Tag Archive | nyc

Day 17 : Rolling into new year

So, I have neglected this blog again and the commitment to 500 words challenge for 30 days. Once, you get a break, it is hard to get back on. Ever since, thanks giving holidays, my yoga slid off from my routine as well. I lacked discipline in getting back on board, with travelling, having guests over, heavy workload at work did not help either. My routines went upside down. Blogging requires at least 30-45 minutes of time and it uses my brain power, i preferred to watch shows on  you tube / Netflix to kill it. Yes, nothing productive. I’ll put the rambling about “why not” to “How could I not” and move ahead to this bright full new year.

Started new year eve with a bang at Times Square with friends and family. It was truly a joyous and memorable event. Yes, I did not feel like drinking this time around, may be a sip or two, so the open bar was useless for me.  I was tied up with so many activities until now that I barely got a time to reflect back on 2016 and make new year resolutions. Today in the long time i got time for myself with no one in the home and with the snow storm that restricted me from meeting anyone today is very refreshing. Any new-yorkers here?  I have way too many guests and too many friends to catch up with not leaving enough time for myself to slow down a bit. So, this year one of the resolution is to slow down and say “No” to every request without giving reason. I just want to un-wind and do my thing like read a book, fix my home, de-clutter, finish pending tasks from years and have freedom to do what I like without analyzing too much. I love making resolutions from time to time, but new years holds a special place in heart and I end up making a huge list.

Here are mine:

  1. Drink 2 liters of water every day.
  2. Yoga 5 times a week.
  3. De-clutter once a week at least for 20 minutes.
  4. Write on this blog at least twice a week
  5. Eat home made food unless there is no option.
  6. Treat myself when I achieve some of personal and professional goals.
  7. Read at least two books each month.

These are some that I usually do on and off basis. Now, I would like to be more responsible for my statements that are made here. It’s easier said than done.

I’ve yet to make another post writing out how 2016 fared for me, the ups, the downs and everything else that happened. I have hard time re-collecting from my memory bank. I never really spoke about my travels here. I travel reasonably ok averaging one every month and one out of country trip each year. With such delay, there has been lapse in memory for details. There is so much that goes into planning a trip, from choosing a place to booking a flight to reserving a hotel and so on. All this requires researching on various web-sites, hoping to make best of out of given options i.e time, budget etc..and then dealing with the visa hassles is altogether another story. The best part has been every travel, every meeting with a new person / old friend, every book/article that I read changes my perspective to some extent. Does this sound like a familiar experience to you?

Belated, but not that late – here’s wishing you a very exciting new year full of experiences. Wish you nothing but the best year ahead.

How did you celebrate new year? What are your new year resolutions?  You can either leave a link to your blog article or write it in comments. Looking forward to read yours.

To buy or not to buy a Car?

I announced to my colleagues at work that “I want to buy a car” and “with full down payment”.

They remarked – it is much cheaper to buy a car with monthly payments than buying a car with down payment.

How is it possible? until unless I get the automobile loan for 0%. And unless, it is a recession, there is no possibility of getting that kind of an loan. Can someone tell me, how does this work?

So, I did discuss with my partner about the “thought of owning a car”.  and his immediate response was -“do we need it?” and pointed out to various things that we could do with that money not invested in car.

The flash back-

Before I moved to NYC, I’ve had car. I got the used car on a loan, right out of my college. A mistake for which I really payed high premium (yes all the $$ spent on maintenance)..that was such a bad investment of my time, money, mental energy and swore to never buy an used car. Car was a necessity back then and seems like a luxury now. I do not need a car, It has been almost 5 yrs and it was easy to manage. Kudos to the amazing public transportation system. Besides, it is much easier to not own the car.

I missed the car initially, when I had to make quick trips to near by places for something, or carrying a groceries or going on an impromptu trip. I missed it dearly. Slowly, I got used to enjoying not having to worry about driving, insurance fees, parking difficulties, monthly car payments, fuel expenses, maintenance and urge to travel on impulse. Even though cost of living went skywards that compensated car related expenses, the peace of mind of not having car turned out to be amazing.

Current state of mind

Sometimes, I get carried away with wanting versus not owning a car. Car is a luxury for me, and I am in no excessive of funds to burden my self for buying one. I have been conscious of my wants and needs lately, and having no debt/ loan to pay back is liberating.

As you saw in my earlier posts about my path to minimalism. I have put a hold on impulsive buying and trying every possible way to get rid of unwanted things. Most of the times, it has been a difficult choice and I broke down several times with lot of clutter lying around in the home and feel my precious time goes into organizing stuff. I feel helpless and retard by looking at pile of stuff not knowing what to do with it.

But, not adding to the existing clutter has been great. Also, after so much of fore thought, analysis, taking a stock at my wants and needs, the decision to buy a car, only when I have sufficient funds seems like a best possible outcome for me. I just hope, my confused brain doesn’t waiver and come back to square one. This place is a  reminder for me to think – why I have made this decision in the first place.

What about you people?

Today is the official beginning of the Spring season

I am so glad, spring is here.. but am I excited..?

Yes and No.. for the weather still seems very cold but flower buds appear everywhere. Looking forward to enjoy the bloom.

It’s east coast.. and seasons change.. that makes life more fun here! Today is considered first day of the spring season.. there will be list of celebrations over next few weeks to celebrate this eternal beauty of blooming flowers..

there goes.. tulip festival, cherry blossom festivals, orchid festivals and may be more that I am looking forward to learn and attempt to participate in them..

Here is a beautiful picture that I clicked from botanical garden..here in brooklyn, New York during Spring 2013. And if you ever get a chance, please visit it..it is one of the wonderful one out there.

Straight from Brooklyn Botanical Garden..

Happy Spring to you all?

What fun plans have you got?

Fall Colors- Clicks from Central Park

Seasons change and I managed to click few snaps from central park during peak Fall.  Here are some for you to enjoy.

..with it's typical identification of those twin buildings view from central park

..with it’s typical identification of those twin buildings view from central park

and more… it felt like beautiful golden leavens stitched onto the branches…adorning the view

Golden color leaves spread on the branches

Golden color leaves spread on the branches

Eye catching view with water, the shades of varied colors and their shadows in water, birds enjoying the pleasantness of the weather and the beautiful fall.

Color Shades

Color Shades

and another click of same view

Beautiful fall colors and their shadows in water.

Beautiful fall colors and their shadows in water.

and a final beautiful pic where boating is done – the tent like place is where boating begins in central park.

Colors every where

Colors every where

Hope you enjoyed viewing as much as I enjoyed clicking these beautiful pictures – for you – from me all the way from central park, NYC.

 

New York Subways! –Little bit of History

Subway is an underground public rail transit in New York City serving 4 of 5 boroughs – Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx. Staten Island is not connected to New York subway system.

Also, did you know that subways in New York City are addressed as “the Tube” in “Greater London”? I learned this from a cousin of mine who lived in London and asked me if I travel in “The Tube”.. and guess what my instant reaction was – you meant you tube? And that’s when he ended up briefing me on underground rail system of London. Want to know more about them.

Click here for London Tube

Click here for New York City Subways

London probably one of the oldest underground system opened in 1863, whereas America in 1904. I happened to visit a museum in New York.  Particularly, some historical aspects of New York City attracted my attention and here is what you are going to see the progress of trains re-modeled over a period of 75 years (1904- 1975). I am sure there might have been some more technological advancement in last 40 years as well but I guess the museum was not updated yet.

Subway Trains in first 75 Years

Here is glimpse of what trains used to be pre-Air Conditioner days. Yes, they had fans and more space in a block. Now surely, the space seems compressed a bit.

Image

Trains back in those days – Can you see the Fans?

Although, not very clear image, it sure gives an outline of the Underground Architecture of New York City as a whole.

Image

It still amazes me every time I look at the subway system and part me is scared of collapse that if happens in subway or in New York City due to any possible reason – surely, there is no escape… it is after all an concrete jungle.

Health-Take one: April Goal – Run-a-mile-everyday

April Goal - Run-a-Mile-Everyday(Pic Src: Google Images)

April Goal – Run-a-Mile-Everyday
(Pic Src: Google Images)

Spring’s here finally. Yes, I live in east coast and still struggling with winter and you know how difficult it is to wake up early morning in this cold windy weather. Despite, the fact that weather is slightly windy, thought to take some fun action than lamenting about it.

Inspired by a post on Facebook by a friend of mine.  She is subscribed to a group that speaks about setting goals of working out every day all through this month and sticking to them. They [read as: virtual group] keep changing their goals every month and what a fun way to work in team connecting virtually.

I found it very interesting. One of the goals last month was “Run a mile every single day – rain or shine”.  Although, I cannot re-locate that post, but here I am going to get behind the wheels and drive this mountain of laziness away.

Join me if anyone out there is interested in keeping up with this fun idea of this month. It doesn’t matter where you are located or even if you are traveling across the globe.

Yes, I am 5 days late but better late than never. Here we go!

1..2…3.. start.. go.. run!

Merry Merry Christmas!

Happy Birthday to Jesus!

and

Merry Christmas to all of my blog visitors! Christmas celebrations have begun right after thanks giving in New York City. I have started collecting (rather clicking) some beautiful x-mas tree pictures and decorations since then. I flew to Florida to escape this cold weather and the decorations were even more creative there. Eye-treat for you all!  (I am yet to visit the giant X-Mas Tree in front of Rockefeller center, watch out – I’ll post as soon as I can.).. And forget not to let me know what your favorite picture from below clicks!

First christmas tree that I thought was creative!

First Christmas tree that I thought was creative!

Santa Says Hello! This is resemblance of north pole and a belief that's santa's home!

Santa Says Hello! This is resemblance of north pole and a belief that’s santa’s home!

In front of "Fox" News Channel building in NYC

In front of “Fox” News Channel building in NYC

A cute home in florida elegantly decorated!

A cute home in florida elegantly decorated!

This tree is made out of real small plants!..Yes, they need to be watered everyday to maintain the freshness!

This tree is made out of real small plants!..Yes, they need to be watered everyday to maintain the freshness!

 

..and I thought this is equally creative where children visit Santa!

..and I thought this is equally creative where children visit Santa!

Poor Santa – He got too tired and wonder how long he has to stay in this place to full-fill the wishes of all little kids who are queued up to meet him.

Radio city in NYC, so crowded and takes ever to just cross one block on 5th Avenue!

Radio city in NYC, so crowded and takes ever to just cross one block on 5th Avenue!

Some more beautiful and artificial x-mas trees that you can glance at!

104 103 102 101 2 3

One finally beautiful tree !

Straight from airport of Florida for you!

Straight from airport of Florida for you!

Now, tell me which x-mas tree/decoration you like the most from the pictures posted above?

P.S: The giant tree that I was talking about  is actually the tallest tree in the entire united states and it is REAL.. Yes it is! Wait for the picture.

Jersey Journal

Before you assume any thing based on the title, this is not about any news magazine..but about my half-knowledge of this place called “Journal Square” and some more interesting findings.  My colleagues at work reside at journal square and obviously, I thought it is one of the city in New Jersey until this weekend. That is a business district and a metro-station stop name in “Jersey City” ..how ignorant!  wonder why would they always mention that- they reside in journal square.. Now, it does not make any sense… is it for you? (More about Journal Square)

I happened to use NJ transit (a privately owned New Jersey transit system that would take you to different cities in NJ) to visit Jersey Heights with friends, an old place where I remember the owner of a home was complaining about “how real-estate value has been depreciated”, true to the fact, the place seems bit dilapidated, constructed around 1950’s with electric wires hanging out, with no laundry facility within home and congested housing with not sufficient space for parking for an independent home!  But it’s decently affordable and closer to NYC with great frequency of NJ transit services  (a bus every 3 minutes means you can imagine the usage), totally worth living there for bit of savings.  Personally, not my choice specially if you are used to living in better areas!

As we walked around exploring the place, there was farmer’s market a block down. With Christmas right around the corner, to my surprise, they were selling  real “Christmas Trees” instead of the so-many-artificial-trees that I see everyday in NYC . Clicked few pictures for you to view them as well.

Farmer's Market

Farmer’s Market

Christmas trees for selection…

Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees

Do they trim the tree with this?

Do they trim the tree with this?

Some more..

Setting up the tree!

Setting up the tree!

Variety of Christmas collection of trees!

Variety of Christmas collection of trees!

 

 

Then we were off to Jersey City, yes to Journal Square and to an Indian Street on Newark Avenue. The whole street just resembles like an any other street in India, colorful, bright, tad bit dis-organized, bit messy and best place to have great Indian food. Paradise, one of the Indian restaurant on that street specialized in variety of  “Hyderabadi – dum Biryani’s'”, a well known delicacy.. a must to have. I have never tasted anything better than this until now in New York City. If you get a chance to be there, do not miss a chance.

Some more pictures from that street, the picture below indicates a kind of decoration, you usually find in India during Independence day celebration or if there are any political rally’s.

Decoration

Decoration

Newark Avenue in Jersey City, surprisingly the street is clean. I usually do not have a good opinion about cleanliness on Indian streets in United states, they are usually dirty and most of the times they are! May be it’s the rain that caused this clean sweep of the area. Perhaps!

Indian Street

Indian Street

I know, what do you like to do after you are done with meal.. eat sweet pan.. Here you go!, wonder why Narendra Modi’s poster is hanging in there (he is one of the fantastic chief minister of a Gujarath state in India).

Pan Shop

Pan Shop

How to get there from NYC – Penn Station , take PATH to Journal Square, step out and walk to Newark Ave for Great Indian food!

Another interesting fact, I took the literal meaning for “PATH” as path, but it is in fact “Port Authority Trans-Hudson”, this connects NJ and NY via Hudson River..hence the name.  Please correct me if it is not what it is!

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Flower

This has been always on my to-do list to participate in this challenge atleast once (details here).

Here are the most beautiful flowers straight from “Central Park” in New York City, NY for you. These are the flowers from Europe, English,  and American version of gardening with in central park.

Sun Flower

Lotus

Purple flowers?

More orange colors

 

 

 

Wall St – Battery Park – World Financial Center – Walk

I know, I have been talking about hurricane Sandy quite a bit in last couple posts. Thanks to Sandy, I am almost house arrested for more than 15 days now. (Trust me, it’s no fun to work from home every-single-day) Unfortunately, I have to work over this weekend as well but luckily I was able squeeze some time out for a weekend activity class that I’ve been meaning to catch up with and then off to visit Manhattan Downtown.

Usually in weekends, you find many tourists on Wall St and today for obvious reasons there weren’t many. As I walk on Wall St clicking pictures and specially the buildings closer to Hudson river are damaged the most. There were quite a bit of machinery and people working in restoring to it’s original fame.

Not many tourists near New York Stock Exchange(NYSE) unlike regular weekend rush.

New York Stock Exchange(NYSE)

Most of the girls favorite store on Wall St with no one in there – Tiffany’s Diamonds

Tiffany & co.

Need more information? – Downtown Map

Lower Manhattan – Information

How to get there? – 4,5,1,2,3,J,Z ,R trains will come to downtown. And you can easily figure out from MTA subway map.

.. and from Wall St, headed to Battery Park to check out the devastation.. passing through stops of Heliport, Governor’s Island, Staten Island, Statue of Liberty and along the deck to Battery Park finally leading to World Financial Center(WFC) buildings, ended up grabbing some coffee from Starbucks relaxing in WFC.

Below are the pictures in sequence with descriptions.

By now, I am too tired and lost my way out in World financial center circling back and forth with in the building trying to find a way out to subway.

Happy Browsing!

P.S: Surprisingly, today.. there were many tourists from France (May be, it’s just that I only paid attention to them).