From the age of about 10, I was obsessed with London. Me and my sister went for the weekend with Mum and our aunty and a couple of things* always stuck in my mind. The first is sitting eating breakfast in the hotel’s basement dining room and watching feet going past the window. I remember trying to imagine where everyone was going and how their day would go.
The second thing is how noisy it was at night. I remember lying in the hotel room, first thing in the morning, just as it was getting light, and listening to the traffic. We never heard any traffic noise at home and it seemed so exciting to hear it there.
And the noise is one of the (many) things I love about New York. Just the sound of a police siren on a TV show or in a song can take me right back there. The place is buzzing, day and night. It’s thrilling.
* The other thing that happened on one of those trips was that my aunty shoved a Brazil nut in my sister’s mouth and my sister had a huge allergic reaction. If it wasn’t for the fact that we bumped into a doctor in Harrods (when we were looking for the ice cream bar in the hopes that the coldness of the ice cream would deflate my sister’s grotesquely swollen gob), she probably would’ve died. The lesson I hope my aunty learned is if someone says they don’t like nuts, don’t force-feed them nuts.