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

The Niagara – A song of ice & fire

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, said John Keats. I’m no expert in the literary arts but I can safely proclaim that the most cliched line from this famous poem, perfectly extols the Niagara Falls. One glimpse and it’s a revelation that something so mammoth & magnanimous is capable of exuding grace in equal measure. Having experienced the phenomenon from New York & Ontario, I can safely say that despite mesmerizing views from both countries, the experience remains constant, in other words,  extraordinary.USA or Canada, I didn’t flinch before thanking the creator for no beauty stands before nature. When Dan Brown describes the Hagia Sophia in Inferno, he says, “a physical space so imposing that that those who entered felt dwarfed, their ego erased, their physical being and cosmic importance shrinking to the size of a mere speck in the face of God….an atom in the hands of the Creator.” The cascading waters of the Niagara can put into effect a similar starking reality.  Continue reading “The Niagara – A song of ice & fire”

Luray Caverns, Virginia

“The poetry of earth is never dead.”
-John Keats
The summer of 2011. Long awaited.After months of huddling within jackets & scarves, sunshine & warmth finally came to pull us out of dismay.( Let me clarify before I go ahead, I happen to love winter nowadays. The cynical thoughts of a chilly past have been superseded by something simply called, “an attitude change”.) It is in July that the east coast of North America experiences the peak & pleasure of soaring temperatures & sun tans. We decided to make the most of it by renting a convertible Mustang & driving to Washington DC & Virginia….DC for the fireworks of course and Virginia for a number of places (details in the coming posts) but this post is dedicated to the Luray Caverns. Continue reading “Luray Caverns, Virginia”

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”

Brooklyn Botanical Garden – Cherry Blossom

As the sights of dirt & stain laden slosh & snow vanished, it marked the emergence of an idyllic period replete with sunshine & colour. The harbingers of spring: pansies in yellow & purple, turquoise tinted clusters of hydrangeas, bunches of azaleas & blooming tulips displayed the magic of changing seasons. Continue reading “Brooklyn Botanical Garden – Cherry Blossom”