New York, New York.
In case you missed it, I was on an adventure in New York this last week as part of Scotland Week. We were asked to attend as representatives of Visit Scotland, Scot Street Style and 21st Century Kilts for the work we have done as the Kilted Yogis. Our message of health, well-being, and connection to Scottish natural environments was what we brought with us and we had a blast from the moment we touched down.
On Wednesday we touched down at Newark airport after a long flight. Upon arriving at the Arlo Hotel we had a chance for a quick change of clothes and went downstairs to meet Moya McAllister, the official photographer for New York City Tartan Week. Moya was collecting photos for a commemorative photo book about the event for its 20 year anniversary next year. Moya took these shots outside the hotel for us:
A few hours after landing I received an email that the video my twin brother and I had created had been released and straight away people started picking it up and messaging. It feels like such a privilege to have the ability to use my voice in this way. I got on to sharing this as much as I could that day. You can see the video below:
After a very thorough nights sleep, we headed out to our busiest day. Our schedule was tight, so we jumped into a cab and headed uptown to the Highland Bar for our first set of interviews. We met with representatives from Visit Scotland and Gemma Paterson from Balvenie Distilleries to speak about Scotland, Whisky and our memories around it as we did a tasting. From here we ran out into the rain and took the tube up to Time Square where we ran through the rain to the St Andrews Bar. We had a bit of downtime here and connected with Howie Nicholsby of 21st Century Kilts and Fraser Moodie who were responsible for dressing us so well. We also had the chance to meet Kyle Dawson, President of the NYCTW, an absolute gent.
We then got another cab to fly across the city to the Scotland Food Event where various government bodies were showcasing and presenting Scottish produce, makers and brands from Scotland. We got to refuel on some delicious produce and met back up with @Edinreporter and her friend Lyndon Haviland who I had the pleasure of getting to know.
After our short stay, we got yet another cab across town to meet with Cator Sparks at The Manual Guide Magazine. This gent welcomed us with open arms and we refueled a little here too.
This was when I met Simone, a contestant on Britain's Next Top Model and Gordon of Scot Street Style for the first time. After a brief stop, we were off again to the last event of the night, the Norwood Club.
At the Norwood we met with the executive directors of Scottish Ballet, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Dundee Ambassador Brian Cox. We watched unique duets by dancers from Scottish Dance Theatre. Towards the end of the night, we bumped into Steven Rosen who took some great portraits of us
. Friday morning came around and I was on my mat, out the door and ready for the day by 9am. I met up with Joey Sbarro who showed me around the city including some sweet photos in Time Square: [embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/BSmJG01Fbo8/?taken-by=finlay0901[/embed]
My next stop was the New York Times where I met up with the Edinburgh Reporter, Phyllis, Joanna Cherry MP and Lyndon.
Before lunch we thought we would get some iconic footage of some Live Yoga in Time Square, it is really sweet! At the end of the shoot, a guy came up to get a selfie from Italy and let us know that he follows me and that everyone has seen my video in Italy! :D
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Footage at Time Square by the @edinburghreporter ! How awesome! #yoga #kilt #kiltedyoga #visitscotland #yogaeverydamnday #yogaeveryday #newyork #nyc #gravitysurf #beard #gay #strength #inversion #menofyoga #mendoyoga #yogadudes #yogaguys #boysofyoga #flexible #ukyoga #ukyogis #practicedaily #omyogaboy #forrest #forrestyoga #scruff #instayoga
Our next stop was at Barbour in an event hosted with Scot Street Style celebrating Scottish fashion, style and creation.
I was able to speak to Paul English, the journalist who helped get Kilted Yogis off the ground, Helen Barbour, one of the directors of Barbour and Brian Cox. Brian and I had a great chat for about 45 minutes about Dundee's history and its future.
Saturday swung around fast after a late night and we headed uptown in our new kilts after a long Yoga warm up. We were physically and mentally ready for the day ahead. We met Tommy Flannagan at the hotel just off 6th Avenue and caught a photo with him. These shots were taken by the Yama Talent Photographer, Ash.
Then, the most surreal thing happened, walking down 6th Avenue with it shut off for the parade. People calling our names and cheering us on. Incredible!
All in all, we had an absolute blast! I felt so privileged to speak for Scotland, Yoga and health on our travels. Here is to the next big adventure.