Where all the lights glisten…Times Square, NYC

“New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
The lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York, New York,
New York”
Jay Z & Alicia Keys have hit the mark in ‘Empire State of Mind’! Manhattan was a mere five miles from home (Jersey City) & we didn’t really have to wait for the weekend for a rendezvous. I’m sometimes a victim of frayed memories, remembering the special moments & willingly omitting the rest but never with Times Square. The  unremitting burgeon of lights, the glamour, the electrifying joy….every bit is firmly etched in my mind. I admit, natural beauty, silence & calm have their perks & have a way of rejuvenating but there are times when a blast of euphoria helps too. Sometimes, all you need to cheer up is to watch happy people, drown in the deluge of glinting lights, devour greasy food and shop till you drop, all of which one can easily indulge in at the Times Square.

Here’s what I brought back…..
I remember having a celebrity moment when I saw myself up a mammoth screen draped atop a store. Although, I have to confess, giggling & jumping about waving hands, doesn’t really scream “celebrity”.

I remember shopping like a maniac at 2:30 AM with a bunch of cousins at Forever 21. It was more the thrill of being able to shop at midnight rather than actually wanting something. But, we girls do that, right?

I remember cuddling with the husband on the neon red steps after being shot from all the walking. Not that I needed a reason but the crisp New York autumn breeze sure helped.

I remember taking a picture with a shaggy Red Muppet. I come from the land of Amar Chitra Katha & Malgudi Days, ignorant of who a Muppet is. But he looked adorable & so what if his woolly costume was a little old?

I remember Batman rescuing me from a couple of villains. Let me rephrase that. I remember a guy pretending to be Batman, imploring us to take pictures and swinging me right into his arms.I’m not complaining, this is as close to Christian Bale as it’ll get.

I remember a perpetual yearning to visit the Starbucks reveling in the midst of all the action. The throngs of people striving for a cup of coffee in a moderately claustrophobic environment constantly put me off. Maybe another time?

I remember venturing into the world of M & M’s despite having a clear distaste for them. But, let me tell you, I’m a big fan of cheesy photographs with round, smiling faces! I also  sanctimoniously revere organizational & color coding skills that assuage the OCD side of me, which happens to be in abundance here.

I remember the luminous billboards & marquees, NYPD in navy blue riding sturdy horses, the thrums of people handing out pamphlets for comedy shows, the sounds of laughter & glee, the frenzy, the lights , the lights, the lights…..
Take a look,

IMG_4402IMG_9169IMG_9186IMG_9533Times Square

O Canada at Ottawa

The summer of 2015, saturated with a searing yet welcome heat, led us to explore the capital of Canada, among other places. Ottawa, which is about a 4 hour drive from Toronto, Ontario, was more than just a weekend getaway. Being month old Canadian residents, we were glad to be able to imbibe local history and what better place to do that than at the capital. We had ensured we had more than enough time to check off popular spots, stroll around the off beaten paths & scour the food scene at the Byward market. Continue reading “O Canada at Ottawa”

Bonjour, Montréal !

“Let me, Oh let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset & drink the rainbow.”
– Kahlil Gibran
A visit to Montréal was a longstanding desire, a place we wanted to vacation the moment we set foot on Canadian soil. ” It’s almost like Paris.”, someone said. Apparently, that’s all I needed to hear. History says, the English and the French fought the Americans for Canada and the predominant French influence is not an unknown fact.No complaints here though, the European experience was exactly what we were after. Continue reading “Bonjour, Montréal !”

National Aquarium, Baltimore

Back in July 2011, the husband had a 3 month work-from-home pact, courtesy of an ankle fracture + surgery after a notorious jump & land at a volleyball game. Our studio apartment in Jersey offered a dreamy view of the Manhattan skyline, right by the bedside where he, his cast doodled with an outpour of greetings and me, would spend long hours of the day, vicariously living the east coast summer. Come October, his ankle was as good as new, fall slowly settled in with the trees rustling more than they usually do, the ground drenched in leaves brushed in ochre and crimson and temperatures dropping, as if nature was gently easing us into winter. But none of that mattered because it had been a long ordeal & all he wanted was to get out, drive & feel the blast of air that storms one’s face as the car cruises the roads. Freedom. Continue reading “National Aquarium, Baltimore”