New York City – Ye Beauty…


Lesson 1: When in New York, Walk! That’s the only way you can get the complete glimpse of this wonderful city. Be it the breathtaking skyscrapers or the amazing diversity in culture, New York is one city you’ll never stop loving.

Where the twin towers once stood

So after a ten hour drive from Columbus, I reached New York City, with ten of my mates, to be greeted with a bright sunshine and the temperature hovering around fifteen degrees celsius (this after a heavy rain the previous day). It was not just the walk around Manhattan – which is an experience beyond anything you could imagine – but the overall culture in display that left me awestruck. It’s a kind of culture that would puzzle any uninitiated, even a localite. The amazing contradictions that you encounter – man-driven rickshaws, some poor men playing violin on the roadside for money and a luxurious limousine in all its glowing shine floating noiselessly past them beyond the towering buildings.

If you can spare him a penny or two…

We spent some time at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, and headed to the Empire State Building. From its 86th floor the whole city was visible in all of its glorious beauty. That’s probably how the world looks when you stare down from heaven. Beauty at its best! Our next stop was the Ground Zero, the spot where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once played with the clouds. Though it was strange watching people enjoying at the spot – which became what it was because of a tragedy – with smiles and snaps, my mind went back to the night of my college days in Madurai when I was awake all night watching the scenes live on BBC as the events frighteningly unfolded. Not a lot of time before an is became a was. Life can be such trifle.

Jackson Heights is more of Bangalore than New York

For now though, life moved seamlessly over to the next morning, when we walked around Jackson Heights (or was it Bangalore?). The place had more Desi population than anywhere else I’ve seen outside India. Literally every shop was a Vishal Sarees or a Kunal Jewelers or a Subzi Mundi. People wearing chudidhars and sarees were more than those in formals or jeans. All the roads seemed to resemble Commercial Street in Bangalore, with overcrowded shops on either side and a heavy traffic jam of cars in the middle.

A subway train then took us to that place which holds the world’s economic health in balance – Wall Street, home to the New York Stock Exchange. The street welcomed its visitors with the statue of a Bull that is a general mark of prosperity in the Stock market circles. So there always may be prosperity in this world.

Lights and music at Rockfeller center

Later that evening, we paid a quick visit to Lady Liberty. Quick, because, the ferry system that would normally have taken us for a closer rendezvous with the Lady herself was closed early for the Christmas eve. And talking of Christmas eve, the Rockfeller center – our next stop – gave us the right dose of a classic evening blast. The crowd was terribly dense at Rockfeller. The evening was dark, the air was getting colder by the minute, the sun already having sunk behind the horizon. But what lit up the sky, the air and our spirits was the amazing lights and music show what went on display. Kaleidoscopic designs of colorful lights zig-zagged in a rhythmic fashion through the buildings, tuning itself to some great music.

We scampered our way through the crowd, past giant Christmas trees and Santa Clauses of different sizes to the most happening place in the city – Times Square. It was thrilling to actually see the spots that I had hitherto heard a lot about – the Broadway theatre running The Color Purple, the giant Nasdaq display and the sheer pleasure of walking down the street. And a dinner at the Bombay House in Times Square was the culmination of an exciting two days in New York City.

The visit to New York did leave me with many kinds of memories – going around with friends most of whom I met after a long time, the glamour and the distinct culture of New York that doesn’t have many parallels. And the middle aged woman who sat under a skyscraper in a shady corner of Times Square clutching a tiny board in her weak hand, which read – I lost my job. I have two kids. I don’t have anyone else. Please help me.


5 Responses to “New York City – Ye Beauty…”

  1. hmmm…

  2. Have plenty of fun Kish .. no complaining later ;)

  3. Looks like got a wonderful way to sign off 2006…. Wish you a great 2007 with lots of happiness, success and prosperity to you and all those near and dear to you.

  4. 4 Shanae

    Dammit. I can’t wait to go back to NY. I freakin love that place, man.

  5. 5 Alex

    Thank You

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