New York: The man with 100 guns

So here we are nine days into our tour of America, land of the free and home of the super thin toilet roll (seriously, what’s that about?). And so far my highlights have included a very good pizza at Roberta’s in Brooklyn (get the Lil’ Stinker, it’s delicious), a night out in the Bronx with my cousin (I can confirm my hangovers are just as bad this side of the Atlantic), and a donut shop in Greenpoint called Peter Pan’s Donuts, where I overheard an old lady when asked how her husband is, say “I don’t know and I don’t care, I check he’s breathing in the morning and that’s about it”, which is my kind of woman. 

Another wonderful thing we overheard in the Natural History Museum was an American man asking two monks if they were characters from Star Wars, which has to be the most wonderfully offensive thing I’ve ever heard. (They didn’t get offended, they laughed just as much as we did.)

The catcalls in New York are inspiring and put the British car-beepers to shame. A man in Central Park told us “Every English girl owes me at least a hi-5 and a hug because I’m the real Prince Charles”. 

We started off with a few nights in Greenpoint in a fab AirBnb with a dog (every AirBnb should have a dog), and we’re currently in Yonkers at my Uncle’s, which is just north of the Bronx.

It’s great having the familiarity of an Irish host to come back to every evening, and also to see what his life is like stateside. Which brings me to the guns. My uncle took us to his Italian-American friend’s house for drinks last week, and as they’re all either in the police or used to be, they’re big gun fans. He showed us a small selection of his collection of 100 guns, and let me hold his AK47, at which point all I could picture was my mother’s horrified face. Guns are his passion and he says he feels safer with them (all 100 of them), although he also said if it came down to it, he’d much rather protect himself with physical violence rather than using his guns. It’s gonna take a while to get used to the American way of life, although the pizzas and donuts are not a problem. 

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