nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic

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You can call me marshal

Just for today, though. Today I was a volunteer marshal at the New York Marathon! This goes so close to our house, so it seemed rude not to. What an amazing event. 47,500 runners who were about two thirds of the way through when they came past me.

I saw the amazing wheelchair racers, the elite women – by in a flash – and the elite men, pounding up the road. And then followed by thousands and thousands of runners in every colour under the sun. The early waves of runners were serious, focused and uninterested in the crowds. The later waves sought out applause and ran alongside the barriers, high fiving everyone as they went. People with names on their tops had their names shouted out in encouragement by complete strangers in the crowd.

The crowds on my block were super loud and excited and must have hugely motivated the runners. Not so many crazy costumes in this race; I saw Cleopatra, Elmo from Sesame Street and a few crazy wigs. I shouted encouragement, clapped a lot and removed rubbish from the road, including many bananas, not wanting any comedy slip ups. It’s a huge privilege being able to stand in the road as a volunteer and get so close to the action.

After standing from 830 until 230 in the afternoon in the Arctic blast of the cross streets, I was ready to wander home for a cuppa. What a great day!

Here’s some pics.

Mile 17 before the masses arrived.

Mile 17 before the masses arrived.












Elite women - the first two and quite a while until the others came by.

Elite women – the first two and quite a while until the others came by.











Elite men. So fast.

Elite men. So fast.










The masses and the mess: the green squares are soggy sponges.

The masses and the mess: the green squares are soggy sponges.


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When Corey was just an 80s teen film star name

Remember Corey Feldman? He was the little boy in the Lost Boys, my favourite vampire film, mostly because of the presence of a young Kiefer Sutherland, but also I just loved vampires when I was a teenager. He also starred alongside the long departed River Phoenix in Stand by Me. The last I heard of Corey he was surrounded by porn stars, but that’s another story. Remember Corey Haim?  He was the other Corey in the Lost Boys, sadly he died back in 2010.

But this post isn’t about them, although it is fun remembering the Lost Boys. No, this post is about Cory (no ‘e’) Booker. Not sure if his fame has spread to the UK, but here in the US and in New York and New Jersey mostly, he is incredibly well known. Cory Booker just got sworn in as one of the two senators for the State of New Jersey. The seat became vacant earlier this year on the death of the long term incumbent, 89 year old Frank Lautenberg.

Why do I care? Well, I have been following his campaign with great interest. Cory Booker was the Mayor of Newark in New Jersey. And like the other Coreys, and me,  is in his early 40s and probably loved the Lost Boys too (I speculate there). Cory Booker doesn’t love vampires (I don’t think, it didn’t come up during the campaign) he loves Twitter.

He has 1.4 million followers. He lives on Twitter and he’s really good at it. I don’t know how he manages to respond to so many tweets, but when he does he comes across as a really decent bloke. He is brave enough to re-tweet all the horrible tweets and respond in such a way he comes out the better for it. I’m not so keen on his quotes from various sources, they can come across as a  bit sanctimonious, but I’ll forgive that.

If I lived in New Jersey, I would have run with him – he did night time runs all over New Jersey with his supporters. If I lived in New Jersey I probably would have donated some cash because he asked me to so many times (I subscribed to his emails). And I was tempted by the Cory Booker For Senate T shirt and the bumper sticker – he knows how to get people interested. He told me each week how much cash he needed and told me that his opponent was horrible, so I needed to give him more cash. I didn’t, but I like the approach: it’s begging but it’s done nicely.

So, here he is on his first day as a senator. Have a look at the link below to a 90 second video  to see what you think of him. Seems like a good bloke, let’s hope he can keep that up in Congress. Oh and by the way, he only gets the seat for a year (he’s finishing Lautenberg’s term and has to stand again to sit for the full six  year term) before he has to go through all this again. I think one Cory Booker for Senate campaign is quite enough for me.

“I will keep working in 2014”