My holiday was characterised by images from two favourite Leonard Cohen songs: New York is cold but I like where I’m living, from Famous Blue Raincoat; and I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel, from, well, his famous song Chelsea Hotel.

I did like where I was living: a fourth-floor walk up that took me up and into a beautiful studio apartment in a pre-war building in West Chelsea, a glorious part of Manhattan, unfamiliar to me.

And it was cold: bitterly, bone chillingly cold. I woke to -3º New York mornings and the gauge barely grazed 3º degrees at noon. Curiously, the below-zero

temperatures and the icy winds that streaked through the avenues of this, my all time best city, did not become the chief protagonist in my holiday play.

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