My Secret City

Discovering the unknown in well-known places.

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Chasing London’s Mysterious Flock of Feral Birds

Everyone has an outlandish theory on how the parakeets got here. Tracking the truth taught me more about my city than about the animals themselves.

Grooving to the Oldies at New Orleans’ Temple of Uncool

Tourists love the legendary jazz clubs. But if you really want to know NOLA, step back in time aboard a retro riverboat casino docked just off an interstate near the airport.

Stealing Seattle’s Secret Beaches Back From the Elite

The city’s richest residents try to block off the shoreline behind their private estates. Locals like me will show you the joys of claiming the ice-cold water as our own.

The Greatest Little Karaoke Bar in Abu Dhabi

My city is synonymous with lavish wealth. But I found the soul of this capital — inside a cement building where immigrants belt out Whitney Houston hits.

Yes, New York City Does Have Trees. I’m on a Quest to See All the Best Ones.

In between the concrete and congestion, the city sustains some awe-inspiring arbors. And each one has a story of the humans who’ve nurtured them over the centuries.