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new zealand travel tips for americans

So spurred some some cheap-o flights to New Zealand, I have booked a ticket for late November, early December. As some of you know I lived there for four years when I was about 11 to 15, and my mother and sister are still there. Periodically I get asked various advice on travel and tourism […]

naked rugby

So the NY Daily News, the paper I used to write for, has a five-photo gallery of a naked rugby game in Dunedin, the smallish New Zealand city where I lived for four years. The game was played on St. Kilda Beach, which I think is right near where my sister lives. The game involved […]


My sister took this picture of an iceberg that is floating off the coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Note the wing of her plane in the lower left-hand corner. This is the first time a ‘berg has been spotted so far north, but scientists say they don’t know whether climate change […]

random thoughts on the passing scene

The Red Sox are off to an 11-5 start, the best record in the American League. But what are we going to do about Wily Mo Pena? His defense is killing us, and he’s only hitting .269 with one homer. I know he has “potential,” but how do we justify giving him the playing […]

coast to coast success

So (as longtime blog-readers may remember) when in New Zealand last year my stepsister Irene competed in the Coast to Coast, a 151-mile race multisport race. The stages consist of a 1.8-mile sprint, a 34-mile cycle, 20-mile mountain run, a 9-mile cycle, 42-mile kayak and 43-mile bike ride.

Last year — on a very hot […]

taking the money

I never blame athletes such as Johnny Damon for taking the money. It’s easy for us to sit back and say, he’s got $40 million already, what does he need another $12 million for? (People in Ethopia probably say that about us … he’s already got $80,000, why does he need another $20,000 for?)

Anyway, […]


So I’ve lived on W. 50th between Tenth and Eleventh for, like, over two months now, and somehow had never ventured into Ruby et Violette across Tenth Ave. from me until today. A friend sent me this link noting the place is changing owners. I went ventured in today for, uh, my own blog research. […]

more santa anarchy

So in Auckland the Santa anarchy got a little out of hand. The NZ Herald has more:

A gang of drunken “Santas” caused merry hell across central Auckland yesterday, robbing stores, tagging buildings and assaulting security guards.

Three men were arrested on a variety of drunk and disorderly charges, and two security guards had to […]

kia ora

So I’m at the supermarket last week when I see this Kia Ora fruit drink, imported from Ireland. Kia Ora means “hello” in the Maori language, so I thought this was a bit funny. I bought a bottle with the intention of taking a photo for family back home in New Zealand (which I still […]

leaving NZ

Off to the airport in an hour or two. Very sad. Brief sojurn in L.A., then back to New York on Friday. Still, you know it’s been a good vacation when you have tan-lines like these:

Other random thoughts … New Zealand legalized prostitution last year — to go along with its gambling, which […]

back in Christchurch

Back from a Wellington weekend of cricket, rock climbing, drinking, walking and a small amount of dancing, I am now back in Christchurch and have managed to upload my photos of the Heaphy Track.

More here.


return from the bush

Can I really say I was “roughing it” when I stayed in huts equipped with running water (cold only), flush toilets (mostly), gas burners and foam mattresses?

Well – maybe not – but still, no electricity, Internet, showers, newspapers or telephones for three days …

The Heaphy was a good tramp — […]

new zealand musings

Some random musings before I leave for Nelson…

In 1996 this cookie factory outside of Christchurch won the record for baking the world’s biggest cookie! Twenty-five yards in diameter. The woman at the cookie-counter told me that there’s a bit of a cookie-controversy over whether Cookie Time still holds the record. In 2003, this […]


So I’m back (in Christchurch) from visiting sister Meredith in Dunedin. Next up is the Heaphy Track, an 50-mile hike through New Zealand’s Kahurangi National Park. “The Heaphy Track is known for its beauty and diversity. For 82 kilometres it crosses a range of landscapes in Kahurangi National Park, from the junction of the Brown […]


Greetings from a McDonald’s Cyber Cafe in downtown Dunedin! The weather here is overcast but still good for shorts-and-t-shirts. Heading to the Early Settlers’ Museum and then perhaps a tour of the Speight’s Brewery. No Internet access at my sister’s pad, but will post a buncha pictures when I get back to Chch.


I’ve been following this whole “Easongate” scandal with a little bit of awe.

(In case you haven’t been following it, here‘s the post that started it all. Apparently CNN Chief News Executive Jordan Eason told a global forum in Davos that a dozen journalist deaths in Iraq were not “collateral damage” but had been […]

Dylan you’d like this

So spent today with several of my relatives cheering on my stepsister Irene, who was competing in the Coast to Coast, a 151-mile multisport event from New Zealand’s West Coast to its East Coast.

Talk about tough. It starts with a 1.8-mile sprint, followed by a 34-mile cycle; then a 20-mile mountain run across […]

more rabbits

If you look closely, you can see I’m wearing my Rabbit Run 10K T-shirt.

We’re off to the west coast to serve as support for my stepsister Irene, who is competing in the Coast to Coast, a huge multisport event that should take her approx. 11 hours to finish.


rabbit stew

Rabbits were first introduced to New Zealand in 1860 – and without natural predators, soon nearly overrun the country. These things breed like bunnies.

Possum is another pest. The country is trying to get behind possum products “so that it becomes financially viable for hunters to trap the possum and reduce their numbers and […]

greetings from New Zealand

So I have arrived … as I write this it is 1:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3 local time, or 7:40 p.m. Wednesday EST. From the time I caught a gypsy cab to get to Kennedy Airport to the time I passed customs in Christchurch, it was about 27 hours. Ugh. (Five hour flight to LAX; […]