Monday, July 10, 2006

The Big Apple

July 03, Monday

The cheap hotel which we had booked in New York really turned to be 'cheap'. After understanding it was no use arguing with the hotel guys, we shifted to another hotel, which was pretty decent.

After getting ready, we set out for New York expedition, before that we dropped Ponamma to catch her with other appointment. Parking in New York is one hell experience and we promptly returned our car to the agency. Then onwards it was taxi.

First visit was to World Trade Center.

As we walked to the Ground Zero, those satanic images of planes crashing into skyscrapers were repeating playing in my mind. I was thinking how many innocent lives unaware of what is waiting for them would have come into their offices in WTC on that fateful 09/11.

There was emptiness in the site. Once there stood two magnificent towers with booming life. At the site there were boards describing how the transport was restored, what happened at Pentagon and there was a list of all people who lost their lives in the attack. All together 2373 lives. There was graffiti on near-by wall most of them paying homage to all the departed souls.

Paid homage to all the departed ones and a silent thanks to all the firemen. In the near by World Financial Center, there was a model of the upcoming 'Freedom Tower', which is to be built in the place where WTC stood. Mind was still thinking about how anybody would think in such destructive way, what meticulous planning would have gone in this. But what did they gain out of this??

Next took a taxi and landed up in Empire State building. Before getting into Empire State building, something about taxis here. Most of the yellow taxis are driven by Desis especially the Sardars. We always ended up in Sardar taxis throughout our travel in New York.

Empire State building is the second tallest structure in US with 102 floors. There was a huge queue to get into the top of the building. After taking tickets for that, we landed on the observatory section of the empire state building. The view of New York from there was awesome. Good that we took the 'Tony the Cabie's audio commentary'. It was nice to listen to the commentary about each building we were seeing.

From there we landed up in Times Square. The first impression was awe. It was nothing but glittering. So many people, so many lights, sign boards, flashy bill boards, advertisements, it was a perfect place to roam in the night. Roaming in the Times Square was like walking in the Brigade-MG Road. We just strolled the street and had dinner at an Italian restaurant. Times truly reflected the 'never sleeping city'.

It was time to go back to hotel. But we didn't know the address of the hotel! Neither was it written on the key they gave. At that time we were in Time Square at 7th Avenue 47th Street. So 'somebody' in our group called up and asked for the hotel address. Depending on that, we took a taxi and went to 7th Avenue, 146 th street to find that there was no hotel there! Again when we called it was known that the hotel was in 7th Avenue 46th Street. This meant the hotel was next street from where we started! We laughed at ourselves for this, when we saw Times Square from our hotel window!

July 04, Tuesday

As soon as we were ready we went to the Central Park, which was at a walkable distance from the hotel. Central Park was so huge and everywhere people were seen jogging, cycling or skating. After spending strolling across the park and enjoying the central park benches, it was time to bid adieu to Dips.

We were back in Central Park and Archana was insisting that we will hire bicycles to roam around. So hired the bicycles for 2 hours for a rent of 20$. Last time I rode a bicycle was atleast 4-5 years ago. So first few seconds were shaky & finally I got the grip.It was awesome strolling the central park on the bicycle. It was good to see so many joggers, cyclists, skaters & walkers around us.

After 2 hours we returned the bicycles and went for one last round of stroll in Time Square before we left for the airport.

We reached JFK barely with any time left, but plane was made to wait for nearly 2 hours on the runway due to some runway problem, which meant that when I arrived in Phoenix, I had missed my connecting flight to LA. I was put in the next day first flight at 6 AM.The stupid airlines argued that they can't provide accommodation. Suppi took me to his home with an extra burden of dropping me in airport for the first flight.

I almost missed that flight too, but somehow made it! But it was not the end of action as my baggage didn't arrive when I landed in LAX. Finally everything ended fine!

Climbing Statue of Liberty
Getting soaked in Niagara
Drive in the freeway
Silent moments at WTC
Top of the world in Empire State building
Stroll in Time Square
Cycling in Central Park

So many wonderful moments throughout the trip combined with the presence of my awesome friends without whom this trip would not have so much fun and memorable.

Still savoring each moment from the trip...


ಸ್ವರ said...

naan yaavaaga I sthaLagaLnella nODtinO!? :(

Sindhu said...

Wow! KaNNige katto description! The account on Niagara falls (below) was particularly exciting. Planning ours for this summer, though not yet New York.

Did you take pictures as well? Saw a few on your Kannada blog...

The one on Times Square and your hotel was funny :)

You reached Canada border, didn't you? My village is not very far from there.
Are you planning Canada as well? If you do, don't forget to place some time apart for Toronto. I will be more than happy to play the host :)

Shiv said...

anytime u r welcome here..
bega banni we can plan for a trip!

Infact,I remembered you when were on the US-Canada border! Canada is definitely in the radar and if I land up ther,'ll make sure that you'll never play host again for me :D

I wud luv to come to Canada..and that too if there is a kannadathi playin a host..tumba divasa aiythuu oLLe oota maaDi :D

Sindhu said...

Oh yes, I am a good cook too.
You are most welcome, Shiv.

Shiv said...

Good Cook..dats it..
I'm booking my ticket to Canada soon :)

Deepa said...

reading your account makes me want to get up from office right way, go home to get my passport, go to the bank for some money and head to ny. missing travelling. good one

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »