in a visit to Johnny’s Tavern with @joey96, who had picked me up in Kansas City. Yes, there is always time for the pub.

I was a pathetic drinking buddy, managing just a pint of Guinness and a well-stacked burger before nodding off at the table, but it was a great bar, chocked out with college kids and locals for quiz night.

Twitchhiker - Johnny's Tavern, Lawrence

It was a bitterly cold Kansas night, but the blazing colours warmed you through before you walked through the door.

Photo of the day – the super man, Manhattan
05/08/2009, 18:08
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Twitchhiker - Super Obama

New York City is the love of my life. It’s a city of inspiration, of contrasts, of colour and spirit. It’s the only place I can hear myself think. In the not too distant future I’d like to live there, or at least spend two or three months of the year working there. Hopefully it won’t remain a dream too long.

Since my first visit four years ago, I’ve been back at least a dozen times. I’m compelled to explore every avenue and street to my satisfaction before I’ll consider moving on. I’ve a good working knowledge of the place now, and probably strayed into a few neighbourhoods plenty of others haven’t – although not always intentionally.

On this particular visit, I arrived in Manhattan on November 5th 2008 – the day after the presidential elections. I found this poster pasted up a height somewhere on the Lower East Side – near Stanton and Essex, I think. It summed up the mood of the city during my visit – everywhere I walked, every bar I drank in, all New Yorkers talked about was this super man.