- The presence of family whom I haven’t seen for nearly 10 years.
- Having an elephant attend my wedding and bless me
- Opening a bottle of Royal Salute – gifted in a full case to my grandparents from my first father (the bottle was literally unopened for 49 years).
- Being able to eat porottas 24/7 thanks to my Jeena and Jeeta (grandparents)
- Having my grandparents and family nearby – when planning the wedding and instructing me on the finer points of Indian culture.
- Sitting with my Jeena (grandmother) and Jeeta (grandfather) and chatting with them about life, business and their plans for the future.
- Eating a meal and interacting with kids whose parents abandoned them because they were mentally and physically impaired.
- Taking Vaishu onto the roof of the Sivakasi house and sharing the memories of days long since gone to dust.
- Having my brother drive the convertible with me in it onto the wedding hall where Vaishu was situated
- Having a live band play
Irene came by place yesterday. It is nothing compared to the rainstorms of San Francisco.
When I lived in San Francisco, the rainstorms were extremely bad because of the wind. The wind would blow hard and result in horizontal sheets of rain that would completely douse you no matter what you tried to do. One could literally stand on the edge of a street and watch the rain moving like vertical sheets of wall – it had a mind of its own, it was very frightening.
Irene started off with strong rains, then quickly toned itself down to light drizzles. It was almost as if it decided to take on New York then changed its mind quickly.
No biggie. Life goes on.
While I’m waiting for my wife’s visa process to be completed, I thought I’d go ahead and make a list of things that I’m going to do with her in New York. Here’s her list of things to do in New York.
So without further ado, here’s my list:
10. Take the ferry from Port Imperial, New Jersey to Midtown Manhattan at night and view all of Manhattan in its night lit glory. Don’t go when its raining outside because then you’ll have to sit inside the Ferry (which sucks because you don’t get the 360 panoramic view).
9. Eat a cheeseburger at Schnippers Quality Kitchen in New York. The burgers are incredibly good here. You can tell by the taste that only fresh gredients are used. The meat is juicy and cooked medium and toppings cost about an extra fifty cents. The burgers cost about eight to ten dollars, so not shabby at all. Props to my coworkers for showing me this one.
8. Grab cheap drinks at The Bitter End, New York City’s longest running rock music club. The bartenders are very nice, there are soft comfortable booths with dark paneling where one can sit sipping cocktails. This place literally looks like a scene out of Pirates of the Carribbean. It’s dimly lit with dark red glows and Christmas lights. The drinks are 2-3 dollars apiece. You get what you pay for (the drink is usually watered down but if you tip, they’ll make it stronger for you). The music is very loud here but if you are a couple then it forces you to lean in close and listen to each other.
7. Walk down the Avenue of Americas. This is an interesting street which bears the mark of old history. There are tall skyscrapers here which go back to the prewar era and have been standing for more than 90 years. Many brand name stores also exist on this street. I suggest taking a walk here to get a feel for New York. You won’t be able to help yourself be awed by the majestic grandeur of these buildings.
6. Go dancing at Joshua Tree club in Midtown East. This bar is famous for its 80s music. Joshua Tree plays its music on these huge projectors, expect to see the music videos of old hits like Frank Sinatra and Grease. There is a good diverse group of people here and it gets rowdy from 2am onwards so make sure you leave early unless you are out hunting.
Their food is also very good. I really enjoyed the Lobster Quesadilla when I tried it. Its extremely delicious and well worth your money at eleven dollars. Mention my name to the blonde female bartender and your service will be better than the average joe (I’m a regular, if you are reading my blog, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the same level of service that I do).
5. Hitch a ride on the subway. Yes, I actually recommend riding on the subway with your wife or your lover. First, the actual stations are not as great as many magazines and stories make them out to be, but the actual train ride is much better. Don’t call it a subway, New Yorkers call it a train, you will get blank stares otherwise. The real fun begins on a train when these troupers come on board. They start singing and dancing and the folks on the train join in too. It gives a very comfortable feeling for a former Californian like me (I grew up in Silicon Valley).
4. In Midtown East, there is a pizza place called 99 Cents Fresh Pizza. Try it. Enjoy it. Savor it. Slices of pizza are only a dollar and soft drink cans are also a dollar apiece and they are open until 4am every day. This is a hole in the wall, its located at 201 East 34th Street, Manhattan, New York. I go here for all my pizza cravings. You should too.
3. Take a walk in Greenwich Village. Its super busy at certain times of the day but go in the morning or when the sun is starting to set. This part of Manhattan has an old city vibe with lots of gardens and the area is dotted with small bars and lots of hole in the walls. Its a great place to go walking with your beloved and grab small bites to eat from the stores here. It’s also got a lot of comedy bars (the place is famous for them) and New York University (NYU) is situated nearby.
2. Watch the tropical storm Irene.
1. Eat dessert and drink wine at the Cinema Cafe on East 34 Street. This place is very expensive. Dinner bill will come out to couple hundred dollars but their dessert is excellent and very filling. Cinema caters to a sophisticated clientele with decent wines (I had the Malbec – it was imbued with shards of blackberry and had gentle tannins and with bold flavors). I will advise against getting their pasta; meal portions are very small so go with the steak and come here for their dessert.
Xango is very good, you may like it too – its fried banana stuffed with New York’s cheese cake on a very delicious brown syrup.