Northern Soul

Surfin’ USA

As a child growing up in a Yorkshire village, journalist Lynne Bateson rarely went to the city of Leeds just a few miles away, but she dreamed of living in the US. She made it. Here she recounts her adventures, taking a down-to-earth look at life Stateside.

Bicoastal

Bicoastal Blues: A Tale of Two US Cities

February 23, 2016 Comments Off on Bicoastal Blues: A Tale of Two US Cities

I’m just back from the eyeball-hurting, freezing cold of New York where my senses were assaulted by screeching subway trains, honking cars, the pitiful sight of panhandlers on corners, and the smells of garbage and cheap pizza.

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Mine’s a Margarita: the stigma of alcohol in the US

December 14, 2015 Comments Off on Mine’s a Margarita: the stigma of alcohol in the US

When Starbucks announced it would sell wine and craft beers during the evening at some US branches, you would have thought it was opening brothels, not bottles.

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Moon landing

Aliens in America: A Northerner Writes

October 7, 2015 Comments Off on Aliens in America: A Northerner Writes

My friend Edgar saw a UFO while sipping wine and enjoying the cool night air on his porch in Bellflower, California, in 1968. He waved.

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Lights, Camera, Action! When Hollywood pays a visit

August 1, 2015 Comments Off on Lights, Camera, Action! When Hollywood pays a visit

Where there’s muck there’s money. A film shoot was going on in our street and the crew paid us to let them squeeze the lavatory trailer onto our drive.

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Red Dragonfly on Lynne Bateson's car aerial

Animal Crackers: skunks, skunk and scary critters

June 14, 2015 Comments Off on Animal Crackers: skunks, skunk and scary critters

My friend Bob has a possum story.

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Spring Flowers by Chris Payne

Cold in a Warm Climate

April 11, 2015 Comments Off on Cold in a Warm Climate

Feeling cold indoors in a place where flowers bloom in January came as a shock to Northern Soul’s US correspondent Lynne Bateson.

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LA bus

It’s a class thing: Los Angeles and Leeds by bus

February 9, 2015 Comments Off on It’s a class thing: Los Angeles and Leeds by bus

The suited man sitting opposite was embarrassed. Catching my eye, he announced, so others could hear, that his car was being repaired. It seemed beneath his dignity to be on the bus.

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George Formby

You Just Don’t Understand Me: Life in the US

December 14, 2014 4 Comments

“Are you English?” asked the guy in the queue. “Yes” I replied. His next question was: “What language do they speak in England?”

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All the Fun of the Fair (and Tripey Ross)

October 30, 2014 Comments Off on All the Fun of the Fair (and Tripey Ross)

Pigs sporting colourful neckerchiefs raced out of numbered stalls to reach a prize – an Oreo cookie. The crowd cheered for their favourites. Afterwards we were offered coupons for free bacon at a local supermarket chain. I declined.

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Where’s the Bacon Dip? Breakfast in America

September 13, 2014 Comments Off on Where’s the Bacon Dip? Breakfast in America

The waitress was big, and looked scary. My partner, Bill, started ordering, but she told him to “shut up”, stared at me, and barked: “I’ll have your order first, Toots.”

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