The High Line has become one of New York's key tourist attractions, and very popular with the locals too. A disused and abandoned railtrack was transformed by urban designers into a public walkway, outdoor art gallery and "elevated park" thirty feet above the streets of Manhattan.
The High Line runs 1.45 miles (2.33 km) from the Meatpacking District on the Lower West Side through to Chelsea in Midtown.
As well as a great view of the NYC skyline, there is art to see along the way.
Plenty of greenery is on view, with more than 500 varieties of trees, grasses and flowers planted.
Benches every few steps provide respite from all the walking.
Some residents take the opportunity to make statements, political or otherwise, visible to the passers-by...
The High Line is an escape from the traffic and urban hustle and bustle of New York. But not too much of an escape - with over 8 million visitors annually, you are guaranteed not to be alone up there!
Springtime in Japan brings the fleeting season of 'sakura' (cherry blossoms), a major annual event that has been celebrated here for centuries. Shops and stores sell sweets, drinks and dumplings flavoured with the blossoms
The flowers are in bloom for only a week or so and then start to fall, blanketing Tokyo in a blizzard of pink. They symbolise the impermanence of life - and the importance to fully appreciate its passing moments.
"Flower appreciation picnics" take place underneath the cherry trees in Tokyo's parks and along its canal sides. In some parks the trees are lit with lanterns for viewing after dark.
It is all very beautiful, but allergy-sufferers beware! Up to a quarter of the population suffer from hay fever at this time of year, and the visitor may want to pack some medication just in case.
Night falls, and Tokyo once again turns into a neon wonderland.
Blossom-viewing is hungry work - time for a hearty meal! Ramen is a dish whose popularity has exploded not only within Japan...
I've been in Tokyo for four weeks now. Generally weather has been mild since arrival, a jacket barely required on some days and even sunny at times. But on the Monday after I arrived was an unexpectedly severe blizzard. More than 20cm of snow dumped onto the city over the course of the day. It was the most seen in over 4 years and brought chaos with it. On the roads police were pushing cars out of snowdrifts and traffic was at a crawl or standstill everywhere else. I'm sure the media were advising everyone to stay indoors.
Unwisely I decided to honour my dinner reservation at a restaurant, a fair distance from where I was staying. When I finally got there I was the only diner. Guess everyone else had either cancelled or set out and never made it. The chef gave me an extra course on the house and the manager gifted me his umbrella when I left, no doubt concealing his amazement at my stupidity in not havi...
Eighty years ago, downtown Los Angeles was a thriving centre of business and entertainment. It was in this environment that Clifford Clinton opened an epic forest-themed cafeteria called 'Clifton's' (a combination of his first and last name).
In the 1940s Clifton's served as many as 10,000 customers a day, including free meals for those who couldn't afford to pay. The decor helped inspire one visitor named Walt Disney in his plans for a new theme park, to be called Disneyland (wonder how that went...?)
Following World War II the downtown area began a long and slow decline, and by the 1980s crime and homelessness were rampant. Clifton's remained open, the world's largest public cafeteria. In 2010 a local entrepeneur purchased it from the Clinton family and closed it for renovations. Five years and many millions of dollars later Cliftonís Cafeteria reopened to the public, in a downtown that is booming once again.
It is four floors of total kitsch - murals, strange artifacts and curios, stuf...
For many tourists the Los Angeles experience may be limited to the airport area, Disneyland and the Anaheim amusement parks, and perhaps a day in Hollywood with a quick look at nearby Beverly Hills.
But this sprawling city has so much more to offer. Los Angeles is rather unique in that it feels like a city without a real centre. There seems to be no real LA equivalent of Times Square or Trafalgar Square. Instead it is a large number of small cities - over eighty - that are stuck together but have individual characters. At close to 20 million people, greater Los Angeles has nearly the population of Australia!
The character of these individual neighbourhoods may be due to their ethnic population - for example LA's Koreatown has the largest population of Koreans outside of Seoul. Or it may be location-related, such as the beachfront cities all along the coast.
One part of Los Angeles worth visiting these days is its downtown area, which has changed a lot in the last couple of decades. Downt...
Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, has been a centre of Japanese culture for over a thousand years. Easily reached by bullet train from Tokyo, there are hundreds of temples, shrines, parks and gardens to wander through. It is best to allow several days for a visit, if possible.
Kyoto was one of the cities targeted for the atomic bomb at the end of World War 2, but was spared and so remains today one of the best places to get a sense of historical Japan.
The city is popular with both Japanese and international tourists. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit.
The gold building in the middle of the water is Kinkaku-ji, also called the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. It is a symbol of Kyoto and one of the biggest tourist attractions.
Although Kinkaku-ji dates back to the end of the 14th century it has burned down several times, most recently in 1950 due to arson. (It was reconstructed in 1955.) The pavilion's top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.
"When a man is tired of London" said Samuel Johnson, "he is tired of life." And that was back in 1777 - there's even more to see and do these days! But sometimes, despite all of the tourist attractions, the visitor still wants to get away for a quick excursion to other parts of the UK.
45 minutes by express train from London's Kings Cross, Cambridge makes an ideal day trip. People have lived in the area since prehistory, and Cambridge has at various times been settled by the Romans, Saxons and Vikings
Some of the locals seem to be vegetarian nudists who prefer the outdoors and are not in too much of a hurry.
Meanwhile swans float idly along the River Cam that flows through Cambridge.
And a few ducks and people do too.
The area is packed with historic churches and museums. Kings College Chapel is perhaps the most famous building (they do charge admission to get inside).
Bicycles are everywhere, like a smaller Amsterdam. Locals, students, teachers and tourists on rented bikes all whiz...
A day in Vancouver starts with a morning walk. The largest city in the Canadian province of British Columbia has as beautiful a setting as any in the world, nestled between the water and the mountains. The green expanse of Stanley Park runs to one side and Grouse Mountain rises to the north (at night, the lights of its ski-run look like a spaceship floating above the city).
On a clear and crisp morning the leaves still have their fall colours, brilliant reds and oranges.
As the day gets underway, seaplanes take off from Canada Bay bound for nearby Vancouver Island and the state capital of Victoria, with its English-styled tearooms and pubs.
The rainy season in the Pacific Northwest runs from July to June. Hardy locals don't seem to bother much with umbrellas, but the visitor is advised to keep one handy. The weather can change at a moment's notice and the sunlight suddenly replaced by showers!
Lunch time. Siegel's Bagels in Vancouver are renowned for their Montreal-style bagels. B...
The Copenhagen restaurant Noma has been called "the world's best restaurant". It ís a strange title - with something as subjective as taste, how can any restaurant be ranked as number one? Nevertheless, such headlines bring publicity, business and demand. Dinner at Noma is one of the world's most difficult reservations to make.
In March of 2014 more headlines announced that Noma was relocating from Copenhagen to Tokyo for a few weeks the following January. The entire staff of over 60 people, from head chef Rene Redzepi to the dishwasher, were coming to Japan and recreating Noma up on the 37th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Reservations were snapped up the moment they were released in June. Many people paid extra for an accommodation package in order to secure a table. 60,000 more people remained on the waitlist, desperate to get in. Diners jetted in from around the world. A San Francisco girl who had a spare seat, and offered to pay for dinner on the condition the person fle...
Tokyo may be extraordinarily safe, clean and efficient for one of the world's largest cities, but the pace of modern life can still be overwhelming. When stressed-out Tokyoites need a break from the urban intensity, they head an hour or two out of town to places like Hakone, known for its onsen or hot spring resorts.
The first step to getting there is to try and find the right platform at Shinjuku, the world's busiest train station that 3 million people or more travel through each day.
The train to Hakone is the Limited Express Romance Car. It turns out the name simply means that there are no armrests between the seats (don't you just hate how armrests can get in the way of a good romance?)
The front of the train offers a panoramic view, including a distant Mt Fuji.
From Hakone station it is a short taxi ride up the mountain and over the bridge across the Hayakawa River to 'Yama No Chaya', a highly rated ryokan or traditional Japanese inn.