Sunday, September 09, 2007

New York Cityscape - China Town and Little Italy

As my friend and I stepped off the subway at Grand Street , it was hard to miss the fact that we were the only two non-Chinese or non-south east Asian people around the place. Welcome to China Town!

We were in search - search of the truest Italian cuisine and a feel for Italy. And a search for the best handbag imitations that China has to offer. And a search that was truly rewarded.

New York Cityscape - The ReadingRoom

A lazy saturday afternoon... myriads of people streaming down broadway and 7th avenue as usual... and I was lost once again in the crowds, the clothes, the color and in general the shades of summer in New York... my target destination was the Grand Central... however I was diverted by Bryant Park which I had fleetingly caught sight of from my taxi on the day I landed in New York... And this is what I discovered - "The Reading Room". It was a book lovers ideal afternoon!

Carry your home with you ... and camp

Camping to me always evokes images of roughing it out, living out of backpack, in the wilderness, in the middle of no where, and feels like an activity not suited for the weak hearted. But after a weekend trip to Catskills during my month stay at New York proved, I am ammazed how easy it actually is and can be!

Thanks to my friend from school, who took the initiative to get a group together, we all set out for a weekend at Catskills, close to Albany in upstate New york (New York the state - for a long time i didnt realise that both the city and state were named the same!). Lookedup campsites on the net. Booked a campsite. 3 cars loaded with loads of food. Tents. Sleeping bags. Comforters. We even had a slick looking stove - although we decided to cook food over the fire we built.

The campsite ofcourse almost had everything. Wood for the fire. A grill to cook the burgers over (since we forgot to pack it!). And decently maintained loos. It was almost a home away from home.

Our home for the night. Yippee - I finally got to see that setting up a tent was infact not rocket science.

I really marvel at the extent of organised tourism in the country. While its helpful in a lot of ways, it sort of converts the whole affair to a picnic rather than camping. I still remember the disappointment I felt when I landed in Yosemite with images of a nice long trek and was handed a map with every little detail marked out. But I guess, it just means I need to look harder to find more 'out of the way', 'un mapped' places !

Some photos from canoeing on day 2 @ North Lake

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Back from the big apple

Just back from a month long work trip to NY ( well, truthfully speaking, 'just back' was around a couple of weeks ago). Anyway, the trip was pretty fantastic although feels like a "whirlwindy" blur now - I loved the feel of putting on my neatly pressed suit, snazzy bag shoes and all joining the hordes of people walking to work like I was one of them. Come to think of it, I WAS one of them for those 30 days!

Although there was a good amount of work, I spent most of the time that I did have to spare doing "usual" things that I would do in Mumbai or Chennai - like shopping over the weekend, checking out some "city" actions, taking a long walk in a park or just walking through some nice neighbourhood - all of which was really nice.

And I totally loved the whole stay because time just flew - I was there trying to get a hang of life there, and before I knew it It was time to leave. And the best past was, after some time I felt like I was merging with the city rather than feeling like a complete outsider - dont know how that happened, but I am gald it did.