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Archive for March, 2012

or are Cadillac making some really nice cars at the moment?

As a Brit, we grow up thinking of Cadillacs as jokes. Huge old barges driven by huge old Americans.

That isn’t completely true, because we do think of Classic Caddies in movies and pop videos and enjoy the image of Americana, but the cars of the 70s, 80s and even that ugly attempt at a sporty Cadillac  – the 90s XLR, were all terrible.

… but the current crop of small Cadillacs? Now that’s a different story…. the CTS-V Coupe is a great looking car with BMW M eating performance and ‘proper’ handling.

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and if you need something more practical (like for a dog – read my post about Audi or Cart before the horse..) they even make a performance wagon:

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now isn’t that a handsome looking car? Sure it doesn’t have the smooth curves of an Audi or a BMW, but those angular edges work well and the proportions are just right.

It’s not just the CTS that appeals to me. The baby Cadillac SUV (the SRX) looks pretty good too:Image

What do you think, are the new Cadillacs great or have I finally become a Yank?

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but until I do, here are some photos from my apartment…..

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I have owned a couple of Audi models over the years. The 1986 Audi GT was my watered down faux – Quattro rally car and the 80 Avant a practical dog car.

My GT was a great (but confusing) looking car. From some angles it looked elegant and others ungainly. My opinion of it changed on an hourly basis.

Sometimes it looked Sporty:

but sometimes really awkward and dated:

Despite my love – hate relationship with its style, I will always love the way those VAG four and five cylinder engines pull. In one form of another it has been a feature of at least five of my cars.  Smooth, free revving and with an awesome wide torque curve, what’s not to love?

 

The 80 Avant was a great car. Same basic engine, but this time the 2.0 version, and after some modifications to the suspension it was fun to drive. A perfect dog car and one of my better used buys. (sadly here missing a hub cap!)

Recently I have found a large number of newer Audi’s catching my eye, but which model will be next?

I really love the A5.  Obviously an S5 would be the right model, but a simple A5 with the 2.0 Turbo would still be a great car (the latest version of that VAG 4 cylinder…). It has to be one of the best looking cars on the market right now, elegant curves, a handsome face and those muscular haunches and a fantastic interior…..

but then I start thinking I need to be a bit more practical. It’s a sad sign of my age I know, but realistically I need to stop buying cars for NOW and start thinking about cars that I can keep for a few years. The Wife keeps telling me that babies have small feet. It’s not that I didn’t know that small people tend to have small feet, but I think she is really telling me that she would like to have some small feet in our lives….. and soon…. so maybe an A4 would be more sensible…. (this sensible thing is definitely a challenge).

The latest versions of the A4 are definitely not ugly and have some of the best build quality on the market with good solid engines and high quality interiors and from behind the wheel they really don’t look very different to their coupe sisters.

 

but then if I’m being really sensible today, what about that dog we plan to get? So another Avant might just be called for?

 

but that A5 is still very tempting now isn’t it … and we can’t have kids for another couple of years…. and the apartment really is too small for a dog…..

 

 

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I first read about the Highline Park a couple of years ago in a British Airways in-flight magazine and was immediately captivated.

For those of you who have never heard of it, the High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side and was opened in 2009. It was unused and overgrown and almost demolished, but local residents got together and saved it. It’s an amazing place to hang out or take a stroll.

I have tried to visit it several times over the last couple of years but I finally had a chance this weekend. The Wife and I walked it’s full length and I would definitely recommend taking a look if you are in Manhattan at any point. I imagine it’s even more beautiful once Spring has arrived. They have managed to retain the character of the old line, even down to keeping the rails, but they have made a very pretty park with grass patches, wild flowers, benches to sit and relax and some nice wide walkways…. well I say wide, but please keep in mind that it’s an old railway line so it’s a relevant statement.

Here are a couple of photos I took along the walk:

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NYC

NYC

Under the Bridge….

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NYC

NYC

Downtown in Battery Park

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NYC

NYC

A Gift from the French

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