Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Trip to NY/ Niagara - First things first

I went on a trip to New York and Niagara falls on this memorial day weekend (May25-May28). A very eventful and fun trip with loads of 'first-time' things happening to me. As usual I noted then down :-) Whenever I experience something for the first time, I remember an ad I saw when I was still in school. At that time, we used to get "The Telegraph" newspaper at our home. If I remember correctly, the ad I am referring to was for 'Emirates Airlines'. The tag line for the ad was 'When was the last time you did something for the first time? Keep discovering.' Profound, ain't it? ;-D

A few details about my trip - I started from my place at around 7 in the evening, reached NY by 9.30. (FYI - the night-view of NY skyline when the plane's landing is brilliant, saw a big baseball stadium too - it was glowing - prashant mentioned it must be the 'Mets'). Anjali & Prashant had come to pick me up from the airport, so we went straight to their place. They live in a beautiful apartment in an equally beautiful area, Newport. It has spectacular river-side view. Here's a picture I took from their apartment complex.

(Manhattan skyline reflected on Hudson river)

Harish arrived from Phoenix later that night. And 4 of us started our trip. A trip which had a few first-time-things (some of these were also in my "To-do" list)

1. Visited Niagara falls - It's just beautiful. Specially at night - with fireworks, coloured beams of light illuminating the falls and the beautiful Canadian skyline in the backdrop.

2. Times square, NY - I had such a nice time in times square. We were there from about 8.30pm to 2.30am. The place was sparkling owing to the big, huge and bright billboards at display there. Went to Hershey's, Toys'R'Us, saw the famous NASDAQ bill board, Broadway (legally blonde was playing there, couldn't even try to see, no time.. ),.. got a sketch done (had to sit still for about 30 min.. I can tell u its VERY difficult and even after trying I was not still for a moment - the poor guy who had to sketch me.. :D ). Even we started back for home, we still had loads of energy left to continue. The fact that we had to start for Niagara early in the morning next day was the only constraint.

3. Visited statue of liberty - couldn't go near the top - it's not allowed now a days.

4. Started a new collection - I went to the gift shops on all the places that I went, statue of liberty, empire state building & Niagara falls. Have started collecting beautiful souvenir glasses. Something similar to shot glasses.

5. Empire State Building - The view of NY from the observation deck at 86th floor is amazing. One of my first thoughts on seeing ESB was King Kong. :D. The lift in the ESB is awesome - we ascended/descended "80 floors" in just under a minute.

6. Drove at 100mph - Yes finally I touched 100 mph. We drove from NY to Niagara in an SUV (Nissan-Pathfinder). I LOOOOVE driving. :-)

7. Got a speeding ticket - The fact that I was driving at such a speed and in a big vehicle, no one - with the exception of me - was surprised that I got ticket :-(

8. Saw traffic Jam - Hey b'lore is not the only place having huge traffic jams. While coming back from Niagara to NY, we were literally crawling on the interstate. For about an hour or so, we saw vehicles jam packed on the road as far as we could see. Another thing, traffic in NY is BAD.

9. Eat in a diner - while coming back from Niagara, we had lunch in a diner. Very limited vegetarian choices but the preparations were good.

10. Saw the famous Yellow NY taxis - There are loads of taxis in NY. They looked very cute - especially when seen from the observation deck at ESB. One of the famous modes of transportation here apart from the buses and railway/subway.

11. Punjabi Dhabas in Niagara - I was quite surprised to fund so many punjabi dhabas in Niagara. No surprise considering the fact that about 80-85% toursits seemed to be indians. :-)

(A pic taken from the deck near the top of Niagara - American falls on the left and Horse-shoe falls on the right)