New York in Pictures!

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Namaste, Bonjour & Hello there!

It’s been over a year now that we took a bite of the Big Apple but the sweet and sour memories are very much alive. During the five days in New York City we loved and hated it, at times.

As with so many of our travels, spells of bad weather blighted the time spent outdoors. But despite its villainous intent, some moments, places & times form a part of the ‘happy memories’ reserve. 🙂

Here are some pictures from (let me put it in their way) one of the greatest cities in the world followed by my list of love and loathing in/about New York. And a few tips that may come in handy for a first timer in NYC.

 

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The classic New York skyline.

 

 

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At the beginning of the trip, skies were more or less clear.

 

 

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Brooklyn Bridge at dusk.

 

 

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A Snapshot  of WTC (tallest skyscraper in western hemisphere) from a drive through in the city

 

 

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Brooklyn Bridge, equally significant for the USA and Bollywood!

 

 

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I’m told that two days in a year the setting sun aligns itself perfectly with Manhattan’s cross street grid. The phenomenon has been baptised as ‘Manhattanhenge’ as the setting sun turns Manhattan into a stonehenge-ish dial!

 

 

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The buildings in Brooklyn standing juxtaposed across East River.

 

I hope you’re not already bored with the pictures starring buildings in the lead. If not than great…I have more of them ahead. If yes, I’m sorry that’s what NYC is about – skyscrapers. Helloooo!

 

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The ‘grand’ Grand Central Station.

 

 

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And more skyscrapers. Empire State Building stands in the background.

 

 

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And some more – Chrysler Building.

 

Time for a confession. While I had an air of blasé about me with regards to the skyscrapers and the tall and grand buildings of NYC in general, I really liked what I saw here. The skyscrapers rising above like licks of a flame born of the amber like low-rises. It did look beautiful.

 

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One of the ageless images of the city.

 

 

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Ek photo toh banti hai!

 

 

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Our gracious little host looks quite dapper 🙂

 

These pictures were taken while on an orientation drive through the city, probably more for me than for my husband.

Next day onwards we tried to tick things off the ‘New York to do list’. The first one was MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) which we could step into after standing in queue for about an hour and a half in a hateful mix of rain and wind and multiple security checks.

 

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Seriously? That’s a protected piece of art? Also notice no one is around. Probably because everyone owns at least one of this.

 

 

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Man! I look like an exhibit here. What is it with everyone?

 

 

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Its quite a famous painting. But….I believe the painter was just thinking aloud…being ‘out of focus’.

 

 

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Okay, with this, I think I’m done with museums. That’s Ellen DeGeneres, standing next to me, BTW. 😀

 

 

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Well even this does not justify the red one for me

 

 

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Monet is more like it! Feeling relieved to have redeemed (no matter if only a fraction of) the expensive museum ticket.

 

 

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Starry Nights, the redeemer of MoMa. Beauty in every brushstroke.

 

 

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I must say Munch’s Scream is at the right place. It also symbolises the general reaction of modern art ignorants like me.

 

 

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It seems like I’m not getting the hang of Modern Art anytime soon but some works do grab the attention

 

MoMa has a huge collection of objects that are either weird looking or just plain, too plain to be in a museum (which is again weird). All due respect to whatever they mean/symbolize, but I don’t get it. MoMa felt more like a mela (a fair) owing to bad weather that forced people under the umbrella of art & culture. Paintings were definitely better enjoyed.

They also have a museum shop outside the museum, which expectedly, is as quirky.

We are individuals with undying hope. So even after visiting MoMa, we gave ourselves a go ahead for MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) where our expectations were, more or less, ‘met’.

 

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This picture is basically a note to self – to go to Greece again and buy more shoes 🙂

 

 

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Where’s my penny in the fountain? 😉

 

Met is divided into Roman, Greek, African, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, European art, culture & history sections. This division & orientation was much easier for my brain. The highlight was an elaborate & exquisite costume section, preserved & explained beautifully. Unfortunately photography was strictly prohibited. I did take some notes there, only if I could place them now. Several art/fashion students were taking notes & drawing sketches, with their unblinking eyes on the costume or the painting, unable to help my pangs of glumness for not possessing any skills &/or incentive to do the same. But it was truly a wonderful experience.

 

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Capturing Artemis & the deer at the Greco-Roman section

 

 

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Having a Roman nose is one thing but reproducing it to perfection is something else! But what got me fixated here was the curls so beautifully carved, God knows, I can’t even draw a bunch properly, let alone carving them out of marble.

 

 

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Iris tile work from the Turkish section. Another note – visit Turkey!

 

 

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A beautiful painting from the textile section. Another one from Turkey. Note modified – move Turkey further up in the list.

 

 

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A beautiful piece of jewellery from India. My picture has failed miserably to capture its beauty. May be my expression might give an idea?

 

 

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Okay, I know I’m nowhere close but I love Degas no matter how controversial he was! Or may be that’s why 🙂

 

It was a hall of delight, full of graceful, petite ballerinas!

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Another one from the genius. I love this one too!

 

The Met museum has one of the best museums shops in the world. I bought a bagful of stuff there including pottery & books. You might want to put it on your shopping list.

Did I like Met? A lot. To support the affirmation I have no more pictures of it. If you love art, history & culture you may find yourself too lost for your camera.

 

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That’s me on the steps of New York Public Library. NYPL is a regal looking building haunted by people like me 🙂

 

Stationary lovers & collectors may find themselves in a sort of paradise here in the library shop.

Grown from vile to virtuous, thronged by tourists being the prime shopping area, Times Square is the most happening piece of Manhattan. No one misses it.

 

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Times Square sans it’s lights.

 

 

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On a freezing night in Times Square

 

You see the sinister looking grey part of the upper half of the picture below, that’s the weather I have been harping on throughout. And it comes with strong winds & cold rain both of which I was not able to capture. Suffice to know that I must have burnt a good number of calories trying to walk straight against the intentions of the super wind.

 

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A Little European touch thrown in, in Hoboken.

 

So yeah, we took one of those obligatory tourist boat rides that take you to Staten Island for the Statue of Liberty. The boat ride takes about two hours. After which there’s a high probability that you might end up with a headache (and natural forces like cold or wind has no hand in it) all thanks to a guy whom we even paid for the headache.

A guy takes over the mic and does not stop after that. The interesting part is all he has to talk about and show around, are buildings. He has quite a few superlatives in his vocabulary like greatest, tallest, biggest, highest, largest, smartest (YES! for all we know he might have called a building the smartest in the world!) that he uses to describe various tall buildings. Well, basically they are just tall buildings.

The man, did not allow me to stand for a better view while I was inside even for a short while and when I  did go out on the deck, braving the chilly and chapping winds, I was only biting the dust feeling too height challenged to get a view. So I did not enjoy the ride, even for an iota of a second, with all the cacophony.

To add insult to the injury the island was closed for repairs. There was no escaping the man!

 

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Hell’s Kitchen

 

 

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The Statue of Liberty

 

 

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The lady more up close. Err…clothes really do need some laundering.

 

 

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Skyline in daylight.

 

 

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Captured at Central Park

 

We visited the Central Park and found it trying to shake the winter off. The park wasn’t in its full glory as the leaves had not returned to the trees and the lush green carpet was patchy. But it’s not too hard to imagine that what a makeover can spring in full bloom do.

 

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A horse carriage in Central Park

 

 

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Ready with lunch in the Central Park.

 

 

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Us!

 

 

 

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Skating Rink at the Central Park.

 

In addition to all this, we went on top of one of those tall buildings that have been attracting people in massive numbers on the virtue of being tall and providing a ‘view’. The queues are tiresome & endless. The security checks are as good as airports, if not worse. And views overlooking the top of a few black, blonde, brunette & some exposed heads, through thick iron bars is…is not just worth it to me.

 

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Ladies & Gentlemen, enjoy the views from the Empire State building!

 

I know my picture isn’t showing the greatest photography skills here but a bit more focus wouldn’t have added any charm to it either.

 

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Stop for SoHo.

 

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Easter bunny near Rockefeller Center.

 

So that’s about our collection of some blurry & other grey pictures of New York.

What I hate about New York? For starters, the weather was very off putting. On some evenings it rained so much so that my biggest concern was not to get poked in the eye from another umbrella while walking on the road. Also now I have a better understanding of all the jokes about NYC’s weather.

We were there around Easter, so every place – restaurants, museums, stores, cafes, elevators, trains, buses, boats – everything was extremely busy & crowded (like shoving & pushing crowded).

The very indifferent ‘Hi Guys! How you doin’ today?‘ was beginning to drive me up the wall by the end of our trip. Whereas some New Yorkers were quite convincing with it, others were simply programmed to utter this and look away. Is it a law to say that?

What I love about New York? I’m glad I have more to talk here. I loved shopping in New York. It is hands down the fashion capital of the world! I once read that people in NYC are better dressed on Mondays then you are on your best days. True that! But then there are equal number of people effortlessly bringing the ‘fashion’ average down.

A walk on the 5th Avenue was like watching a fashion show. Only thing, you walk the ramp while the models (stores) stand on the either side. The window displays on the 5th Avenue should be the top attraction, for all I care. So right from the first round I went berserk, with the options and ‘go for it’ look from my husband.

I loved loved loved shopping at Woodbury outlets. To me, it was like a trip to the moon & back. I loved Macy’s and we were probably the last ones getting out of the store. Macy’s also have ten percent discount if you’re a tourist. We also shopped big & bad at many stores on the 5th avenue. I had only been reading about Saks in books until now and was thrilled to have seen it for real. Only seen it though. SoHo is another area I really liked in New York. SoHo is the new Times Square. The area is upbeat and artsy and has fantastic stores.

Like any other big city in the world NYC is overwhelmingly crowded, chaotic, crazy, busy & fast. Almost intimidating and repelling to a small town girl like me. But in all this, is the pulse of the city and you got to take all that in, to have truly seen it.

Having seen all this, I don’t want to write New York off as ‘been there, done that’. Not yet. It’s not just possible to do that injustice to places like New York City. I want to see it again and more up close.

Someday.

However, this time the Big Apple acquaintance was exactly like apple juice – sweet & sour! 😉

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nicely captured sky scrappers,modern art is aptly described!!!