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Full sketchbook page from the weekend.

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It was a day for bike rides and BBQs and weddings and picnics and climbing trees and going to the zoo and puppet trucks and ice cream and wearing bright dresses and holding hands and listening to music wafting out of the tunnels and posing with statues and sitting high up on a rock and drawing people.

To be in conversation with Maira Kalman is like wandering into one of her cartoons in The New Yorker. Millions have been prompted to smile and think by Maira Kalman’s illustrated revision of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style or a New York Times blog or her lovely books and her drawings about dogs. Her words and pictures bring life’s whimsy and quirkiness into relief right alongside its intrinsic seriousness, its most curious truths.

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Top of the Empire State Building barely peaks out from above the cloud deck, viewed from the Observation Deck of One World Trade Center. This view is basically “the island of Manhattan” during a day where the clouds are low.

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Is the weekend in sight? by Jörg Schubert

Zadie Smith and Nick Laird Make a Dashing Duo at Natural History Gala

Plenty of well-turned-out couples were in attendance at last night’s American Museum of Natural History Gala, but British writers Zadie Smith and Nick Laird stick out as the night’s best-dressed couple.

Ms. Smith’s signature turban’s apricot hue perfectly coordinates with her gold accessories, without being too matchy, while Mr. Laird looks distinguished in his tailored tux.

This photo of a glamorous and put-together literary couple is perfect to whip out next time someone repeats the old cliché that writers are schlubs.

Programme confirmed for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to the USA

SUNDAY 7TH DECEMBER

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in New York

MONDAY 8TH DECEMBER

  • World Bank, Washington DC - The Duke of Cambridge will attend the International Corruption Hunters Alliance conference, followed by a working lunch. The Duke will be accompanied by Mr William Hague. The Duke will give a speech at the conference focussing on corruption surrounding the illegal wildlife trade.
  • Northside Center for Child Development, Harlem - The Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by the First Lady of New York City will visit the centre which fosters the healthy development of children and families by providing high-quality mental health and educational services. The Duchess and First Lady will take part in gift-wrapping with volunteers and meet students undertaking a craft-making exercise.
  • Lunch at British Consul General’s Residence, New York - The Duchess of Cambridge will meet members of the British Community in New York from culture, arts, hospitality, and business sectors.
  • Conservation Reception at British Consul General’s Residence, New York - The Duke of Cambridge accompanied by Secretary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will attend a reception co-hosted by the Royal Foundation and the Clinton Foundation, in recognition of the conservation work carried out by Tusk and United for Wildlife partners: Wildlife Conservation Society; Conservation International; and The Nature Conservancy.
  • NBA Basketball game (Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers), Brooklyn – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend an NBA Basketball game to support the on-going collaboration between the Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife and the NBA.

TUESDAY 9TH DECEMBER

  • The National September 11 Memorial Museum, New York - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will tour the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Their Royal Highnesses will view one of the Memorial Reflection Pools and spend time in the Memorial Plaza and Memorial Museum.
  • The Door / CityKids, New York - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit The Door to see the work they carry out in partnership with the CityKids Foundation – both organisations offer services to young people to help them reach their potential. Their Royal Highnesses will tour the youth organisation and view arts performances by the young people.
  • Creativity is GREAT Reception, hosted by NeueHouse, New York - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a reception at NeueHouse celebrating the wealth of British Talent in the Creative Industries based in New York.
  • Innovation is GREAT Reception, hosted by Shutterstock at The Empire State Building, New York - The Duke of Cambridge accompanied by The Mayor of New York City will visit the observation deck at the 86th floor, attend the technology-themed reception; and present the winners of the GREAT Tech Awards with trophies.
  • St. Andrews 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will join this event which will support scholarships and bursaries for students from under-privileged communities, new student sports facilities in St Andrews, investment in the university’s medical and science faculties and a lectureship in American Literature at St. Andrews.