Alexa Chung: 'The rule is that no good bars or restaurants are on the beaten track'

New York Doll

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I've been given my own office in the MTV building in Times Square. It has made me realise this is all very real now, very real and very serious. Back in England when I worked on Popworld, Alex Zane and I used to pen our links in the dusty corner of a tape storage room before progressing to the more dignified surroundings of the local Irish pub. I liked it like that, I was used to it. From 23 floors up, if I crane my neck I can see all the flashing neon signs on 42nd Street from my window, it's ridiculous, I feel like I'm about to be found out.

Now that I've settled in a little (I have two sofas, a lamp and tomato ketchup in my fridge) I've started to enjoy the vibrant nightlife New York has to offer. I've also fallen into the trap of visiting the same bar pretty much every single night. It's underneath an innocent looking pizza place that is impossible to find unless you know it exists, once there you can spot most of the "Briteratti" (I did not coin this phrase, sadly) and at least one representative from every cool band huddled up in dim corners and redundant fireplaces guzzling down Jack 'n' Coke.

It seems to be the general rule in this city that no good bars or restaurants are ever obvious or on the beaten track, you always have to ring a buzzer or push a wall to get in. In the case of my favourite Mexican, La Esquina, you have to walk through a bustling kitchen and down a narrow corridor before being seated in a huge open cellar featuring every kind of tequila known to man.

On Friday Night I went to a bar called Home Sweet Home which weirdly contained the same stuffed stoats and tatty-looking sofas as, erm, I've got at home. A DJ played Sixties' girl group records about broken hearts and pining after somebody, and some bright spark instigated an impromptu limbo competition, using only his tie as the bar. I definitely haven't thought about the limbo since the Nineties.

That night I took on the role of limbo mascot and made it my job to encourage others to join in and get bending. I also began cheering on strangers in my booming voice. But I regretted it the next morning, when my sore throat rapidly developed into a full-blown cold, which makes it even harder for people to understand my accent.

I've taken to sporadically adopting an American accent at the tiniest hint of a problem, just to make sure things run smoothly. Hopefully this won't become a permanent habit.

In keeping with the ongoing saga of too many cooks (dogs) spoiling the broth (apartment building), yesterday I saw another grumpy looking canine fall down a flight of stairs. I didn't know dogs ever fell down things. I felt so sorry for him and it made me rethink my resentment of living in a building overrun with man's best friend. Maybe I'm just jealous because I don't have one; a dog, not a best friend. Although once my mate Tennessee leaves next week, best friends will be a bit thin on the ground. Oh God, time to get a TV...

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