Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Life in New York

Deep down, I've always wanted to spend a lot of time in New York. Every time I go there and leave, I feel I want to come back here and stay here for a while. Maybe it will happen one day. Till then I'm content with occasional visits.

When I landed in New York, the weather was hot and humid and, as everyone seemed to agree, quite unfriendly and quite unlike New York. Nevertheless, we hit the town soon after brunch. We were headed for the matinee show of The Lion King. We had time to kill and based on someone's recommendation (looking to counter the heat that was beginning to get to us), we stood in the queue for twenty minutes at Coldstone's to treat ourselves to a large cup of ice cream. Not bad, but it didn't quite hit the spot.

The Lion King show though definitely did. It was everything people had described, and maybe a little more. The only other Broadway show I have seen is the incredibly funny Urinetown. The two were both different from each other but the Lion King's setup seemed incredibly well thought out and very clever.

After the show we rushed to the Quad cinemas to catch a show of Tony Takitani. This was a 75 minute movie adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami. After reading Norwegian Wood, I'm ready to lap up anything from this genius of a writer. The movie was kind of contemplative, and had a creative way of involving the characters into the narration of the story -- it kind of brought the characters closer to the screen than what a simple background narration would have done. I enjoyed the movie, and felt all the more a desire to spend time in this city, and watch a hundred more such movies before they disappear from the collective consciousness of mankind.

When we stepped out of the show we found New York wet and dark. A huge downpour had descended on the city and we were stuck under the awning outside the theater along with other fellow filmgoers. For some odd reason it reminded me of a scene from Woody Allen's Annie Hall -- I'm sure someone who's seen the movie will know which one. :-)
We managed to catch a cab, with the help of a friend who had come to join us there after the movie. We were headed for 11 Madison Ave., for dinner at a hip Indian fusion restaurant -- Tabla.

Tabla wasn't a disappointment, by any means, but didn't measure up to my expectations. Nevertheless, a great place to catch food with a touch of Indian flavor and a dose of creativity and fusion.

The next day in New York presented itself with a fresh face. It seemed as though we had time-warped into the fall in just one day. We celebrated by packing our rollerblades and hitting the Central Park soon after breakfast -- Central Park being another great reason to live in Manhattan. I couldn't help myself from comparing Cubbon Park in Namma Bengaluru to the Central Park. Well, comparing isn't exactly the word. I did think about Cubbon Park. Both are a large, green expanse in the middle of a bustling city. In case of Central Park, the city is New Yotk and park is much bigger, has reservoirs, running tracks and more. Cubbon Park definitely has its own charm, one must admit.

It is the 16th today, and officially my vacation has begun. I am headed to Maui on the 19th for scuba diving. I have a small fear that I might end up becoming a beach bum by the time I am done with my time off from Amazon. Either that, or a snow bum, if there is such a thing.

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