1. Dylan’s Candy Bar
Three floors of any kind of candy or chocolate you can think or, a cafe which sells epic sundaes, milkshakes and cupcakes. It’s Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in the real world! Colourful, exciting and great fun. There is nothing in England that compares to the epic-ness of this place with regards to providing a mecca for people with an extreme sweet tooth! Maybe the closest thing, would be Harrods food court. But Harrods is classy, Dylan’s Candy Bar has the kitsch factor, which makes it so much more fun! http://www.dylanscandybar.com/
2. Mountain Dew
Whilst in New York, this is all that I drank! I’ve had it once before in an American style cafe in Leeds, but it was nothing like it was in America. It’s like Sprite but more Lime flavoured and a really interesting shade of green. Refreshing and just the right amount of sweetness and fizz. We want to know why it isn’t readily available in the UK? I will miss it.
UPDATE: Having just written this, Matt popped out to the local shop and came back with a bottle of Mountain Dew Energy drink! It’s not quite the same, but I may I just say, how weird is that? They read my mind.
3.Â Free Refills
Considering how cheap fizzy drinks must be to provide and the amount of profit that they must make charging around Â£2 for a class in a restaurant, I would love to see more free refills in the UK. Pretty much everywhere in America does fizzy drinks by the pint and instantly a member of staff will refill for free without even asking you. It’s awesome! Except that you constantly need to pee.
4. Â Air Conditioning
What a delight when the weather outside is sweltering and you can easily escape by popping into any American store with its lovelyÂ air conditioning. We really missed it when we returned to Leeds and it was as humid as it had been on some day in New York and we couldn’t keep cool. Nowhere seems to have air conditioning in the UK and I don’t know why either, perhaps it because we have only recently been encountering such high humidity and heat and it’s never before been needed? Perhaps this will be something we will get soon? From working in shops for many years I know what it’s like in the heightsÂ of Summer without air conditioning, and now living in a high-rise flat where most of the windows don’t open, you just cannot enjoy the Summer the same, as you are constantly trying to keep cool and failing!!
Â 5. Classic Style Arcade, e.g. Dave and Buster’s
Whilst in New York, after seeing a television advert for it we visited Dave and Buster’s, which a massive chain in America, which is a restaurant and a arcade in one. They do an offer where if you pick a meal from a set menu you get a $10 game card for free, so this is what we did. The meal was classic American, fried stuff with chips which suited us fine. The Arcade (which apparently was one of the smaller ones in the franchise) was massive and we had so much fun. They had my favourite, Skeeball, as well as other arcade classics such as basketball, Mario Karts, racing games, air hockey and slot machines. The best bit though was that you won coupons for earning points on the games, which you then trade in for a range or lame and tacky prizes! It was a delight. We have been to one similar arcade in London, the Namco arcade on South Bank. But on the whole this style arcade are not a popular thing in the UK, which is a shame as it’s a great way to spend time and is family friendly.
6- Epic Toy Stores
Ok, so I know it’s weird, but we spent alot of time in toy stores in New York and it’s because they are so epic in comparisson to ones in the UK. We visited Toy’R’Us inÂ Time Square which featured a ferris wheel in its entrance, each cart themed with a toy type. Inside the store we saw massive Lego displays, a life size T-Rex and Optimus Prime Transformer and a Barbie house. They also had awesome pic’n’mix! I’m sure if we had kids, we would have much more fun taking them to toy stores if the experience was that exciting! We also went to F.A.O Schwartz, which had a similar feel but with a focus on more traditional toys, they also had excellent candy and giant Lego displays, but they had the iconic American toystore thing, a giant piano! So much fun!
Ok, so we have Space N.K in the UK which is similar, but Sephora completely kicks its ass. It’s a store that is full of concessions of make up, perfume, skin care and hair care. They feature classic brands like YSL, Dior and Clinique. But the best thing, is their inclusion of some of the cult brands that we rarely get to see easily in the UK, such as Illamasqua, The Balm, DuWop and Stila. They also sell ranges from Tokidoki, Tarina Tarantino, Kim Kardashian and Kat Von D. It’s a girly wonderland and exciting packaging and colours. So much to look at I couldn’t choose something to buy! It didn’t help being with a boy though. I wish we had this shop in the UK, it’s so much fun and saves alot of effort googling supplies of these smaller brands. And in such an environment, it’s far more inspiring than the UK’s department store beauty counters!Â http://www.sephora.com/Â The photo is one we visited on 5th Avenue. It was in a gorgeous building.
8. Swedish Fish
We first had these sweets at CyberCandy in London http://www.cybercandy.co.uk/aaasmt/Â and have since strugeled to find them in the UK and when we have we’ve stocked up! Anyway these sweets are American, despite their name! They are like strawberry laces mixed with gummy bearsÂ in consistency, but with a non-specific flavour. Traditionally they are red and about anÂ two inchesÂ long, they also come in a smaller size, about one inch and also in a selection pack of different colours and shapes of sea life. They are also apparently fat free, for anyone who cares about that stuff. We stocked up whilst in New York, finding bulk packs in the store Walgreens.